The Two Faces Of Dr Jekyll 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 …
Christopher Lee smiling tenderly?!?
The Two Faces Of Dr Jekyll 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.
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