Wednesday, March 22, 2017

OVER A 100 YEARS OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE VARIATIONS!

"Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde" was written by Robert Lewis Stevenson and published in 1886. In the upcoming years after that, the movie making business was just getting started, and the strange story of Dr. Jekyll was a popular subject. As far as I can tell, the first filmed version of "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde"was in 1908 starring Hobart Bosworth! It was followed by more films in 1910 with Alwin Neuß in the lead role, 1912 starring James Cruze, and in 1913, two versions, one with King Baggot as the star, and one with Murdock MacQuarrie as the good Doctor with a split personality! What a bunch of household names today! Makes it real clear how fickle fame really is! But the ongoing tales of Dr. Jekyll didn't really get going until.....


The 1931 version starring Frederick March was a monsterpiece!
Who or what was the greatest monster of all time in the movies? Here are the choices, and you have to consider the variations like "Son of..." and "Cousin of....," Frankenstein, Dracula and/or any vampire variation, a Lycanthrope, a Mummified person, somebody Invisible, or the Doctor with a severe disorder when he drinks too much?
I think Dr. Jekyll is right up there at the top of the list!

I'm not going to attempt to list all the Dr. Jekyll movies, but here's a group of interesting variations I have compiled. This 1941 version starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner, probably had the most star power of them all!

So in 1951, Dr. Jekyll managed to have a son. Happy Mother's Day!

In 1953, Abbott and  Costello met "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde," as they had previously with Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, and after this, they would also meet The Mummy!

 In 1957 it was revealed that Dr. Jekyll not only had a son, but a daughter too!

Hammer Studios came out with a comic variation called THE UGLY DUCKLING in 1959!
Just for the record, this movie is impossible to find today as far as I can tell in any way, shape, or form!

 Also in 1959, Jean Renoir's "Le Testament Du Docteur Cordelier" aka "THE DOCTOR'S HORRIBLE EXPERIMENT came out, and it might be the last serious version for quite a while!

  The nerdy Jerry Lewis Dr. Jekyll turns into rico suave Mr. Hyde in the 1963 version called "The Nutty Professor" (which was remade in itself in the 1996 Eddie Murphy version)!

In 1964, influenced by bad grades and nicotine, The Bitsko Brothers filmed their short version in 8 millimeter! Seen by only a handful of people, all footage is lost forever!

 
 
More family woes, first the brother, then the daughter, and now the sister! "Dr. Jekyll And Sister Hyde" escaped from the loony bin in 1971!
This one gets both a poster and a lobby card because Martine Beswick is in it!

 
 Let no angle be unturned, in 1976, they came out with "Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde" starring Bernie Casey! Killer Poster from Thailand I think!

 DOTTOR JEKYLL E GENTILE SIGNORA (Doctor Jekyll Likes Them Hot) was directed by Steno, and came out in 1979! Edwige Fenech has all the angles in this one!

 DR. HECKLE and MR. HYPE (1980)
I've never seen this one, and I'm not really sure I want to, even though I'm a huge Oliver Reed fan!
I mean it is supposed to be "Horribly Hilarious!"

There have been many many many more versions made over the years like this 1995 comedy, many Warner Brothers cartoons, TV shows as varied as Dobie Gillis, The Dukes Of Hazard, and The Partridge Family, and why not? "Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde" is a classic tale of the inner struggles of good and bad and dark and light! It's pretty freakin' simple, and until deemed politically incorrect, will continue until there are only two people left, and then they get into a fight!

2 comments:

Philip Smolen said...

Fantastic list guys! It really shows how timeless Stevenson's work is. There's a version for just about every decade. I think "I, Monster" (1971) with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing would also make a good addition to this list. It's very under-rated and Lee's transformation is quite startling.

Your list has gotten under my skin and now I'm searching some of these flicks in order to check them out. Thanks again for the awesome post!

EEGAH!! said...

Thanx Phillip! Yeah, "I, Monster" should have, and would have been on the list, except, I just had to stop somewhere. The most difficult thing about doing this is trying to figure out if the people who might read it know everything or nothing about the subject. I'd like to think everybody in the world knows who Dr. Jekyll is, but that's not always an assumption you can make about anything anymore. Thanx again, if I made you want to go watch a movie, my job is done.

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