Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941 film)


''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' is a 1941 American horror film starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner. The production also features Donald Crisp, Ian Hunter (actor), Ian Hunter, Barton MacLane, C. Aubrey Smith, and Sara Allgood. Its storyline is based on the 1886 Gothic fiction, Gothic novella ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'' written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. There have been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (disambiguation), many filmed adaptations of the novella. This movie was a remake of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931 film), Oscar-winning 1931 version starring Fredric March.


Dr. Henry Jekyll (Spencer Tracy) believes good and evil exist in everyone. Experiments reveal his evil side, named Mr. Hyde. Experience teaches him how evil and violent Hyde can be: he rapes Ivy Pearson (Ingrid Bergman), who earlier expressed interest in Jekyll. Meanwhile, Jekyll is preparing to marry Beatrix Emery (Lana Turner). Over the course of the film, Hyde abuses Ivy. Feeling remorse over the treatment inflicted on Ivy by his “monstrous” counterpart, Jekyll vows never to take the serum again, destroys the key to his lab, and sends money to Ivy anonymously. Ivy believes the money was sent by Hyde in order to trick her into believing she is now free. On the advice of a friend over her rattled nerves, she goes to Jekyll for comfort. Jekyll promises that Hyde will never hurt her again. On the way to Emery's house for the announcement of his marriage to Beatrix, Jekyll transforms into Hyde without taking the serum. He goes over to Ivy's house, accuses her of meeting with Jekyll, and strangles her. He escapes back to his locked lab, only to recall that he no longer has the key. He fails to break into the front door of his place, so he hurries to his friend Dr. Lanyon (Ian Hunter (actor), Ian Hunter) for help. Lanyon is shocked to find out that both Jekyll and Hyde are the same person as Hyde drinks the antidote in his friend's presence. Jekyll decides to break off his engagement to Beatrix in order to keep his dark secret. She refuses to accept, her reaction triggering Jekyll to become Hyde and frighten Beatrix. Her father (Donald Crisp) responds to her scream, only to be beaten to death by Hyde. Lanyon later discovers a piece of Jekyll's cane at the scene, and he realizes his friend is responsible for the murder. He then leads police to search Jekyll's lab, where they find Jekyll, who earlier, as Hyde, had strong-armed past his butler, Poole (Peter Godfrey (director), Peter Godfrey), to get to the antidote. Soon the cornered doctor starts transforming once again into Hyde as authorities question him in the lab. A struggle ensues and Lanyon shoots Hyde. As the monster dies, he reverts yet again, and finally, to Jekyll.




Rather than being a new film version of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, this ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' is a direct remake of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931 film), 1931 film of the same title. Both Hollywood productions differ greatly from the original literary work due to their heavy reliance on Thomas Russell Sullivan's 1887 stage Theatrical adaptation, adaptation of the story. The director for the 1941 film was Victor Fleming, who had directed ''Gone with the Wind (film), Gone with the Wind'' and codirected ''The Wizard of Oz (1939 film), The Wizard of Oz'', two major releases by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1939. MGM, where Fleming was under contract, acquired full rights to the 1931 film from Paramount Pictures prior to Fleming's production. According to the Robert Louis Stevenson website being archived and preserved by the British Library, subsequent to that acquisition MGM studio executives “hid the [1931] film away to avoid competition with their remake”.“Film Versions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: 1931 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Mamoulian)”
The Robert Louis Stevenson Archive (RLS Website) initially developed by Edinburgh Napier University's Centre for Literature & Writing and originally funded by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
The 1931 version then, due to ongoing legal restrictions and the lack of readily available copies, was effectively “lost” for over a quarter of a century, not generally available again for rescreenings and study until 1967. MGM's 1941 remake was produced by Victor Saville and adapted by John Lee Mahin from the screenplay of the earlier film by Percy Heath (screenwriter), Percy Heath and Samuel Hoffenstein. The Film score, score was composed by Franz Waxman with uncredited contributions by Daniele Amfitheatrof and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The cinematographer was Joseph Ruttenberg, the art director was Cedric Gibbons, and the costume designers were Adrian (costume designer), Adrian and Gile Steele. Jack Dawn created the make-up artist, make-up for the dissolute Mr. Hyde's appearance. The PCA was very specific in Characterizing Ivy. PCA: "Great care will be needed with the characterization of the girl Ivy, to avoid characterizing her as a prostitute. " The filmmakers reacted with compliance over this dispute.


