Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde
| UK 97 MINS | US 94MINS | COLOUR | HAMMER |
For his research on finding the elixir of life, Dr Jekyll starts to use female hormones harvested from cadavers given to him by grave-robbers Burke and Hare. The serum has the unfortunate effect of not only changing his sex but also his personality. His alter-ego is gorgeous but evil.
In order to explain the appearance of a woman around the house, Dr Jekyll takes the identity of Mrs Hyde when he is in his transformed state.
Eventually Dr Jekyll falls in love with his upstairs tenant Susan Brodrick. To confuse matters, Mrs Hyde develops a desire for her brother. It leads to a struggle between their sexual identities.
To keep a regular supply of the serum, fresh female cadavers are required. This necessitates the killing of prostitutes which Mrs Hyde does with eagerness under the cover of Jack the Ripper. Dr Jekyll hates the killing, and there follows a struggle for dominance between the two personalities that could destroy them both.
Dr Jekyll asks Susan Brodick to accompany him to the opera. When he is getting dressed to go out, he unconsciously takes Mrs. Hyde’s gown from the wardrobe instead of his own clothes. He realises that he no longer needs to drink the serum in order to transform.
Susan is heartbroken when Jekyll fails to take her out to the opera, so she decides to go on her own. Mrs. Hyde comes to the conclusion that Susan’s blood is just what she needs to oust Jekyll from her body. She stalks Susan through the dark streets but is thwarted when Jekyll’s will manages to stop her.
Jekyll commits one last murder to stabilise his condition, but he is interrupted by the police. A comment by a former associate of Jekyll’s has led them to him. Dr. Jekyll tries to escape by climbing along the outside of a building, but he transforms into Mrs. Hyde. Lacking his strength, she falls to the ground and dies. The body is an horrendous amalgamation of male and female.
Britishhorrorfilms: This is a great film, in need of major re-appraisal. Full of in-jokes and knowing winks to the audience, it’s everything a low-budget horror should be.
Timeout: Admirably successful attempt to ring new changes on an old theme, with the good doctor turning himself into a beautiful femme fatale who lures prostitutes to their death.
Popcornpictures: Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde is one of the better Hammer films to come out of the 70s when their output was dwindling in quality. Everyone involved seems to have pulled together to craft a suspenseful, atmospheric and at times graphic re-imagining of the classic novel.
- Directed by Roy Ward Baker
- Produced by Brian Clemens & Albert Fennell
- Music by David Whitaker
- Cinematography Norman Warwick
- Production company Hammer Film Productions
- Caroline Munro was the first choice to play Sister Hyde, but she declined because the role required nudity.
Ralph Bates — Dr. Jekyll | Martine Beswick — Sister Hyde | Gerald Sim — Professor Robertson | Lewis Fiander — Howard | Susan Broderick — Susan Brodrick | Dorothy Alison — Mrs. Spencer | Ivor Dean — Burke | Philip Madoc — Byker | Irene Bradshaw — Yvonne | Neil Wilson — Older Policeman | Paul Whitsun-Jones — Sergeant Danvers | Tony Calvin — Hare | Dan Meaden — Town Crier | Virginia Wetherell — Betsy | Geoffrey Kenion — 1st Policeman