Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde | 1941 Remake Compared to 1931 Precode

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) is a horror film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March. The film is an adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), the Robert Louis Stevenson tale of a man who takes a potion which turns him from a mild-mannered man of science into a crude homicidal maniac.

The 1931 film, made prior to the full enforcement of the Production Code, is remembered today for its strong sexual content, embodied mostly in the character of the prostitute, Ivy Pearson, played by Miriam Hopkins. When the film was re-released in 1936, the Code required 8 minutes to be removed before the film could be distributed to theaters. This footage was restored for the VHS and DVD releases.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner is a direct remake of the 1931 film of the same title rather than being a new film version of the novel. It was directed by Victor Fleming, director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz two years earlier. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the rights to the 1931 film, originally released by Paramount Pictures, in order to keep the earlier film out of circulation.

The film was not the critical and commercial success that the 1931 version had been. Fredric March famously sent his friend Tracy an amusing telegram thanking him for his biggest career boost, as Tracy's performance was routinely savaged when compared with March's version. Tracy was considered too bland as Jekyll, and not frightening as Hyde.

Initial casting had Ingrid Bergman, typically cast as the demure fiancée of Jekyll and Lana Turner as the "bad girl" Ivy. However Bergman, tired of playing saintly characters and fearing typecasting, requested that she and Turner switch roles, allowing her to play a darker role for the first time. Due to the Hay's Code much of the film had to be watered down from the 1931 version. The character of Ivy Peterson had to be changed from a prostitute to a barmaid.

Which version do you prefer? 1931 or 1941? March or Tracy? Hopkins or Bergman? I'd like to hear your comments!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Who is the mysterious TCManiac?

First, I'll tell you who I am not. I am not affiliated with TCM. I am not some superbot created by software developers. I am not being paid by TCM or anyone else to dedicate my time to tweeting. I am a real flesh and blood human being. I am a real maniac for TCM. I really do keep my TV tuned to TCM 24-7. I created the TCManiacs twitter as a result of my sincere passion for watching Turner Classic Movies.

How I got started?
Well, I've been a fan of TCM since its inception. As I lay flat on my back recovering from a disabling health crisis unable to do little more than watch TV and surf the internet, I found refuge watching TCM round the clock. I soon developed an obsessive habit of keeping a browser tab open for the TCM schedule and beating Robert Osbourne's introductions to finding out facts for upcoming movies. My entire day and night became defined by the TCM line-up. At the beginning of 2009 I decided to check out twitter and lucked up on some fellow TCM fans to friend. During the 31 days Oscar I decided to dedicate a twitter just to share my TCM obsession by tweeting about every movie every day of February. I was totally overwhelmed by the number of fellow TCM maniacs that became my following. Its been a WIN WIN in everyway for me. I have had the opportunity to share fun stuff with some incredible fellow classic movie lovers and bloggers. With so many followers I became committed to maintaining the twitter schedule and finding fun stuff for upcoming TCM movies.
How may followers show appreciation?
As I mentioned before, I am not employed by anyone nor being paid for my time maintaining tweets and blog. However, you may express your appreciation for my labor of love by dropping a token of your appreciation in the hat. Simply click the Donate button below. Any amount your heart moves you to give no matter how small will be graciously accepted.
What you mean to me?
Even if you decide to skip tipping the hat, please take the time to comment or send a message with your thoughts and suggestions. Send ideas on more fun stuff you would like featured. Send me links to your own classic movie websites. I just want to hear from you! Let me know what sharing my little obsession is worth to you. Every follower is priceless to me!

Total Pageviews

Web Graphic Design by Header background image compliments of
View blog top tags