Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ 

(7/10) In a nutshell: Spencer Tracy hams his way through this 1941 high-profile remake of the 1931 version of the film. Ingrid Bergman shines in the female lead and the production values are great – but what could have been something of a masterpiece is lost in translation as director Victor Fleming isn’t familiar with the genre. It is, however, a good and thoroughly enjoyable movie.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 1941, USA. Directed by Victor Fleming. Written by John Lee Mahin, based on the screenplay by Percy Heath and Samuel Hoffenstein, in turn based on the play by Thomas Russell Sullivan, based on the novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Starring: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Produced by Victor Fleming and Victor Saville for MGM. Tomatometer: 65. IMDb score: 6.9

Spencer Tracy hamming away in Victor Fleming's 1941 film. He hated the wig. So do we.

Spencer Tracy hamming away in Victor Fleming’s 1941 film. He hated the wig. So do we.

This is the fifth instalment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I’m reviewing, so I won’t go into the details of the basic story and the development of the film versions brought to the screen. For more on that, please see my review of the 1920 version. Suffice to say, as most people know, the film is based on the 1886 novella of the same name by Robert Louis Stevenson, and concerns a Dr. Jekyll who concocts a potion that both distrorts his appearance and his mind – bringing out the evil and the animal lust inherent in all men.  Continue reading