Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

98 mins | Horror | 2 January 1932

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HISTORY

According to FD , Robert Lee relinquished his position as Paramount director and became assistant director to Rouben Mamoulian for this single production, due to its lengthy and difficult shooting schedule. According to the pressbook, Mamoulian had thirty-five historically-correct sets built for the film's 216 scenes, including eight adjoining scenic sets. He directed eighty-one actors and five hundred extras. According to NYT , Robert Louis Stevenson, the nephew of the author, appeared in the film as an extra, reportedly because he could speak with a cockney accent. According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office cautioned Paramount studio chief B. P. Schulberg against the line in which Ivy tells Hyde, "Take me!" and Hyde's line, "I am going to take you." John V. Wilson, acting in the absence of Colonel Jason S. Joy, the Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, wrote to Schulberg on 10 Aug 1931, stating that the dialogue was "overly brutal" and "too suggestive." Additional caution was advised for the scene in which Hyde snaps Ivy's garter; in the original dialogue, Hyde said, "Look, my darling, how tight your garter is. You mustn't wear it so tight. It will bruise your pretty tender flesh." The Hays Office also opposed a reference to Ivy's "customers." In a letter to Schulberg dated 1 Dec 1931, Joy objected to the scene in which Ivy undresses in front of Jekyll when he first comes to her room because it was too long, stating that it should not drag "simply to titillate the audience." Although Joy agreed that Jekyll's attraction to Ivy ... More Less

According to FD , Robert Lee relinquished his position as Paramount director and became assistant director to Rouben Mamoulian for this single production, due to its lengthy and difficult shooting schedule. According to the pressbook, Mamoulian had thirty-five historically-correct sets built for the film's 216 scenes, including eight adjoining scenic sets. He directed eighty-one actors and five hundred extras. According to NYT , Robert Louis Stevenson, the nephew of the author, appeared in the film as an extra, reportedly because he could speak with a cockney accent. According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office cautioned Paramount studio chief B. P. Schulberg against the line in which Ivy tells Hyde, "Take me!" and Hyde's line, "I am going to take you." John V. Wilson, acting in the absence of Colonel Jason S. Joy, the Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, wrote to Schulberg on 10 Aug 1931, stating that the dialogue was "overly brutal" and "too suggestive." Additional caution was advised for the scene in which Hyde snaps Ivy's garter; in the original dialogue, Hyde said, "Look, my darling, how tight your garter is. You mustn't wear it so tight. It will bruise your pretty tender flesh." The Hays Office also opposed a reference to Ivy's "customers." In a letter to Schulberg dated 1 Dec 1931, Joy objected to the scene in which Ivy undresses in front of Jekyll when he first comes to her room because it was too long, stating that it should not drag "simply to titillate the audience." Although Joy agreed that Jekyll's attraction to Ivy in the scene "necessarily must be saved," he opposed the action of Jekyll watching Ivy undress. Joy also stated, "Because [the film] is based on so well established a literary classic the public and the censors may overlook the horrors which result from the realism of the Hyde make-up." On 5 Dec 1931, Joy wrote a memo to Will H. Hays, head of the MPPDA, in reference to a group of "gruesome" pictures, including Dracula and Frankenstein , positing, "Is this the beginning of a cycle which ought to be retarded or killed?" Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was approved by the PCA for re-issue in Jun 1935, after Paramount agreed to delete the undressing scene and the line in which Jekyll tells Ivy he "wants her."
       Modern sources credit Hans Dreier as art director and William Shea as editor. As reported in HR on 19 Nov 1932 (the day after the Academy Award banquet), Fredric March won the 1931-32 Academy Award for Best Actor for this film along with Wallace Beery (for The Champ ), who was one vote behind March. According to Academy rules, if two nominees came within two votes of each other, both received an award. Karl Struss was nominated for Cinematography, and Samuel Hoffenstein and Percy Heath were nominated for Writing (Adaptation). The many adaptations of Stevenson's novel include a stage play starring Richard Mansfield (Boston, 9 May 1887); a silent film starring John Barrymore made by Paramount in 1920, directed by John Stewart Robertson (see the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.1063); the 1920 German film Der Januskopf , starring Conrad Veidt and directed by F. W. Murnau; a 1941 M-G-M film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner; the 1959 French film Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier , starring Jean-Louis Barrault and directed by Jean Renoir; and the 1963 Paramount release The Nutty Professor , starring and directed by Jerry Lewis (see the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.3501). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
23 Aug 31
p. 15.
Film Daily
3 Jan 32
p. 9.
Film Daily
1 Sep 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 32
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald
26 Dec 31
p. 27, 30
New York Times
2 Jan 32
p. 14.
New York Times
14-Mar-32
---
Variety
5 Jan 32
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Rouben Mamoulian Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (London, 1886).
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 January 1932
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 31 December 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Publix Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 January 1932
Copyright Number:
LP2738
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
98
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the late eighteenth century, London physician Dr. Henry Jekyll addresses a group of scientists on the duality of the human psyche, convinced that man lives with an eternal struggle between his noble and impulsive sides. In his laboratory, Jekyll develops a potion meant to separate the two selves, so that the evil persona can be brought forth and annihilated. Meanwhile, Jekyll asks Brigadier-General Carew for permission to marry his daughter Muriel earlier than they originally had planned, but Carew refuses. Later, Jekyll returns to his laboratory and takes the potion, and his now-freed evil persona turns him into a beast. Jekyll then visits Ivy Pierson, a music hall singer from Soho whom he had rescued earlier from the advances of a brutish man. As the evil and ugly "Mr. Hyde," Jekyll now tries to seduce Ivy. She is repulsed by Hyde, but when he promises her wealth, she gives herself to him. Jealous of the affection Ivy has for the kind Dr. Jekyll, Hyde beats and rapes her until she believes that he is the Devil. Later, when a composed Jekyll realizes he has terrorized Ivy, he anonymously sends her £50. When she visits her benefactor to thank him, she realizes he is Jekyll, and begs him to save her from Hyde, and he gives his word that she will never see him again. Later, however, on his way to the Carews', Jekyll turns into Hyde again without the impetus of the potion and goes to Soho and strangles Ivy. Jekyll, trying desperately to emerge from inside Hyde, sends word to his colleague, Dr. Lanyon, ordering him to rush more of the ... +


