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The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
Movie
  • Director:
    Terence Fisher
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Wolf Mankowitz
  • Cast:
    Paul Massie,Dawn Addams,Christopher Lee
  • Time:
    1h 28min
  • Budget:
    £146,417
  • Year:
    1960
Dr. Henry Jekyll is a dull, bookish scientist who spends more time with his lab animals testing theories of alternate personalities than with his beautiful, young wife. Kitty Jekyll has given up trying to find any passion in her distant, preoccupied husband and is involved in an affair with one of Jekyll's old 'friends,' Paul Allen, a weak slacker and wastrel who relies on Jekyll to pay his numerous gambling debts. After experimenting on himself, the bearded, tweedy Jekyll transforms himself into the young, dynamic, and self-confidant Edward Hyde. In his new character he befriends Allen, who has no idea that this clean-cut, handsome playboy prone to outbursts of violence is really Jekyll. As Hyde, he encourages Allen to introduce him to the dark underbelly of London's night life including opium dens and sex clubs, where he begins an affair with the sensual courtesan Maria, an exotic dancer and snake charmer. When he tries to seduce Allen's mistress, in reality his own wife, he is ...
Casts
Complete credited cast:
Paul Massie Paul Massie - Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde
Dawn Addams Dawn Addams - Kitty Jekyll
Christopher Lee Christopher Lee - Paul Allen
David Kossoff David Kossoff - Dr. Ernst Litauer
Norma Marla Norma Marla - Maria
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff - Inspector
Joy Webster Joy Webster - Jenny

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)

Sir Christopher Lee's role was written especially for him, and remains one of his personal favorites.

Laurence Harvey was Hammer's first choice for the starring role, and while the star was keen to do it, Harvey's agent thought it would be a bad career move, so the actor ultimately turned it down.

Sir Christopher Lee originally wanted to play the lead role(s).

This is the second of three Hammer adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". The first was The Ugly Duckling (1959) and the third one was Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971).

Sir Christopher Lee (Paul Allen) played Dr. Charles Marlowe and Edward Blake, the renamed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in I, Monster (1971), another adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".

This version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde features the opposite in transformation: the sensible Jekyll is bearded and speaks with a low voice while Hyde is clean-shaven and speaks in a normal, friendly-sounding voice.

Oliver Reed (Bouncer) played the title characters in Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype (1980), another adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".

This movie takes place in 1874.

Norma Marla appeared in this movie and the comedy spoof The Ugly Duckling (1959).

Lavivan
Lavivan
Very nice and quite original adaptation of this often (ab)used material. This is probably the only version where Hyde is actually more handsome, social and sexy - even in a sort of school-boyish way to begin with - than Jekyll, who is a total wet blanket. There is indeed one of the sexiest performances by Christopher Lee in the film. I'm very happy he isn't in the lead role - I suggest he would have been directed to be his usual grim and menacing self again. Instead of that we get a smiling, easy-going Lee, dripping with wicked charm and sexuality. There aren't many available films to see him still under 40, so if you are a fan of his, I suggest you check this one out. Sure, it tends to be a bit melodramatic, but fortunately everyone around the poor, misunderstood Jekyll is so delightfully evil - his double-crossing wife, and double double-crossing friend - that the dramatic outbursts are nicely suppressed. Also, you get a very intimate close up at the holiest of holies of a scantily dressed snake charmer, and we get the "b"-word loud and clear - rather nice for 1960. Nice sets, nice Victorian frolics, very good looking cast, and generally a more fun version of the book than we usually get. I only have a strange looking pan and scan bootleg version of this film, which obviously was shot in widescreen. Typical vibrant colours of the period, good score and expert direction plus mostly proper British accent from everyone in the cast. I'm very glad I stumbled upon this film, and should I ever see a legitimate widescreen version released, I'd snatch it without a second thought. I'm rich, you see.
Hawk Flying
Hawk Flying
In the 1870's London, the middle-aged Dr. Henry Jekyll lives a reclusive life with his young wife Kitty. Jekyll has given up lecturing in Universities and dedicates his time for charity works and his personal research in his private lab. He completely neglects his wife Kitty, who has started an affair with Jekyll's friend Paul Allen, who also spends Jekyll's money on his gambling debts. One night, Jekyll tests a drug he has invented to separate the good and evil in man, on himself. As a result he becomes young and handsome Edward Hyde, who soon begins his mission of not only to destroy Kitty and Paul, but Jekyll as well.

