THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1968) Reviews and overview

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The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1968 Canadian/American television horror film directed by Charles Jarrott based on a teleplay by Ian McLellan Hunter (The Amazing Mr. X), based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella of the same title. The Dan Curtis production stars Jack PalanceDenholm Elliott, Leo Genn and Billie Whitelaw.

Doctor Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself…


“With convincing make-up by Dick Smith, remarkable art direction by Trevor Williams, and a supporting cast that includes Billie Whitelaw (The Omen) and Denholm Elliott, this is finest adoption of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel next to the 1932 Fredric March version. The only drawback is that it’s totally shot on videotape.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

” …probably due to budgetary reasons, it was done on videotape and looks it. However, don’t allow this to put you off. This one ranks high as far as screen adaptations of the book are concerned and it is thoroughly absorbing for its entire two-hour running time.” Digital Retribution

” …the opening scene where Doctor Jekyll faces off with a sneering panel of physicians is a little too cliched to really be effective, and having most of the dialogue reprised during the final confrontation scene is the one downside to what is otherwise an extraordinarily effective scene. But these are really minor quibbles; the movie works very well indeed…” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Palance also hits just the right notes as Jekyll (which is not necessarily easy, as Palance looks pretty intimidating even as the refined Doctor Jekyll). The character traces a sort of bell curve through the film– anxious and under attack by his colleagues at the beginning, intoxicated by Hyde’s perverse joie de vivre in the middle, and worn out and hopeless at the end.” Brian Schuck, Films from Beyond the Time Barrier

” …this is a handsome and well-written version of the story which explores a number of elements of the story which have been ignored in other versions. Some have called it the best version of the story – frankly I have my doubts – but what is true is that it is a very solid and watchable version, and it remains consistently entertaining.” Rivets on the Poster

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“Palance is first-rate in both titular roles, well done score by Robert Cobert. Whitelaw (Damien’s sinister nanny from The Omen) is fetching as Hyde’s clinging hooker. Nice makeup by Dick Smith.” The Terror Trap

“Jekyll’s ultimate weakness of character is exposed as the film reaches its climax, and Palance builds it up perfectly with his performance. This is a must-see for fans of gothic horror, Jack Palance, and just well-made films.” Steve Miller, Terror Titans

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Choice dialogue:

Doctor Jekyll (as he prepares to swig his potion): “Gentlemen, be damned to you.”

Cast and characters:

  • Jack Palance … Doctor Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde – Living with the DeadHorror of the Hungry Humongous Hungan; Alone in the Dark; Without Warning; Craze; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Torture Garden
  • Denholm Elliott … Mr. George Devlin – Brimstone and Treacle; UnderworldThe Hound of the Baskervilles (1983); Hammer House of Horror; The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978); To the Devil a Daughter; The Vault of Horror; The House That Dripped Blood; Mystery and Imagination (TV series)
  • Leo Genn … Doctor Lanyon – Endless Night; Die Screaming MarianneA Lizard in a Woman’s Skin; The Bloody Judge; Ten Little Indians; The Death Ray of Doctor Mabuse
  • Torin Thatcher … Sir John Turnbull – Night Gallery (TV series)
  • Rex Sevenoaks … Doctor Wright
  • Gillie Fenwick … Poole – Friday the 13th: The Series
  • Elizabeth Cole … Hattie
  • Duncan Lamont … Sergeant Grimes – The Creeping Flesh; Nothing But the NightBurke & HareMy Partner the Ghost TV series; Quatermass and the Pit; Frankenstein Created Woman; The Evil of FrankensteinThe Quatermass Experiment TV series
  • Paul Harding … Constable Johnson
  • Oskar Homolka … Stryker – Mr. Sardonicus
  • Tessie O’Shea … Tessie O’Toole
  • Jeanette Landis … Liz
  • Liza Creighton … Billie
  • Billie Whitelaw … Gwyn Thomas – Hot Fuzz; The Omen; Supernatural TV series; Night Watch; Frenzy; The Flesh and the Fiends
  • Donald Webster … Garvis

Filming locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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