In the late eighteenth century, London physician Dr. Henry Jekyll addresses a group of scientists on the duality of the human psyche, convinced that man lives with an eternal struggle between his noble and impulsive sides. In his laboratory, Jekyll develops a potion meant to separate the two selves, so that the evil persona can be brought forth and annihilated. Meanwhile, Jekyll asks Brigadier-General Carew for permission to marry his daughter Muriel earlier than they originally had planned, but Carew refuses. Later, Jekyll returns to his laboratory and takes the potion, and his now-freed evil persona turns him into a beast. Jekyll then visits Ivy Pierson, a music hall singer from Soho whom he had rescued earlier from the advances of a brutish man. As the evil and ugly "Mr. Hyde," Jekyll now tries to seduce Ivy. She is repulsed by Hyde, but when he promises her wealth, she gives herself to him. Jealous of the affection Ivy has for the kind Dr. Jekyll, Hyde beats and rapes her until she believes that he is the Devil. Later, when a composed Jekyll realizes he has terrorized Ivy, he anonymously sends her £50. When she visits her benefactor to thank him, she realizes he is Jekyll, and begs him to save her from Hyde, and he gives his word that she will never see him again. Later, however, on his way to the Carews', Jekyll turns into Hyde again without the impetus of the potion and goes to Soho and strangles Ivy. Jekyll, trying desperately to emerge from inside Hyde, sends word to his colleague, Dr. Lanyon, ordering him to rush more of the needed drugs to him. At midnight, Lanyon watches Hyde turn back into Jekyll, who swears him to secrecy. Jekyll then promises never to mix the potion again. Believing that giving up Muriel is his penance, Jekyll goes to the Carews' to break his engagement. As he arrives, however, he again turns into Hyde and attacks Muriel, who is saved by Carew. The police arrive and chase Hyde back to Jekyll's lab. There Lanyon accuses his friend of murder, and when Jekyll again becomes Hyde, he is shot. The dead beast then reverts back to the kindly Jekyll. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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