Terence Fisher's film "The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll" is one of the most original and underrated adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". Since the three most well known movie versions of Jekyll & Hyde before this (1920 silent film with John Barrymore, 1931 classic with Frederic March and 1941 remake with Spencer Tracy) all repeated similar plot pattern, the Hammer Films wanted to give something different.

Like with Hammer's other adaptations of classic horror stories, the film only keeps the essential backbone of the original story and changes all else. Unlike in the three previous movies where Jekyll was presented as a young handsome and likable man and Hyde as evil looking ugly monster, here Jekyll is middle-aged bearded and very cold and harsh towards others. Hyde on the other hand is smooth, handsome player who gets everyone to like him like that. However, he is no less evil then other versions of Hyde. This time Hyde doesn't use Jekyll as a hiding place to escape to, but he puts the blame of his crimes on Jekyll. Nasty piece of work.

The film has been much underrated because it doesn't have the same kind of Hammer horror feel to it. But Fisher and others are not even trying to make this same kind of shocking horror film as their previous works "The Curse of Frankenstein", "Horror of Dracula" and "The Mummy" are. Instead Fisher and screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz are telling a tragedy of how one man's quest for knowledge ultimately destroys everything and everyone around him. The makers are more interested in showing the duality of Victorian era, where people were respectable during the day and transformed during the night. Jekyll in the movie is just the only one who does it literally.

The role of Jekyll/Hyde was originally meant for Christopher Lee, but not wanting to be type casted as the monster, since he had already played Frankenstein's creature, Count Dracula and the Mummy, Lee was casted as Paul Allen instead. Obviously glad to play different kind of part, Lee delivers one of his best Hammer performances as the suave and unreliable gambler. Lee played Jekyll and Hyde later in a movie called "I, Monster" from 1971, which follows Stevenson's book more faithfully than this one.

In the role of Jekyll/Hyde, Paul Massie is really underrated. Sure, I could name half a dozen other actors who have played the part better. But Massie is one of the few actors, along with Frederic March and Jack Palance, who managed to make both Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde interesting characters. Most actors I've found are rather boring when playing Jekyll, only coming to life when changing to Hyde. In the role of Jekyll's cheating wife Kitty, Dawn Addams is not just a candy to the eyes, she really fits the part perfectly and is one of the few Hammer leading ladies with some other talent than just their looks. In minor roles you can see Norma Marla and her very erotic snake dance, as well as young Oliver Reed in one of his earliest movie roles.

All in all, "The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll" is a forgotten gem, an enjoyable film from Hammer's highlight era, as long as you keep open mind and not expect gallons of blood.
Peras
Peras
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Paul Massie) is working on a serum that brings out the animal instincts of man. After testing it on a monkey (who goes berserk), he turns to himself. As his alternate self, Edward Hyde, he stumbles upon his friend's treachery and his wife's sordid affair. Hyde, the animal that he is, is ready to go on his own little excursion into debauchery and hedonism.

I was really blown away by this film. The Jekyll/Hyde story has been told again and again and the main character has been portrayed by countless actors. Yet, this may be the great version out there -- definitely the best one I've seen yet. The Canadian actor playing both roles was a new face for me, but is pretty amazing and I couldn't see the two personas as the same actor no matter how hard I tried. It was quite impressive.

Christopher Lee, ever-present in the Hammer films (did he ever have a day off?), plays friend Paul Allen. Wow. I've praised Lee in "Scream of Fear", but he should be praised no less in this, where he's a convincingly sleazy gambler and womanizer. Not the way I picture Lee to be, but it seems so natural here. The more I see this man in action, the more I see what the generation before me saw. I had always been a Peter Cushing fan, but maybe it's time for me to switch sides? I enjoyed the philosophical questions raised by this film. There's the portrayal of Hyde as younger, more handsome and more charming... not the monster he's usually shown to be. I think this fit well... he still had the spontaneous violence, but not unlike the devil himself, knew his way to get to people with savoir faire. Early on, Jekyll also talks of the man "beyond good and evil", the "higher man", evoking the words of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, though certainly not in the way Nietzsche would have endorsed. Both Nietzsche's and Jekyll's higher man use their wills to gain what they most desire, but Hyde is something of an unhinged creature, not the refined and academic man Nietzsche preferred.

