Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1941)


Victor Fleming directs Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner in this dramatic adaptation of the horror classic where a scientist unleashes his evil side. 

It starts slowly but eventually becomes a compelling straight take on the fantasy schizophrenia horror original. London is captured in foreboding peasoupers, gothic alleyways and teeming variety halls. Tracy is likeable as the naive Jekyll but his Hyde is a powerhouse of menace, mayhem and controlling abuse. His transformation sequences mirror the FX used in the contemporary The Wolf Man but adding in some psychosexual imagery. You get kinky flashes of Tracy horsewhipping Turner and Bergman like mares pulling a carriage, and heads being popped off in lustful volcanic eruptions. Pretty trippy surreal stuff. Speaking of surreal, the lovely Ingrid Bergman’s shifting accent equally feels like something from David Lynch rather than the Golden Age of Hollywood. Despite this, when trapped in a domestic cage by the brutish Hyde you do feel for her terribly.


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