Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Hyde: Fredric March
Muriel Carew: Rose Hobart
Dr. Lanyon: Holmes Herbert
"Champagne" Ivy Pearson: Miriam Hopkins
Poole: Edgar Norton
Directed: Rouben Mamoulian
Produced: Adolph Zukor
Screenplay: Samuel Hoffenstein and Percy Heath
The famous Bach fugue during the credits leads to Jekyll's hands
playing organ. Subjective camera work shows servant Poole, a
walk through the house to the mirror, outside to the carriage,
and to a full hall for Jekyll's "sensational" speech
on "the soul of man." He insists that the human psyche
is "truly two," one noble, the other with "dim
animal relation to the earth." He laments the combination
housed in a single psyche, which yields "repression to the
evil, remorse to the good."
Jekyll visits his clinic, makes a girl walk,
and insists on doing an operation in this free ward; General Carew
and guests must wait. A hyper Jekyll arrives later, and dances
with his fiancée, the General's daughter Muriel. He insists,
"Meddy me now," but her father the General, with
even capricious, officiousness" (Twitchell 248), insists
on them waiting. After the party, Jekyll hears screams and rescues
a girl from a brute. She comes on to him and insists he "come
Jekyll invents the drug, takes it, things spin,
and he transforms. Seeing his ape-like appearance in the mirror,
he revels, "Free! Free at last!" He transforms back
The Carews are on vacation and Jekyll is bored
on a rainy day. He receives a note saying they'll be away another
month and takes the drug. Hyde visits the music hall and sees
the woman Jekyll saved, Ivy Pearson. She sings, "Champagne
Ivy is my name; good for any game at night, my boys. . . ."
He sets her up in an apartment and terrorizes her.
The Carews are back. Jekyll throws away the
key to the back door to the lab, and announces he will use "only
the front door." Jekyll sends Poole to Ivy with 50 pounds.
Another marriage request yields an okay for next month. Ivy
calls on Jekyll, shows the evidence of Hyde's whippings and fears
more: "Give me poison so I can kill myself." Jekyll
gives his word "you will not see Hyde again."
Jekyll in the park appreciates a bird singing.
A cat attacks it though, and Jekyll involuntarily changes into
Hyde. Muriel waits; split screen with Ivy, toasting her
Jekyll. Hyde comes in raging about "the man I hate more
than anyone in the world," tells her "I am the angel,"
kills her, and flees. The lab door is locked, so he tries Poole
at the front and is refused entry. He writes a letter to Lanyon
requesting the drug, calls on Lanyon who pulls a gun, and demonstrates
his chemical breakthrough by transforming back to Jekyll before
Lanyon's eyes. Lanyon says he's "damned." Jekyll vows
to give up Muriel, for he has "trespassed in a domain . .
. further than man should go."
Jekyll displays agonies before Muriel, giving
her up: "I'm one of the living dead." While leaving,
he transforms involuntarily again outside the window. He returns
as Hyde, the General defends Muriel, Hyde beats him and runs from
cops to the lab. Lanyon and the police break down the door, and
Jekyll says Hyde ran out the back. Lanyon says, "Your man
has not escaped" and identifies Jekyll, who transforms again,
goes berserk, and is shot. He transforms back in death, Poole
weeps, and we see a kettle boiling over on the fire.
This Hyde is simian in appearance and behavior, a "bucktoothed
Neanderthal" (Twitchell 237), and so nasty that supposedly
this film helped bring about the Hays Production Code of censorship
in 1934. But the Jekyll is manic! Twitchell, in Dreadful
Pleasures, calls this film "the first of the self-consciously
Freudian versions" (247), and explains the dynamics of repression
of this youthful energy and the displaced sexual predation.