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“I’m not a gentleman, no, but I have money.” Not a gentleman, indeed! Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they discuss the first horror film to win an Academy Award (for Fredric March’s performance), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 122 – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
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Dr. Jekyll faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that transforms him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.IMDb
- Director: Rouben Mamoulian
- Writers: Samuel Hoffenstein & Percy Heath (screenplay); Robert Louis Stevenson (based on his novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1886)
- Cinematographer: Karl Struss (photographed by)
- Makeup Department:
- Norbert A. Myles (makeup artist) (uncredited)
- Wally Westmore (special makeup effects artist) (uncredited)
- Selected Cast:
- Fredric March as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde
- Miriam Hopkins as Ivy Pierson
- Rose Hobart as Muriel Carew
- Holmes Herbert as Dr. John Lanyon
- Halliwell Hobbes as Brigadier-General Danvers Carew
- Edgar Norton as Poole
- Tempe Pigott as Mrs. Hawkins
- Arnold Lucy as Utterson (uncredited)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is Daphne’s pick and she is stunned by how scintillating and violent this pre-code classic is. The cast and crew created a film that really packs a punch! Whitney is impressed by many aspects of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Jekyll-to-Hyde transformations are fun to watch while at the same time, this historic horror piece is provocative for its time. In Chad’s view, the other movie versions of Robert Louis Stevenson’s source novel don’t hold a candle to this one, describing March’s performance as genius. He is fascinated by the dichotomy of good and evil in the same person, the two sides of human beings depicted in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde while keeping him on the edge of his seat. Jeff is as impressed with the performance of Miriam Hopkins as he is with Fredric March. He also describes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as very intense and maybe the most pre-code of the pre-code movies the Classic Era has covered.
The 1931 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has thoroughly impressed the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew. It might be time for another viewing for our Grue Believers. At the time of this writing, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is available to stream from multiple PPV streaming services and on physical media as a DVD from the Warner Archive Collection.
For other Classic Era excursions with Robert Louis Stevenson, check out these episodes:
- The Body Snatcher (1945) – Episode 66 – Decades Of Horror: The Classic Era
- The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1968) – Episode 71 – Decades Of Horror: The Classic Era
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Whitney: The Blob (1958), featuring the title character and a 28-year-old Steve McQueen playing a high school student.
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