Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (12A)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Dec 9 2008A subversive and psychologically rigorous take on RL Stevenson’s tale of severed souls, ‘Dr Jekyll’ combines gothic horror, aristocratic romance and madcap Freudian psychodrama into a dizzying, exhilirating brew.
Fredric March’s Jekyll exists in a state of unhappy Victorian reppression, unable to lay a finger on his bride-to-be until their wedding night and sorely tempted by Miriam Hopkins’ buxom harlot Champagne Ivy. Drinking his serum allows him to throw off the shackles of polite society, to get in touch with the unrestrained, wilfully brutish animal within.
But Mamoulian’s 1931 film is no voyeuristic fantasy: through a strikingly modern combination of subjective camerawork (by Karl Struss) and still-astounding visual effects, he makes it clear that Jekyll is no fiction: he is all of us, all the time. When, in the final scene, a police sergeant turns to the audience with an accusatory finger and a cry of ‘that’s the man!’, it’ll be a stalwart soul who doesn’t flinch back in his cinema seat.
Author: Tom Huddleston
Fri Dec 12 2008