Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic thriller of split personality has been filmed many times, but no version compares with this masterly adaptation by Rouben Mamoulian, which fully exploits the erotic motifs of the original story. As Hyde's victim, Miriam Hopkins is both sensual and sympathetic in her masochistic debasement, while Fredric March handles the transitions from scientist Jekyll to depraved beast Hyde with amazing technical command and is entirely convincing in both personae. How Mamoulian filmed one Jekyll-Hyde transition in a single take is still his secret-it's a miracle of makeup and acting. As Andrew Griffin (citing the late UC Berkeley professor William Nestrick) wrote, “Mr. Hyde seizes center stage in Mamoulian's early masterpiece, leaping banisters and social boundaries. Mamoulian described his Hyde as the Neanderthal within, ‘not the evil but the animal' in man, and therefore innocent; Nestrick called him ‘this reversal of a sublimation, this dream-like projection of the dethroned elements.'”

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