The Son of Dr. Jekyll

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The Son of Dr. Jekyll
Directed by Seymour Friedman
Written by Mortimer Braus
Jack Pollexfen
Starring Louis Hayward
Jody Lawrance
Alexander Knox
Lester Matthews
Gavin Muir
Paul Cavanagh
Music by Paul Sawtell
Cinematography Henry Freulich
Edited by Gene Havlick
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
October 31, 1951
Running time
78 minutes
Country United States

The Son of Dr. Jekyll is a 1951 American historical horror film directed by Seymour Friedman and starring Louis Hayward, Jody Lawrance, Lester Matthews and Alexander Knox. Financed and distributed by Columbia Pictures, it is based on a screenplay by Jack Pollexfen and Mortimer Braus. The film is a continuation of Robert Louis Stevenson's original classic novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, although bearing some differences to the horror classic.

Son of Dr. Jekyll is considered to be an unofficial sequel to the 1941 adaptation of the novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Spencer Tracy, although the two films have a number of plot differences. The main difference is that Jekyll the father survives long enough to marry and have a son which is neither of the earlier film adaptations. Also a Hyde character only appears briefly when the true chemicals that Jekyll the father used rather than the non-functional chemicals listed in the altered notebook and never again in the film.

Jack Pollexfen, the scriptwriter of this film, wrote and produced a further sequel in the same vein, The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll in 1957 starring Gloria Talbott.

Plot summary[edit]

The film begins with a prologue set in 1860, where Mr. Hyde is chased down in the streets of London, after murdering his wife at their Soho flat. He escapes to the house of Dr. Jekyll, where he prepares the potion that will transform him back to the respected doctor. Unfortunately, the mob has already set the house ablaze. The flames drive Hyde at the top floor, and in attempt to leap to the ground, he meets his demise when he falls to the ground. As he dies, he changes back to Dr. Jekyll.

John Utterson and Dr. Lanyon (original characters from Stevenson's novel) mourn their unfortunate friend Dr. Jekyll, until Inspector Stoddard brings the two to the Soho flat, where Jekyll/Hyde has left an orphan behind. Utterson agrees to adopt the young Jekyll, since he and his wife haven't succeeded in having children. Thirty years later, Edward Jekyll, now fiance to Utterson's niece Lynn and a student of Royal Academy of Sciences, is expelled from the academy because of his peculiar and unorthodox experiments. Edward is unaware that he is actually Henry Jekyll's son, and when he inherits the Jekyll Mansion, Dr. Lanyon tells him his tragic father's story.

Edward and Lynn move to the old Jekyll Mansion for the preparations of their marriage, and soon, Edward feels unwelcome by his neighbors. Discovering his father's laboratory, Edward convinces himself to work on his father's experiments in order to clear the Jekyll name. He hires Michaels, Dr. Jekyll's old assistant, and begins researching. Unfortunately, after Edward first tests the formula on himself, a Hyde-like man appears in the house and murders a number of people. Edward is charged for the murders, and thought insane, is transferred to Dr. Lanyon's sanitarium where the murders continue. Edward begins wondering if it is him who transforms into a murderer or someone else is trying to drive him to insanity.

It was shown clearly that Edward's adoptive father changed chemicals and his father's notebook to punish Edward for abandoning him and embracing his biological father's heritage despite raising Edward as his own son.


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