The Son of Dr. Jekyll – USA, 1951 – overview


The Son of Doctor Jekyll is a 1951 horror feature film directed by Seymour Friedman, based on a screenplay by Jack Pollexfen and Mortimer Braus. It was financed and distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film is a continuation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s original classic novel Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The movie stars Louis Hayward, Jody Lawrance, Lester Matthews and Alexander Knox.

Jack Pollexfen, the scriptwriter of this film, wrote and produced a further sequel in the same vein, The Daughter of Dr Jekyll in 1957 starring Gloria Talbott.

The film begins with a prologue set in 1860, where Mr. Hyde is chased down in the streets of London, after murdering his wife at their Soho flat. He escapes to the house of Doctor Jekyll, where he prepares the potion that will transform him back to the respected doctor. Unfortunately, the mob has already set the house ablaze. The flames drive Hyde at the top floor, and in attempt to leap to the ground, he meets his demise when he falls to the ground. As he dies, he changes back to Doctor Jekyll.

John Utterson and Doctor Lanyon (original characters from Stevenson’s novel) mourn their unfortunate friend Doctor Jekyll, until Inspector Stoddard brings the two to the Soho flat, where Jekyll/Hyde has left an orphan behind. Utterson agrees to adopt the young Jekyll, since he and his wife haven’t succeeded in having children.

Thirty years later, Edward Jekyll, now fiance to Utterson’s niece Lynn and a student of Royal Academy of Science, is expelled from the academy because of his peculiar and unorthodox experiments. Edward is unaware that he is actually Henry Jekyll’s son, and when he inherits the Jekyll Mansion, Doctor Lanyon tells him his tragic father’s story…

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!

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