Nietzsche also spoke of "beyond good and evil" as a transcendence of morality, moving beyond our traditional concepts and accepting that there is good and bad, but no overarching divine good or evil. In this regard, Hyde may be comparable. He certainly has no care for his "evil" actions... though one suspects that not even Nietzsche would support these "bad" actions destroying those around him.

You must pick up this film (preferably in the four-disc set of Hammer films also containing "The Gordon" and "Scream of Fear"). You don't need to be as analytical or philosophical as I am when digesting it, but you'll love the film for its great characters and hedonistic wickedness... drunken, licentious men in 1870s London? Let the depravity begin.
Opimath
Opimath
A good Hammer Film. The plot is keeping with in the Jekyll-Hyde story. Christopher Lee is in it, and so is sexy Dawn Adams. The snake dancer in the night club is one of the best I have ever watched! I was watching a documentary on the history of Hammer Films, and one of the producers said this film was not well recieved, for a B- Horror Movie I strongley dissagree.
anneli
anneli
Like many Hammer Films that were pooh-poohed at the time of their release as exploitational, THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL is much better than its reputation would have you think, and it's surprisingly frank in its depictions of adultery and sexuality. It's well-directed by Terence Fisher, and the sets, costumes, set decorations and cinematography are excellent, making very good use of color (particularly in the Can-Can sequence). Performances are also excellent, particularly Paul Massie in the title roles, though he may seem a bit over-the-top at times. He does an excellent job of differentiating between Jekyll and Hyde, even vocally (though he sounds oddly post-synched in both roles). No, this isn't the foggy, gas-lit London of previous versions of J&H - color more or less ruled that out - but its nevertheless effective in its own way and deserves re-examination.
Dogrel
Dogrel
Having long been a serious Hammer fan, this film somehow escaped me for years. I recently viewed it for the first time, and was very impressed. Christopher Lee rarely had such a delicious part, as the pompous and sleazy Paul Allen. Director Terence Fisher and composer Monty Norman are in top form as well. Of course, the story itself is familiar but thoroughly engaging.

One thing troubles me, the tape I saw had a few obvious dialog cuts. If you've never seen The Two Faces of Dr. Jeckyll, AND you like the horror cinema of this period, I strongly urge you to see this one.
Black_Hawk_Down
Black_Hawk_Down
1874, London. Obsessive and reclusive weakling Dr. Jekyll (superbly played by Paul Massie) creates a formula that causes him to transform into his evil and impulsive id run amok alter ego Mr. Edward Hyde, who stirs up much trouble and eventually tries to take over Jekyll's meek personality altogether. Director Terence Fisher and writer Wolf Mankowitz offer a sound, absorbing and surprisingly elegant psychological take on the often told tale along with a flavorsome evocation of the Victorian era. This film further benefits from splendid acting from a top-notch cast: Massie delivers an impressively anguished portrayal of a tormented split personality in the demanding lead role, Dawn Adams brings real class and poise as Jekyll's fed-up faithless wife Kitty, the always great Christopher Lee positively oozes smarm as Kitty's shameless ne'er-do-well gambler lover Paul Allen, ravishing brunette beauty Norma Marla burns up the screen as fiery, sultry dancer Maria (her introductory snake dance set piece is memorably sexy), and David Kossoff does well as Jekyll's wise, concerned colleague Dr. Ernest Littauer. Better still, this movie rates as pretty bold stuff for the decade it was made in: we've got opium smoking, adultery, implied nudity, mild profanity, and even (offscreen) rape. Having the wimpy and homely, but humane and pleasant Jekyll turn into the suave and handsome, yet foul and caddish Hyde is a very nice touch, thereby suggesting it's what's on the inside that makes a man either good or bad. Look fast for Oliver Reed as a nightclub bouncer. Both Jack Asher's vibrant color cinematography and the jaunty, dramatic orchestral score by David Heneker and Monty Norman are up to snuff. Well worth a watch.
Uyehuguita
Uyehuguita
I really like Paul Massie in the lead role and I feel he does manage to give a compelling performance here. However the film itself proves unfortunately melodramatic (too many long scenes of Jekyll having outbursts of guilty emotions over the actions of Hyde is the biggest shortcoming). The changes to the story were novel but at the same time managed to turn Jekyll into a simpering wimp compared to a much stronger Hyde. I also fails to make us feel sympathy for any of Hyde's victims..still for some reason I find myself sometimes going back to this one.
Uanabimo
Uanabimo
The acting is fine, the costumes are fine and the dialogue is fine... This is one of those films that's not so bad that it becomes good again, and it's not good enough to be a classic. It's just a middling film from early 1960's Hammer horror.

