Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (December 2007)|
|Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Charles Lamont|
|Produced by||Howard Christie|
|Written by||Howard Dimsdale
|Music by||Joseph Gershenson|
|Editing by||Russell Schoengarth|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||August 10, 1953|
|Running time||76 min.|
|Box office||$1.2 million (US & Canada rentals)|
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1953 American comedy horror film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, and co-starring Boris Karloff.
Loosely based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the film follows the story of two American detectives visiting Edwardian London who become involved with the hunt for Dr. Jekyll, who is responsible for a series of murders.
Slim (Bud Abbott) and Tubby (Lou Costello) are American policemen in London studying police tactics on the London Police Force. A newspaper reporter, Bruce Adams (Craig Stevens), gets into an altercation at Hyde Park that was instigated by belligerent men who do not believe in women's rights. Vicky Edwards (Helen Westcott), a suffragette gets caught up in the fray due to the fact that she was the leader of the rally gets arrested. Bruce, Vicky, Slim and Tubby all wind up in jail, where Slim and Tubby are kicked off the police force afterwards. Dr. Henry Jekyll (Boris Karloff), Vicky's guardian, bails them out.
Dr. Jekyll has been conducting home experiments in which he injects a potion and transforms into Mr. Hyde, a monster who murders a fellow doctor when he scoffed at Jekyll's experiments. Jekyll has more thoughts of murder when he notices that Vicky and Bruce are mutually attracted. Tubby and Slim decide that in order to get back on the police force they must capture Mr. Hyde. Tubby insists they catch a burglar instead and they chase Mr. Hyde into a music hall, believing him to be a burglar.They begin to chase him with Bruce at their side. Tubby traps Hyde in a wax museum, but by the time he brings the Inspector (Reginald Denny) and Slim to the scene, the monster has already reverted to Dr. Jekyll. The "good" doctor then asks Slim and Tubby to escort him to his home, where Tubby drinks a potion that transforms him into a large mouse. Slim and Tubby bring news of Jekyll's activities to the Inspector, who refuses to believe them.
Vicky announces her engagement to Bruce and Mr. Hyde reemerges, this time with intent to murder Vicky. Bruce saves her, but Hyde escapes. Tubby accidentally falls onto a serum-filled syringe, transforming Tubby into a Hyde-like monster as well. Bruce chases after Hyde, while Slim pursues Tubby, each believing still that there is only a single monster. Bruce ends up back at Jekyll's home, where Hyde falls from an upstairs window to his death, revealing to everyone his true identity when he reverts to normal form. Slim then brings Tubby (still in monster form) to the Inspector. Before reverting to human form, Tubby bites the Inspector and four officers, transforming them into monsters who begin to chase Slim and Tubby.
Filmed between January 26 and February 20, 1953, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde received an "X" rating in Britain because of the scenes with Mr. Hyde. In these scenes, the transformed character of Mr Hyde is played by stuntman Eddie Parker, who remained uncredited, while Karloff plays the sole role of Dr. Jekyll.
The film received a 6.4 film rating on IMDb based 2,343 user Reviews. Many complained That Dr.Jekyll was perceived as evil himself. There was no struggle in the transformation between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, giving the impression that Dr. Jekyll himself enjoyed the acts of Mr. Hyde. This is what brought most of the negative feedback. Other reviews complained about the lack of script and calling it cheap. The site Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 6/10 score. The movie stands at a rating of 84. It received an audience rating of 3.4 out of 5 from 3,553 user ratings. One of the top critics was Steve Crum from the Kansas City Kansan. Giving the film 3/5 saying "Bud and Lou meet another monster for infrequent laughs."
- Bud Abbott as Slim
- Lou Costello as Tubby
- Boris Karloff as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
- Craig Stevens as Bruce Adams
- Helen Westcott as Vicky Edwards
- Reginald Denny as Inspector
- John Dierkes as Batley
This film has been released twice on DVD, on The Best of Abbott and Costello Volume Four, on October 4, 2005, and again on October 28, 2008 as part of Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection.
- Furmanek p 241
- 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
- Miller, Jeffrey S. (2004), Horror Spoofs of Abbott and Costello: A Critical Assessment of the Comedy Team's Monster Films, ISBN 978-0-7864-1922-7
- Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 365
- Furmanek, Bob and Ron Palumbo (1991). Abbott and Costello in Hollywood. New York: Perigee Books. ISBN 0-399-51605-0
- Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)