Despite having not yet met his later co-star Katharine Hepburn (they met working on ''Woman of the Year'' in 1942), Tracy originally wanted her to play both Bergman's and Turner's roles as the "bad" and "good" woman, who would then turn out to be the same person.“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)”
articles, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, a subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc., New York, N.Y. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
Initial casting had Bergman playing the virtuous fiancée of Jekyll and Turner as "bad girl" Ivy. However, Bergman, tired of playing saintly characters and fearing typecasting, pleaded with Victor Fleming that she and Turner switch roles. After a screen test, Fleming allowed Bergman to play a grittier role for the first time.


Box office

According to MGM records the film earned $2,351,000 resulting in a profit of $350,000.

Critical reception

After its preview of ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' in late July 1941, the trade paper ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' cited some weaknesses in the development of characters and situations in the film's plot; but, overall, the popular New York publication gave the production a very positive assessment. ''Variety'' predicted the film would be “one of the big ones for fall release” and focused special attention on Bergman's performance and screen presence.”Flin.” (1941)
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
review, ''Variety'', July 23, 1941, p. 8, col. 2. Internet Archive, San Francisco, California. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
It compared too Hyde's physical appearance with his portrayals in the 1925 and 1931 interpretations of Stevenson's novella: ''The Film Daily'' praised the film in its review, heaping most of its accolades on Victor Fleming and his direction.“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
review ''The Film Daily'' (New York, N.Y.), July 22, 1941, p.7, col. 2. Internet Archive. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
The trade paper, which was widely read by theater owners or “exhibitors”, complimented Fleming's pacing and staging of the story and described his “handling of the players” as “flawless”. Outside the realm of film-industry trade papers, the general public in 1941 had more mixed reviews about ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde''. One example of those reactions can be found in the contemporary fan magazine ''Motion Picture Magazine, Hollywood'', which was distributed nationally each month by Fawcett Publications in Louisville, Kentucky. ''Hollywood'' recommended that its readership “should see the picture”, citing once again Bergman's excellent, “breath-taking” portrayal of Ivy.“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...''Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer''”
review, ''Hollywood'', October 1941, p. 67, cols. 1-2. Internet Archive. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
The monthly did, though, find the film's plot wikt:Special:Search/obsolete, passé and Tracy's Hyde far too understated in appearance to be effective: Another fan-based publication, ''Modern Screen'', was less subtle in its November 1941 review of ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', calling the film “quite the oddest picture of the year”.“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—AB2*”
''Modern Screen'' (New York, N.Y.), November 1941, p. 14, cols. 1-2. Internet Archive. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
The magazine, in part, considered the remake “funniest when apparently it is trying to be most serious and never so routine as when it is trying hardest to be different.” With regard to more recent critical responses to this version of ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', American film reviewer and historian Leonard Maltin in 2014 gave the production 3 out of a possible 4 stars, praising in particular Tracy and Bergman's performances. The online film-review Review aggregator, aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported, as of 2018, an approval rating of 65% among professional critics, a score based on , with a rating average of “6.7/10”. General audience reactions to ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' were just slightly lower on Rotten Tomatoes in approvals, scoring at 61% and registering a rating average of “3.4/5” based on over 4,700 responses.

Awards and honors

*For the 14th Academy Awards presentations held in Los Angeles in February 1942, ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' had been nominated for three Academy Award, Oscars: “Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)”, “Best Film Editing”, and “Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture”. The MGM production did not, however, win the award in any of those categories. *In 2005, the film was nominated by the American Film Institute to “AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores”.

Other references

In the 1946 Warner Bros. cartoon ''Hare Remover'', when Elmer Fudd is experiencing some bizarre side effects after drinking a potion he created, Bugs Bunny turns to the audience, breaking the fourth wall, and remarks, "I think Spencer Tracy did it much better!"

References and notes

External links

* * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Doctor Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1941 Film) 1940s historical horror films 1941 horror films 1941 films American historical horror films American films American science fiction horror films American black-and-white films 1940s English-language films Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde films Films scored by Franz Waxman Films directed by Victor Fleming American film remakes Films based on horror novels Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films Films produced by Victor Saville 1940s science fiction horror films Horror film remakes