On one hand, the film was trying to switch things up. Mr. Hyde has so often been depicted as an ugly monster in other films (see the 1920, 1931 and 1941 adaptions for good examples). Instead, this film portrays Hyde as a seemingly suave gentleman with an evil heart; a wolf in sheep's clothing, essentially.

The premise falls short because the film does not truly emphasize how terribly Hyde has behaved. He drinks and carouses, but the vast majority is off screen. When Jekyll laments there is no depth of depravity that will satisfy Jekyll, it's hard to believe because he doesn't seen to have yet pushed the boundaries very far. It's not until late in the movie when Hyde does truly horrible things.

The best moments of the film are when Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde struggle against one another while in the same body, even if Jekyll's facial hair looks painfully fake from the movie's first shot.
WOGY
WOGY
I stumbled across this movie on late night television a couple of nights ago. It looked like a fairly low-budget movie and I didn't really expect to stay with it, but it surprised me. I found it to be an entertaining story, with enough originality to make it more than just a rehash of the Jekyll/Hyde tale. In particular, the portrayal of Jekyll and Hyde was different than what I expected. While Jekyll is generally portrayed as a kind and gentle man (while at the same time a bit cold and aloof) he is usually the more physically attractive side of the split personality. In this movie, Jekyll vaguely resembles Abraham Lincoln - hardly the most attractive man in history, while Hyde is actually strikingly handsome in addition to being charismatic. It seems that the point is that good and evil doesn't always equate to beauty and ugliness.

I thought Paul Massie did a decent job portraying both sides of the split personality, and a young Christopher Lee does well as Paul Allen, a scheming conniver having an affair with Jekyll's wife (Dawn Addams) who befriends Hyde, ultimately leading to his own downfall.

All in all, I quite enjoyed this movie, and am glad I stumbled across it.

7/10
Androrim
Androrim
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Paul Massie) has no life anymore, chained to his work and stuck in a loveless marriage to Kitty (Dawn Addams), he busy's himself working on a character altering potion. Firstly testing it on primates, Jekyll ignores the warnings from his friend Dr. Ernst Littauer (David Kossoff) and experiments on himself. The result brings out Jekyll's alter ego, Mr. Edward Hyde, a debonair gentlemen who holds within a sadistic dangerous streak. Hyde spells danger for anyone who gets too close to him, particularly Kitty, Jekyll's morally bankrupt friend Paul Allen (Christopher Lee) and more worryingly, Jekyll himself.

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is by Hammer Film Productions. It's directed by Terence Fisher and is adapted by Wolf Mankowitz from the famous story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Tho very much a middle tier offering from the house of Hammer, this version of the often told tale puts a different slant on things to make it unique and always interesting. Jekyll here is a bland and reclusive person, the people closest to him cheat on him and he is powerless to stop it. Contrast with Hyde, handsome and charming and able to take what he wants either by cunning or brute force. This was a deliberate shift from the normal by Fisher and Mankowitz, they didn't want Hyde as some furry half man beast frothing at the mouth, they sided with evil lurking behind a charming facade. It's also notable for its ending too. Where they had the courage of their convictions to stay with a differing formula.

The problems come if one is searching for a horror film in the Hammer tradition. For although Hammer traits such as a smouldering sexiness hang over proceedings, the film is in truth lacking in terror. Something which is sure to annoy the horror purists. But if you can accept this as a more restrained psychological horror piece, one that deals in the duality of man, the pursuit of something more and the often treacherous nature of the human being, the rewards are there to be enjoyed. The cast are fine, Massie is competent without the ham, and Lee is elegantly vile to fit seamlessly into character. But the bonus is with a flame headed Dawn Addams who comes up with something more than the usual heaving bosom Hammer leading lady. The cast also features an early appearance from none other than Oliver Reed, suitably playing a night club pimp type bit of muscle. Shot in Megascope and Technicolor the film thankfully looks gorgeous and has transfered excellently on to DVD. With the sultry red lipped Addams and Jekyll's garden particularly benefiting from the pinging colours.

A dam good story with wit and cautionary observations of the human condition, this isn't one for the blood and gore brigade. But it has many other qualities just waiting to be discovered by the more literary minded horror fan. 7/10
Jozrone
Jozrone
Ostracized by the scientific community, Dr. Jekyll is doing some rather pointless sounding experiments while his wife is cheating on him with his gambler friend. Unhappy with their relationship, he turns his experiments on himself and becomes the suave Mr. Hyde.

