Tag Archives: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Decade Dialogues: Pre-1960

This is a long, perilous journey that we have begun.  So, we thought it would be a neat idea to occasionally stop and reflect on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.  What you are about to read is a discussion of our intentionally short period clump of 1930-1959.  After setting up several questions to tackle, we entered into our thoughtful discussion to directly sound off to each other and do some discussion of the period as a whole.  And if you read something that you don’t agree with, feel free to chime in. Continue reading

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The Black Cat (1934) – Review 1

Grade: A

I originally discovered The Black Cat when I was doing research for my undergrad thesis paper.  What attracted me to the film was its two stars: Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Together? In the same film? Fighting each other? Sign me up! I had no idea what the film was about, in fact, I suspected the film would be rather ho-hum in comparison to my excitement at seeing Lugosi and Karloff square off.  To my ever-lasting surprise, I was delighted by how much I fell in love with the film (quirks and all) and found that The Black Cat is a vastly underrated horror film. Continue reading


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) – Review 2

Grade: D+

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the unleashing of an inner demon.  It is described as the internal battle between Good and Evil.  But contextually, that is an overstatement of a social issue.  This is a period piece, set in the stuffy, upper class world of 19th century London.  The issue is sexual frustration.  But that is not to say that Mr. Hyde is not evil in his own right.  Fredric March does a stunning job acting in the roles of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, polar opposites, hero and villain.  As Jekyll he is respected and respectable, but social bounds keep him from the sexual encounter that he so desires.  The grateful “entertainer” Ivy presents him with the opportunity, but it is not until Jekyll inadvertently creates Hyde that he can make the choice to go back to Ivy.  Hyde then becomes a man hooked on the power of sex and domination.  The monster of this movie is simply a domestic abuser. Continue reading


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) – Review 1

Grade: B+

The Joker receives credit as Batman’s greatest foe, but in my opinion, Two-Face by far is the better Batman villain.  It is that concept of duality that Harvey Dent struggles with.  Two sides exist within him: a Good side and a Bad side, both struggling equally to emerge and be the dominant behavior.  To solve this, he turns on a ‘switch.’ That is, he flips a coin in order to decide whether to be Good or Evil.

I’m not bringing up poor ol’ Dent just because: I saw an obvious parallel between Harvey Dent and the unfortunate Doctor in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  What’s so impressive about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is how far the director Rouben Mamoulian pushes the boundaries (especially for a film from 1931) in exploring this concept between Good and Evil.  The road of Dr. Jekyll (oddly pronounced as Gee-Kyll in the film) is tragic in its simplicity: a man wishing to purge himself of his immoral desires becomes consumed by them. Continue reading