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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Neanderthal Man (1953) starring Richard Crane, Robert Shayne

The Neanderthal Man

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In The Neanderthal Man, a mad scientist transforms himself into a prehistoric caveman, his cat into a saber-toothed tiger, and his housekeeper into an ape person. He alienates his daughter and girlfriend in the process.  And unwittingly kills several of his friends.

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Jekyll & Hyde

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Jekyll & Hyde (1990) starring Michael Caine, Cheryl Ladd

Jekyll & Hyde is a very different take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale. It adds a romance with his sister-in-law, that has unexpected consequences for both.

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968) starring Jack Palance, Denholm Elliott, Leo Genn, Billie Whitelaw

It should be said that The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an adaptation of the stage play, not the original story. Having said that, it’s an excellent telling of the Jekyll/Hyde story. Jack Palance turns in a great performance as Hyde. Rarely, if ever, has Hyde been portrayed as what he is. The dark side of human nature. Rage without mercy, jealousy, anger, pettiness … It’s a long list. And Jack Palance does a wonderful job of bringing this monster to life on screen.

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a bad adaptation of a very good original story. What if the various fictional characters of Victorian fiction all lived in the same world? It’s an excellent premise. The original graphic novel told the story well, faithful to the original characters. Sadly, that’s not true at all here.

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Daughter of Dr. Jekyll

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Daughter of Dr. Jeyll (1957) starring Gloria Talbott, John Agar, Arthur Shields

Daughter of Dr. Jekyll – a young woman discovers that she’s secretly the daughter of Dr. Jekyll. And shortly after, a series of vicious murders start …

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Hand of Death [John Agar]

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Hand of Death (1962) starring John Agar,  Paula Raymond,  Stephen Dunne

Hand of Death is a B-grade monster movie. It deals with a scientist who creates a paralyzing nerve gas. After a lab accident, his touch becomes lethal.

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Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

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Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner

If there’s a problem with the 1941 version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of a man split between his dark and light sides, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it unfortunately comes down to the lead actor, Spencer Tracy. It’s undeniable that Spencer Tracy is a fine actor but not in this film. He portrays Dr. Henry Jekyll as nearly neutral and spineless, and he plays Mr. Hyde not as a wild, unhindered, lover of self, but as a slightly more menacing version of Dr. Jekyll. When he starts a bar fight he doesn’t participate. When he abuses the lovely singer Ivy (Ingrid Bergman) its barely what most people would consider anger.

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1931

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) starring Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert, Halliwell Hobbes, Edgar Norton

Review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 Fredric March won an Oscar for his portrayal of Dr. Henry Jekyll — and the bestial Mr. Hyde — and deservedly so.  His portrayal of Hyde as a barely-restrained beast is correct. Hyde is a literal monster in human form, unrestrained anger, lust, and desire.  He also portrays Dr. Jekyll very well, as a man of science who is caring, compassionate, and somewhat obsessed with expanding human knowledge. And a man who is deeply in love with his fianceé, and wants to marry her.

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The Manster

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The Manster (1959) starring Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Tetsu Nakamura, Terri Zimmern

The Manster is a low-budget horror movie, based in Japan. The stereotypical amoral mad scientist, Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura) starts off the movie by destroying a hideously mutated creature, that used to be human. In fact, its his own brother, setting the doctor’s character for the audience. Putting scientific advancement above human relationships, a point that gets reinforced later in the film.

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