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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

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Joe Macclesfield
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 15th, 2014, 8:01 pm

Dear Folks, Am looking forward to renewing acquaintance with an "old friend". MGM's 1941, Victor Fleming directed version of...well, you know. Watched this a good few times on VHS in the early '80s. Don't think Tracy was the right choice for this, but, he managed to acquit himself reasonably well in the end. Was intrigued to learn that Robert Donat was MGM's original choice. Fleming didn't want him, and talked a reluctant Tracy into it. Barton MacLane (of all people) makes an OK cockney in this: "Why don'cha tell 'em what a grown man REALLY thinks about--we know don't we!" what else? Oh yes. Lana Turner, AND--Ingrid Bergman! Which is your favourite version of this yarn?
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Western Guy » August 16th, 2014, 9:36 am

Also interesting, Joe, is that apparently Tracy wanted the character of Jekyll to transform into Hyde not as the result of some mysterious potion, but through alcohol. Kinda says a lot given Spencer's own battles with the bottle. The story also goes that Tracy was waffling about accepting the part and talked it over with his "Boy's Club" friends, all of whom who basically advised him not to take the role. Can't recall who said it but one of that exclusive group told Tracy that no one had ever really made a success of the part. (???!!!) Heck, Barrymore did okay and Fredric March won an Oscar. Regardless, Tracy of course did not heed the advice of his chums and ultimately got somewhat lambasted by critics.

Not a bad film but I still prefer Fredric March's version.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 17th, 2014, 11:35 am

Watched 'em both last night (Tracy first). It never occurred to me till now, but, when Tracy drinks the potion, he turns into Ed Begley with hair!
Last edited by Joe Macclesfield on August 17th, 2014, 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

RedRiver
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Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby RedRiver » August 17th, 2014, 4:41 pm

I prefer the Fredric March film, though none of them are among my very favorites. Interesting about Tracy's equating the story with alcohol. I suspect that was Robert Louis Stevenson's intention as well. The horrible ways in which alcohol an other substances can transform a person. As allegory, it plays well.

I'm not sure, but i believe my LEAST favorite filming of this tale will be on next week's Svengoolie program. That, of course, is the one with the terrifying team of Abbott and Costello!

Western Guy
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Western Guy » August 17th, 2014, 5:32 pm

Well, Tracy certainly had his own troubles with alcohol, so his suggestion (if it actually was true) might have been a coping device. Who can tell?

The Jack Palance TV version of the story is quite good. But . . . the Kirk Douglas musical adaptation . . . yuugghh

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 17th, 2014, 6:15 pm

If I recall correctly, the A&C pic is the one that has stuntman Eddie Parker running around in a rubber mask! The Fleming production has a better period look and feel to the Mamoulian, But, to be honest, I have to agree with Western Guy. The Fredric March version is the better film. I recently acquired the Palance TV movie on DVD (remember it from the '70s). It is very good, with an interesting twist at the end. A still exists of Jason Robards in the makeup that would have been utilised had the TV movie gone ahead as planned. It is truly gruesome (a different makeup was devised for Palance when he stepped-in for Robards).
Last edited by Joe Macclesfield on August 17th, 2014, 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Western Guy » August 17th, 2014, 6:31 pm

Joe, I got to know the wonderful Jason Robards a little toward the end of his life, but it's news to me that he was originally planned for the Jekyll/Hyde role before Palance (whom I also got to meet) took over the part in the Dan Curtis TV adaptation.

Wow! Robards would have lent an interesting aura to the role.

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Bronxgirl48
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Bronxgirl48 » August 17th, 2014, 7:56 pm

WG, years ago (decades, actually) a girlfriend and I saw Jason in FOOLS, with Katherine Ross, when it first came out. He played an aging horror movie actor of all things. Both of us fell in love with him immediately. I really don't remember everything about the movie, except that Robards was strangely appealing and sexy.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 17th, 2014, 8:10 pm

Western Guy, Robards certainly would've lent an interesting aura to the part. The still, if you ever see it, is enough to give anyone the "creeps"! Nice that you got to meet him. I believe that, like Tracy, he had his own demons.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Western Guy » August 17th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Yes, he did have his own demons, but when I met him he was clean and sober but sadly suffering from the early stages of cancer. The beautiful color photo that he signed for me shows that the illness had already taken effect. That aside, he was a wonderful gentleman.

RedRiver
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby RedRiver » August 18th, 2014, 10:42 am

In an interview, Charlie Rose called Robards the greatest actor in America. The actor became noticeably sheepish and modest.

Western Guy
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Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Western Guy » August 18th, 2014, 12:40 pm

Mr. Robards certainly deserved that honor, RR. He won, I believe, every major acting award that could be bestowed upon a performer, including his two Oscars.

RedRiver
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Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby RedRiver » August 18th, 2014, 1:12 pm

As classic movie fans, we even see Jason Robards, Sr once in a while. Though, I don't recognize him when I see him!

Western Guy
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Western Guy » August 18th, 2014, 1:35 pm

What's interesting is that I once read back in his day, Jason Robards Sr. was even more popular than his son was later to become. Find that hard to believe since Robards Sr. was really relegated more to supporting status in pictures.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 18th, 2014, 2:15 pm

Robards Sr. can be seen in Val Lewton's Bedlam. Ironically, he plays a character who's been confined to keep him from drink, so he can support his family by writing.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."


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