The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)

Article #572 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-8-2002
Posting date: 3-3-2003

Dr. Jekyll experiments on himself with a drug that turns him into a handsome but evil man named Edward Hyde.

One of these days I’m going to sit down to one of the Hammer horrors that will grab my attention from square one and not let go of it until the last reel ends. Actually, this has happened, but only with those movies that either bear the Quatermass name or are reminiscent of Quatermass (X THE UNKNOWN), but as far as their standard horror fare, I always seem to come up a little short. This one is certainly no exception. One of the problems is that it feels more churned out than inspired, as if someone decided they needed to do the Jekyll and Hyde story, and felt it was good enough just to move some of the plot elements around and throw in some sex and violence. Ironically, the use of sex and violence is a lot more effective in the 1931 version of the film than it is here. I think the problem is that I really got caught up in the characters in that movie; in this one, I really don’t care one way or another about any of them, including the one played by Christopher Lee, and that tends to make the experience of watching the movie to be a rather unengaging (if not completly dull) task. Once again, I wonder if I’m missing something, but if I am, I don’t know what it is. Maybe someday I’ll find out…


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