Another take on the Jekyll and Hyde story, this one has some interesting ideas, but it never does much with them. Ultimately, the film is quite dull. Too much focus is placed on Jekyll's poor marriage and the affair his wife is having. It might not have been so bad if his wife were actually desirable, but she's an annoying shrew. Jekyll should just rid himself of her and consider his life all the better for it. Christopher Lee plays the friend with whom she's having the affair. He's playing against type here and is actually sort of the protagonist, but it's hard feeling sympathy for a philanderer. Paul Massie plays Jekyll and Hyde. He's actually not that great as either. His line delivery just sounds unnatural, especially when he's playing Jekyll.

There are some interesting twists towards the end, but it's too little, too late. This isn't one of the better films from Hammer.
Ueledavi
Ueledavi
Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has provided inspiration for many a film-maker throughout the years, with various degrees of faithfulness shown to the source. Always eager to put their own Gothic spin on a popular tale, Hammer Films tackled the story in 1960, not only ensuring that debauchery levels were maximised, but changed a key aspect to the plot that makes the whole experience all the more delightfully wicked. Here, in Terence Fisher's film, Dr. Jekyll is dull and ugly, while Mr. Hyde is handsome and highly charismatic, as well as being an utter bastard.

Believing the human mind to consist of two personalities from opposite sides of the spectrum - good and evil - outcast Dr. Jekyll (Paul Massie) sets out to separate the two in order to help mankind embrace the good. Living almost in solitude, he neglects his wife Kitty (Dawn Addams), a promiscuous, spoilt woman currently embarking on an affair with her husband's best friend, Paul Allen (Christopher Lee). Jekyll drinks his newly created potion and Hyde emerges, introducing himself at a social gathering with swagger and charm (and getting into a fight with a young Oliver Reed). There he meets Paul and Kitty, who don't recognise him, and begins to toy with the two of them, all the while indulging on the many seductive pleasures of London.

Although it's difficult to believe that Jekyll's wife and best friend wouldn't recognise him without his ludicrous fake beard and mono- brow, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is a enjoyable romp from start to finish. Massie is clearly having a ball in the dual role, and convinces as Hyde grows bored with money, gambling and women, and soon turns to darker alternatives, notably murder and manipulation. It doesn't pull it's punches either, portraying Hyde's journey into the further extremities of debauchery as intoxicating as Hyde clearly finds it, featuring the odd swear word and a scene of heavily implied rape. Special mention must also go to the recently departed Lee, who somehow finds a shred of sympathy for his cocky and pathetic rich boy character. One of Hammer's most effortlessly gratifying gems.
Saberdragon
Saberdragon
I recently acquired the two disc set that includes this movie, and was finally able to see it uncut, and uninterrupted by commercials, having last viewed it in the early Seventies on network television.

I found it a genuinely unnerving movie, with a very depressing atmosphere that lingers in the mind for days afterward. This is surprising, given how well known the story is, and how many film adaptations there have been over the years.

Part I think is due to the screenplay, which depicts Dr. Jekyll as less benign and more of an egotist than he's usually shown. Mr. Hyde in this context seems more like a logical extension of the repressed and frustrated Dr. Jekyll's id run amok, than the more conventional " evil" half of his personality. One could say that Mr. Hyde is more truly the man Jekyll wishes he was.

The other aspect is the convincing portrayal by actor Paul Massie of two completely different men. His Mr. Hyde is almost cute and charming at times, with an oddly naive quality that is unexpected. Hyde becomes more vicious and cunning as the story unfolds, but there's no getting around the fact that Hyde is overall more appealing than Jekyll, who almost seems more like the bad guy, in this version.

To say more would be to risk spoiling the movie, which has its share of surprises. It's an uncomfortably absorbing film, that nearly overwhelms the viewer with its sordid atmosphere. Seldom have Victorians seemed so decadent and unlikable on screen.

