(Review originally written at 21 September 2006)

Real problem with this movie is that it basically is a 10 year later remake of the movie "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" from 1931. It uses all of the best moments from that movie in this one with as a result that this movie feels lacking in true originality and creativity on its own. Still the movie is a well made one, that certainly is worth watching.

The movie is not told in the most arousing pace. The movie also doesn't always handle the story well. The inner conflict between Dr. Jekyll's good and evil side is not always notably well present. Because of all these reasons, the movie is also lacking in true tension and mystery. The movie remains interesting enough to follow but it isn't terribly creative or imaginative all. A bit of a disappointment from the director who brought us "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" before.

The movie is good looking and at times its cinematography is really superb. It provides the movie with some great and spooky genre sequences, which on their own are unfortunately not enough to carry the movie to an higher level. The movie is made in a typical '40's style. Everything is cheap looking, mainly its sets, but it serves its purpose all nevertheless. It's effects are acceptable, although the make-up effects are perhaps a bit too simple. It actually made me realize how brilliant the effects and make-up effects in the '31 version all were.

The movie has some big names in its cast. Can't say that I'm too happy with the choice of Spencer Tracy for the role of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. First of all, he was too old looking for the part and further more he doesn't play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde always convincing enough. He isn't monstrous/villainous enough as Mr. Hyde which makes his character falls flat at times. Overall he also has a very old fashioned way of acting which doesn't really suit this movie right. Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner are both good and well cast as the leading ladies and they still put some life into the movie its story and characters.

I know I probably sound very negative about this movie but that's just because the '31, of which this movie is an obvious remake, is so much inferior. This movie doesn't add enough on its own to the long list of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde movies.

Still the movie is quite good enough on its own. The story remains interesting and compelling and the movie features some well executed sequences, which is thanks to the professional directing and actors involved. The story is well told, even though it has some missed opportunities in it.

I recommend you watch the '31 version instead, nevertheless this movie still remain good and pleasurable on its own, to consider this a movie well worth watching.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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