Warner DR. JEKYLL DVD cover art...

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Hammerfan, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Hammerfan

    Hammerfan Guest

    I can't believe its almost December and I have not picked up HOUSE OF WAX yet! This film holds a lot of nostalgia for me as it was an early movie for me. My father used to say that it was, along with THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, among the scariest movies he saw a child (and he saw them both first-run).

    As for DR.JEKYLL, these will be mine immediately. Both versions are priceless to me.
     
  2. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --I read somewhere that the studio was afraid folks would not react positively to the 'weird' 2 strip technicolor process.--

    Yeah, well given that many people won't even watch black and white anymore, maybe they had reason to be concerned. I think it looks terrific myself - and adds to the strangeness of the whole thing.
     
  3. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    I agree entirely; the 2 strip process does give the film an added dimension of strangeness.

    Unlike, Victor Fleming, I must say I have a lot of respect for Michael Curtiz, not because he made 'Casablanca,' which I like, but because he was an extremely versatile director, working in all the important genres. He made some very good horror films in the 1930s: 'Doctor X,' 'Mystery' and 'The Walking Dead.' He made some wonderful crime dramas, 'Angels with Dirty Faces,' '20,000 Years in Sing, Sing,' and some great swashbucklers with Errol Flynn,' Captain Blood,' 'The Sea Hawk, 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' (a great early technicolor film). Curtiz made westerns, musicals, war films, melodramas... You name it, he was there.

    I think he deserves more attention than he has received. And like Jacques Tourneur, he was never considered an 'auteur' by auteur theorist; he was slotted in the category of 'stylist' - that is, a good technician who directed whatever scripts came his way. But I think these categories are very problematic and no longer useful.
     
  4. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --Angels with Dirty Faces--

    When the hell is this coming to DVD?
     
  5. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    And what about: 'Scarface' (not the pathetic remake), 'Public Enemy,' 'The Roaring Twenties'...
     
  6. etale

    etale Guest

    A lot of this was said about him by both Roger Ebert and Rudy Behlmer on both of the commentaries on CASABLANCA.
     
  7. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    I should get 'Casablanca,' especially now that a 2-disc set has been released. It's a little over-rated, but a fine film nonetheless.
     
  8. etale

    etale Guest

    Do so, it is the best print of the film available and the extras are well worth it as well.
    My favorite DVD of the year, so far.
     
  9. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    Uh... back on topic...

    IT'S OUT!!

    Guess what I saw today at Best Buy? Woooo-hooo!!

    Just finished watching the Frederic March Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and I'm a happy camper. :banana:

    Great movie (I've never seen it before)! This totally blows away the 1920 Barymore version. A bit over the top in the drama/romance, but hey, that's how they did it in the '30s. But even the romance works here, as it is well played against Hyde's lusty desires. In the '20 version, this just was not well executed, but here, it's very well done, if slightly overt at times. The action was over the top too, and it kicks ass. Fredric March really lets it all out here. The only drawback to the dvd is that the print, while having fine contrast and brightness levels, and very little print damage at all, is a bit dirty with slight grain and fibers throughout the film. Other than that, the new Warner dvd is great!

    Hope you all get yours soon. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2004
  10. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    I got mine yesterday. I've seen the March version before, and it's one of my top 5 favorite horror films of all-time. I'm going to watch it with the audio commentary by Greg Mank soon. I sampled a little bit of it and it was excellent. The print was nice too, although it still had it's fair share of specs and grain. It's a very old movie, and the original negative no longer exists so Warner is forgiven. :)
     
  11. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    Oh yeah, can't blame Warner at all. I wasn't bashing them, so much as just providing a good representation of the dvd. It wasn't meant as a judgment call, but just to be informative. I'm wayyyy happy with the dvd! :)
     
  12. Hammerfan

    Hammerfan Guest

    I would imagine that the studio "romanced" this version up to play on the chemistry between Frederic March and Miriam Hopkins, who were known for their romantic melodramas at the time. Certainly if not to attract the Miriam Hopkins crowd (housewives and mothers) to see a "horror" movie at the time. Hopkins made a name for herself mostly as a "co-star" throughout the 1930s and 40s. She always seemed to play the "hard luck" dame in countless melodramas. My favorite performance of hers is a supporting role in the 1961 film "The Children's Hour" (it was among her last). Her last movie was a terrible horror movie called "The Savage Intruder" in 1969. It was another of those "cast an old faded movie icon in a terrible horror movie role" films that were put out in the 1960s. It was an unfortunate end for an interesting career.





     
  13. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    That could be part of it Hammerfan, but from the movies I've seen, it was common to overplay the romantic themes in the films of the '30s. You know, the swooning, the fawning, the drama... nothing wrong with it, it's just very theatrical.

    They played up the romance in the 1920 version as well. To be more precise in my comparison, what I mean to say is that the '32 version works because they really played on the bi-polar themes of romantic love and selfish, unbridled lust, and did a damn fine job of it, if, again, it was a bit overdramatic. As for the '20 version, the lust isn't represented well, if at all, and the romance seems to be just a toss-in for the formula. The '32 version is far superior, in my opinion.

    And isn't it odd that the Robert Louis Stevenson classic novel has no love interest in it whatsoever? That's Hollywood for ya. :lol:
     
  14. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    What? I don't have it yet!! I completely forgot about it. I'm ordering it right now... I'm glad you enjoyed it MH; it brings back great memories for me watching it as a kid . I can't wait to watch it. I love the 30s!
     
  15. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    I got this double feature today and watched the 1931 version tonight. Brilliant! I was blown away by Mamoulian's flamboyant direction - at a time when the camera was restricted by sound equipment. The opening POV shot is fucking great and way ahead of its time! Mamoulian was definitely taking up the experimenting style of the silent era and adapting it to sound. Also, the film is so sexually charged! There are scenes in this film that I couldn't believe were shot in the 30s! But mostly, it's a powerful critique of upper-class Victorian culture and its restrictive morality. The transfer is quite good, with a little speckling and print damage, but also with solid blacks and a good gray-scale. The magnificent and innovative cinematography by Karl Struss, who shot Murnau's silent masterpiece 'Sunrise' (1927) and 'The Island of Lost Souls' (1933) is quite well rendered in this transfer. A must for the classic horror fan. I have not watched the 1941 version, or any of the extras...
     
  16. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    I agree about the charged sexuality, Mario. This being pre-code Hollywood, I expect a degree of that, but Jekyll and Hyde exceeded anything I'd seen from the era before, with the possible exception of Bird of Paradise. In Bird, we're treated to an underwater view of a fully naked Dolores del Rio, from head to toe no less; but it's more an 'art' scene, an exhibition shot of revered beauty more than a developed theme of intense sexuality. Although Jekyll and Hyde has no frontal nudity, it exceeds Bird in that it is more suggestive, more actively, overtly sexual. This is what I was getting at in my previous post; this version delves into the fight between honorable, romantic love and base, wanton lust much moreso, and more deftly, than any other version I've seen. Other versions seem 'watered down', and treat the theme with kid gloves, as a taboo not to be fully developed out of concern for the public's sensibilities (and theater going cash).
     

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