One other thing must be mentioned. The portrayal of suave womanizer Paul Allen by Christopher Lee is unlike anything else Lee ever did. His charm, wit and lighthearted personality are miles from the usual somber Lee presence and manner. It's truly amazing to see Lee smiling and joking, and even getting drunk, with self indulgent glee. The movie is probably worth seeing just for Lee by himself.
Zulurr
Zulurr
Hammer's take on Jekyll & Hyde. It's interesting, for sure, but not one of their better efforts. The most notable difference between this and earlier versions is that here Jekyll is the ugly one and Hyde is handsome. While that's a cute twist, I thought they went overboard on Jekyll's makeup. He looks like a caveman! Also a major part of the plot involves Jekyll's adulterous wife and her lover. While an interesting parting from previous versions where Jekyll's wife was a saint, it ultimately adds very little in my opinion. For a movie short on likable characters, it really hurts that these two play such an important part. The cast is solid. Paul Massie does a fine job as Jekyll, though even he can't overcome the caveman makeup issue. Christopher Lee, despite being the biggest name in the cast, is given the role of the wife's lover. He does a great job but I can't help but wonder how he might have handled the lead. Dawn Addams is good as the wife. Oliver Reed has a small part as what I believe was a pimp. It's not a bad movie by any stretch but lacking something. Well, several somethings. There is no one to root for and the ending just kind of sneaks up on you, to name two. Also, Terence Fisher's direction is a little dull. See it if you love Hammer but keep expectations low.
Memuro
Memuro
The second of three Hammer films based on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, this film has a wonderful script. Christopher Lee and Dawn Addams were excellent as Paul Allen and Kitty Jekyll. It has a great supporting cast, most notably Francis de Wolff and David Kosoff, and features a very early film appearance by the 22-year-old Oliver Reed. It should be one of my favourite Hammer films and would have probably been in my top ten or even my top five if it weren't one thing: Paul Massie as Jekyll and Hyde.

Massie, a mostly and justifiable forgotten Canadian actor with an undistinguished career, could not act to save his life. He delivers all of his lines as both Jekyll and Hyde in a dull, halting monotone, hardly ever expressing any emotion in either his voice or face. He is so thoroughly out-acted by everyone else in the film, particularly Lee and Addams, that it is almost embarrassing. He ruins an otherwise excellent film with his awful performance(s) and makes for the least engaging leading man or woman in any film all year. He makes George Lazenby looks like Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud combined.

Obviously, I'd like every film that I watch to feature good actors tackling good scripts but, in a choice between the two, I've always preferred to watch a good actor tackle a bad script than a bad actor tackle a good script and this is an example that I will use in future as to why. I presume that Hammer considered its established, reliable actors like Peter Cushing and André Morell, both about 20 years Massie's senior, to be too old to play Jekyll and Hyde. However, it would have been nice if they had picked someone who could actually act. And, of course, Christopher Lee was already in the film. From younger actors who worked for Hammer by 1960, my choice would have been Francis Matthews.

8/10. The other parts of the film are so good that I can't give it less than that. With an actor in the lead role(s), this would have been a 10/10 without any shadow of doubt whatsoever.
Clandratha
Clandratha
Most people who watch this film are doing it because they're either Christopher Lee fans, or are fans of Hammer Studio films. Both are cool.

But I'm writing this review to let everybody else know that they should be watching this for Dawn Addams. I wasn't familiar with her name or work before I saw this movie, but here she is radiant. Add in her red hair and the nice looking sharp color cinematography (this isn't one of those dark B&W foggy London smudge fests) and she just sets the screen on fire!! Her radiance also adds to the story as this movie reveals the bawdy side of late night Victorian London, something I haven't seen in many movies.

Dawn Addams would bring out the Mr. Hyde in every man!! If only Dr. Jekyll came out of the lab a little more often!!

Worth a viewing.
GYBYXOH
GYBYXOH
I saw this movie at the cinema when I was a teen. I thought (and still do) that Paul Massie was unconvincing in the title role. It was billed as a horror movie but where was the horror? And what was Hammer thinking? They had Christopher Lee in the movie and although he was very good in the role (very sleazy as Dawn Adams' lover).... why wasn't he given the lead? What a difference this film would have been. One had to wait for Lee to play it in "I, Monster."

Dawn Adams was excellent..... and what a beautiful woman...

Not one of the best Hammer movies but well worth a watch, especially for the snake charmer scene. Erotic.

It is not the usual Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde and it does have some class and is generally well acted.
LoboThommy
LoboThommy
If you've seen this offbeat entry in the stable of Hammer's early remakes of the classic horror's then you've either encountered this rarity on ebay or caught it on TV or the cinema ages ago.

I was fortunate enough to copy a friend's video cassette that was offered briefly in the U.S. in the early nineties only on EP speed and mastered from a fading,reddish,16mm pan and scan T.V. version that had the word "Hell" bleeped out twice.

