Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson's thriller about a scientist's quest to cleave apart his twin "good" and "evil" natures, is an oft-filmed tale. On this double-feature disc, we get two of the more notable screen versions. The first, from 1932, is one of the most entertaining classics from the heyday of Hollywood horror icons. Rouben Mamoulian's early-sound-era version benefits from the director's inventive camerawork. His production remains the most successful screen treatment of Stevenson's novel. It's also the most sexually explicit, trotting onto screens just before the Production Code party-poopered Hollywood for a generation. The main man here, though, is Fredric March, whose naive Henry Jekyll, and especially his ebullient, zestful Hyde, earned him a Best Actor Oscar.
The second film on this disc, from 1941, isn't nearly as much fun, but it brings Victor Fleming directing Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, and the eternally lovely Ingrid Bergman just one year before she would always have Paris.
Warner's two-fer DVD offers one surprisingly good print (the '32 version) and one excellent print (the '41). Collectors will be thrilled as once again Warner delivers the goods. The chief extra is Greg Mank's entertaining and informative audio commentary for the '32 film, plus the 1955 Bug Bunny Looney Tunes cartoon "Hyde and Hare."
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