The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

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The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
The-two-faces-of-dr jekyll-poster.jpg
British original poster
Directed by Terence Fisher
Produced by Michael Carreras
Screenplay by Wolf Mankowitz
Starring Paul Massie
Dawn Addams
Christopher Lee
David Kossoff
Francis de Wolff
Music by David Heneker
John Hollingsworth
Monty Norman
Cinematography Jack Asher
Edited by Eric Boyd-Perkins
James Needs
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
24 October 1960 (UK)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £146,417[1]

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is a 1960 horror film by Hammer Film Productions.[2] It was directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Paul Massie as Dr. Jekyll, and co-stars Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee and David Kossoff.[3] It was written by Wolf Mankowitz, based on the 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.[4]

In contrast to other film versions, Jekyll was portrayed as a rather bland and faceless person, while Hyde was presented as suave and handsome. This reflects director Fisher's belief in what critics (such as biographer Wheeler Winston Dixon) called "the charm of evil".[5] The film is also unusual in that it is one of the few where the Jekyll/Hyde character does not die in the story's conclusion.

The film was released in North America to theaters under the titles House of Fright and Jekyll's Inferno and on American TV under its original British title.

Plot[edit]

Dr. Henry Jekyll's wife, Kitty, cheats on him with his friend Paul Allen (who hounds money from Jekyll). Ignoring the warnings of his colleague and friend Dr. Ernst Littauer, Jekyll concocts a chemical potion which he hopes will help him learn the depths of the human mind.

By testing the potion on himself, he transforms into Mr. Edward Hyde, a young and handsome, but also murderous and lecherous man. Soon, Hyde becomes bored with conventional debauchery and when his eyes catch Kitty, he decides he must have her. When Kitty rejects him, Hyde rapes her and leaves her unconscious. When Kitty wakes up in the bed, she immediately notices that Hyde has scratched her neck in various places. Distressed, Kitty walks over to the table where she finds a note written to her. When Kitty goes into the other room looking for Paul, she looks in to find out that her lover has been bitten by a venomous snake. To Kitty's misfortune, Paul is dead. Kitty walks over to the patio, puts her leg over the balcony, covers her ears in response to the loud music playing from the party and allows herself to fall off the balcony and through the glass roof covering the party guests. Hyde frames his other self for these crimes.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film lost Hammer an estimated ₤30,000.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, Titan Books, 2007 p 49
  2. ^ http://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6b9385eb
  3. ^ http://www.allmovie.com/movie/two-faces-of-dr-jekyll-v114782/cast-crew
  4. ^ http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/78540/The-Two-Faces-of-Dr-Jekyll/articles.html
  5. ^ Wheeler Winston Dixon The Charm of Evil: The Films of Terence Fisher (with an introduction by John Carpenter).Metuchen N.J. and London: Scarecrow Press, 1991. 574 pages.
  6. ^ Marcus Hearn, The Hammer Vault, Titan Books, 2011 p38

External links[edit]