Seeing as how the studio had done well with adult color versions of Dracula,Frankenstein and The Mummy it would seem like a natural for them to tackle The Robert Louis Stephenson story with their usual teaming of Lee and Cushing and with the appropriate amount of blood and thunder, Alas,they opted for an ambitious and riskier approach to go for more sexual innuendo ,Freudian subtext and underplayed classiness.All of these things are good when they work but unfortunately the pace is very leaden and the horror aspects of the story have been made extremely tame in order to get away with the psycho sexual aspects which must have been titillating for 1960 but not so much anymore. The best part of The Movie is watching Christopher Lee make the most of a very juicy supporting role as a likable womanizer with a gambling problem who seduces Jekyll's neglected wife and constantly puts the touch on the Doc for money. Lee wisely sets aside his Shakespearean tendencies and gives a a very believable non-hammy characterization.It would have been nice to have Cushing pop up as Jekyll's medical compatriate but sadly,no.

Paul Massey has the far more difficult dual role but really can't pull it off opposite a pro like Lee and the film suffers for it. Part of the fault must lie with the script and the usually talented direction of Terrance Fisher. Massey is better in the under realized but tortured role of the boorish Dr. Jekyll, who is not as philanthropic in this version. As the bratty and somehwat naive Mr Hyde Massey is Handsome but vaguely sounds like Winnie The Pooh and is far to easily foiled in his attempts at evil until the final 20 minutes.

The concept of Hyde using the transformation to finally allow Jekyll to get some action with wifey Dawn Adams and to revenge himself for the adultery of best friend Lee was novel but without the suspense or the colorful violence of the previous Hammer vehicles this one will disappoint many fans of the genre. If you are a fan of the studio and want to see a lost curio by all means go for it. It's not a bad film jut slow and misguided and if you have an eye for the ladies then relax and enjoy the scenery because it's adorned with lot's of feminine eye candy. Look for Oliver Reed in a small part as a pimp in the first twenty minutes or so. At this point I don't think it's been offered to DVD.
Nuadador
Nuadador
This takes place in London of 1874. Doctor Henry Jekyll (Paul Massie) is looking for a potion to turn good into evil and vice versa. Why he wants to do this is never really explained. He injects himself with a drug he thinks will work and turns into the evil My. Hyde (Massie again). The switch here is that Jekyll is unattractive, bearded and old--Hyde is handsome, clean shaven and young! The idea is a good one but it's badly handled here.

Simply put the script is dull! Most of it concentrates on Jekyll and his cheating wife (Dawn Addams) and none of that is very interesting. Christopher Lee as Jekyll's best friend Paul Adams interjects some life into the proceedings but not enough. To make matters worse Massie isn't that good. I'm not blaming him totally though--playing both roles must have been difficult. Addams is even worse as his wife. She was a very beautiful woman but had limited acting ability. Also look for a very young Oliver Reed. There's no blood or gore but there is a pretty erotic snake dance (with some incredibly blunt--for 1960--sexual symbolism), a flash of female nudity and some mild swearing. All of this was cut out of the TV print or voiced over ("hell" became "Hades" when I caught it on TV years ago). The 2008 DVD release is complete and uncut and in pristine condition. If you want to see it get that one but I seriously can't recommend this. I give it a 5.
Aver
Aver
It was excruciating sitting through this one. In a different take on the usual Jekyll/Hyde formula, here Henry Jekyll (Paul Massie) is a homely doctor whose wife won't give him any tail. So once he's able to use a serum to transform himself into an extraordinarily handsome Edward Hyde, he then attempts to woo his unsuspecting spouse with his newfound charms. But she's having an affair with Christopher Lee, so she's still not interested. You'd think that if a husband was getting no sex from his wife and had the chance to turn himself into a chick magnet that he'd play the field! There is no horror to be found here, Massie is unremarkable in his dual role in a movie which does not even attempt a single visual transformation, and Chris Lee is just by-the-numbers. It drags on forever and is a yawner all the way. * out of ****
Anasius
Anasius
This is one of Hammer's lesser known films, their attempt to due justice to this second-string horror tale.

The film's biggest weakness is Paul Massie, who plays Jekyll and Hyde, and none of Jekyll's intimates can figure out Hyde is Jekyll with a shave and a sissy accent. You all though Lois Lane was dense, and usually the EVIL one has the beard.

Hyde engages in all sorts of Victorian depravity, which apparently includes seeing a woman's knees in public. But Jekyll/Hyde really only wants to have sex with his wife, it seems.

The real villain in this movie is Christopher Lee, as Jekyll's friend who is also having an affair with his wife, but is still tapping his friend for money. When he and the cheating wife get theirs, you cheer. Then Jekyll turns on everyone else, and you don't feel so much sympathy for him.

You have the typical Hammer Reveal at the end of the film, but overall, it's not really great.
Lesesshe
Lesesshe
If you are looking for a faithful retelling of the Robert Louis Stephenson novel, then you'd better keep looking--though I never have seen a film that is terribly close to the book (which is a shame). However, unlike many of the Dr. Jekyll films out there, this one offers some new interpretations and ideas that make it worth seeing.

The film begins with Jekyll as an obsessed researcher who spends all his time working on his projects and he completely ignores his sexy wife. Perhaps out of frustration, she has an affair. Later, however, Jekyll's experiments are successful and he's able to unlock the Id, so to speak, that was buried deep within himself. In this film, however, there is a reversal. Jekyll is rather homely with his beard, bushy eyebrows and gruff voice and Mr. Hyde is very handsome and well-spoken--the exact opposite of the original story. But this is still interesting, because in this new guise, Hyde is able to infiltrate the brothels where his wife and her lover often go for "entertainment". In an odd twist, eventually Hyde begins cheating on his wife....with himself! While I really wished they'd followed up on this concept more and explored this relationship in depth, even what they did was pretty interesting.

The film is also interesting in how it chose to end the saga. Instead of following the book, it chooses a very novel approach to winning the struggle between Jekyll and Hyde. I can't really say more--it would spoil the film.

While Christopher Lee is in this film as the wife's lover, the film starred the relatively unknown but very talented Paul Massie. I'd sure love to know why he didn't get that many more roles after this film--perhaps he found something to do with his life that he enjoyed more. Or, perhaps the non-actor part of his personality took over once and for all.

Overall, a very different take on the Jekyll and Hyde story. Not as good as a film would be that sticks closely to the novel, though none do and it is interesting throughout.
Steelraven
Steelraven
Terence Fisher directed this Hammer studios version of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel that stars Paul Massie as both kindly(but bookish) scientist Henry Jekyll, and his wild(but evil) alternate Mr. Hyde. Jekyll has developed a serum he thinks will isolate the evil from people, but instead splits his personality, transforming the older bearded Henry to the younger and non-bearded Hyde, who does all the things Henry finds repugnant. Dawn Addams plays his disinterested wife Kitty, who is having an affair with his old friend Paul Allen(played by Christopher Lee) who introduces Hyde to the seamy side of London life, which will end in tragedy for all concerned... Underrated version has good performances by the leads(especially Massie) and fine direction and script. The Frederic March version is best, but this compares well.
Ginaun
Ginaun
Hammer Studios were probably the king of producers for Gothic horror flicks. Well known for their creepy sets that produced movies starring monsters from classics (Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman & Mummy) the studio churned out these movies every year usually with success. So why not a movie starring the famous mad scientist, Dr. Henry Jeckell from the Robert Louis Steveson classic story?

However, like most Hammer films, they like to put on their own little spin to make the story a little less redundant. In The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, the character is regarded as a quiet nebbish type scientist who speaks in a soft voice. He is also already married--to a beautiful redhead wife, who unfortunately is only concerned about her selfish whims and presently carrying on an affair with his friend. The friend, Paul Allen--played by the immortal Hammer studio star, Christopher Lee is a scoundrel who gambles away his money, and like Henry Jekyll's cheating spouse--only concerned for his own pleasures. So of course, this leads to poor Dr. J's disastrous experiment, which he transforms into a handsome but the cruel evil rake, Mr Hyde. Like Clark Kent in Superman, no one usually recognizes or connects the two men together. But the evil Mr Hyde takes the tortured Dr Jekyll to London's pleasure houses and commits various cruel tricks on people. Mr Hyde also makes Dr. Jekell confront that his wife is a no good cheating woman. But as you may guess, Dr. Jekyll loses control of his alter ego, and that's when the serum literally hits the fan.

This movie is well acted but it seems to lend sympathy to the character of Dr. Jekell. He seems to be so tortured by his wife infidelity but lacks the strength of character to confront the problem. But again, we have to agree as mad scientists go---it really is his own fault that these tragedies happen.

Not a bad flick, if you like the Hammer Film genre--I'd say it's a good bet for a late night popcorn viewing