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benbess

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After reading the glowing reviews here I've pre-ordered this version, which I've never seen.

The movie had a lavish production budget for the era of about half a million, and was a big hit. And then Paramount cleaned up again when MGM made the 1941 version:

"When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer remade the film 10 years later with Spencer Tracy in the lead, the studio bought the negative and the rights to both the Mamoulian version and the earlier 1920 silent version, paying $1,250,000. Every print of the 1931 film that could be located was recalled and destroyed, and for decades, the film was believed lost.[7] The Tracy version was much less well received, and March jokingly sent Tracy a telegram thanking him for the greatest boost to his reputation of his entire career."


Some posters from the era, including one from a trade publication that suggests dusting off the Standing Room Only sign!

Dr-Jekyll-and-Mr-Hyde-6-1250x828.jpeg
Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_Hyde_ad_in_The_Film_Daily,_Jan-Jun_1932_(page_31_crop).jpeg
Dr. Jekyll poster 1931.jpeg
 

Robert Harris

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Are you confusing him with Robert Harris? LOL
There was a period of time in the ‘80s during which Richard and I frequented the same boutique hotel in LA.

Although most people were able to tell us apart, there was a problem which took several days to figure out.

I would normally receive phone calls beginning before 8AM from the labs and post facilities that had been working a night shift. And suddenly, crickets.

I would occasionally see Richard returning to the hotel at night with a young lady on each arm. Ditto at the bar.

What I didn’t know, was this.

He would generally call down to the hotel operator very late at night, telling them “No calls before [a certain hour].

I finally discovered this after checking with the front desk, who looked into the problem.

Seems he would call down and say “This is Mr. Harris… No calls…”

I mentioned it to him one evening when he was in the bar alone. He found it funny, and asked if I was jealous that he was carousing, while I was working?

In the future he kindly identified himself as Richard.

For the record, he was taller, with different speech patterns. And never mentioned aspect ratios.
 

aPhil

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"When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer remade the film 10 years later with Spencer Tracy in the lead, the studio bought the negative and the rights to both the Mamoulian version and the earlier 1920 silent version, paying $1,250,000. Every print of the 1931 film that could be located was recalled and destroyed, and for decades, the film was believed lost.[7]
As to "Every print of the 1931 film that could be located was recalled and destroyed, and for decades, the film was believed lost" — Is this true ?
 

Noel Aguirre

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Wow this is going to make my Halloween. When I was a tiny tot my parents were watching this on TV (im sure the censored version) and when he transformed on the bench in the park I was scared sheetlesss, starting crying uncontrollably.and had many nightmare afterwards.Parents in those days were clueless about what children should not watch on TV. My brother and friends all had the Aurora models kits of all the famous monster film- March’s Hyde was a great one Also the park benches herein NYC at Thomkins Square Park remind me so much of that park scene. I literally get PTSD sometimes thinking about it.
Forward 30 years later in NYC @ Film Forum in the 80’s which I think might have been the first place to show this restored/uncensored version. I went of course and found it ever so disturbing on so many different levels. Miriam Hopkins is just brilliant in it in addition to March.
I’m also going to watch the Spanish version of Dracula 1931 sometime this month for the first time!
 

Noel Aguirre

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Could you please elaborate as to why then it wasn’t restored until the 1980’s if it wasn’t considered lost for decades? I remember when Film Forum showed it back in the 80’s- it was a big deal to finally have it restored and they advertised it as such. Was it just a matter of no one was restoring films until the 80’s and that why it took so long?
 

Robert Harris

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Could you please elaborate as to why then it wasn’t restored until the 1980’s if it wasn’t considered lost for decades? I remember when Film Forum showed it back in the 80’s- it was a big deal to finally have it restored and they advertised it as such. Was it just a matter of no one was restoring films until the 80’s and that why it took so long?
The cut version always existed. I don’t believe anyone bothered at that time, as the cut footage was (as I recall) from 16mm. This is a restoration that’s been in the works awhile.

I revisited the film with a mind toward aspect ratio, and once again came away with 1.33 as a mixed bag, unless the element was panned and scanned vertically.

Some shots have too much head room in 1.19, others do not, but several cry out for the full height - among them the POV opening and the initial March/Hopkins “cute meet.”
 

Noel Aguirre

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The cut version always existed. I don’t believe anyone bothered at that time, as the cut footage was (as I recall) from 16mm. This is a restoration that’s been in the works awhile.

I revisited the film with a mind toward aspect ratio, and once again came away with 1.33 as a mixed bag, unless the element was panned and scanned vertically.

Some shots have too much head room in 1.19, others do not, but several cry out for the full height - among them the POV opening and the initial March/Hopkins “cute meet.”
Really looking forward to this. I doubt FF showed it 1.19. And the cuts that were reinserted were noticeable of a lesser or different quality as I recall.

And thanks for all the information you share with us on this film and continue to do so on so many others. We truly are fortunate to read all these insights you’ve provided and you are a gift that keeps on giving!
 

Robert Harris

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Really looking forward to this. I doubt FF showed it 1.19. And the cuts that were reinserted were noticeable of a lesser or different quality as I recall.

And thanks for all the information you share with us on this film and continue to do so on so many others. We truly are fortunate to read all these insights you’ve provided and you are a gift that keeps on giving!
Never been equated with herpes before.

Ummm.. thank you?
 

BobO'Link

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...Some shots have too much head room in 1.19, others do not, but several cry out for the full height - among them the POV opening and the initial March/Hopkins “cute meet.”
Whenever I see that type of shot inconsistency in a film I assume that a "camera operator in training" wasn't supervised well enough, or the cinematographer/DP "hadn't had their coffee" for that scene, or *someone* felt such extra height or tightness was needed. That's primarily because framing is typically very consistent in major productions.
 

Paul Penna

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People need to take what’s posted on Wikipedia with a grain of salt as there is some misinformation posted on that site.
Even worse, that statement in the Wikipedia article alleging that "Every print of the 1931 film that could be located was recalled and destroyed" cites as support an article on the Greenbriar Picture Shows blog that says no such thing.
 

benbess

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What the footnoted document does say is:

"....Metro put both in cold storage so as to avoid distraction while their 1941 adaptation made its rounds. I’d love to know if the 1931 Jekyll and Hyde played anywhere between 1940 and 1966. The only sighting I’m aware of was a partial one, as the 1953 Academy Awards ceremony (which was televised) did feature an excerpt of Fredric March as J/H. The film’s reputation was maintained by way of mouth-watering stills that turned up in late fifties/early sixties publications like Famous Monsters Of Filmland and Castle Of Frankenstein. Few were aware that MGM now owned the negative. I well remember my mother’s vivid account of seeing the March version theatrically in 1932. It seemed I’d never share that thrill, for we all assumed it was a lost film.....it was collector/scholar William K. Everson who led the way with his showing that took place during a regular gathering of The Theodore Huff Film Society. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was thus reborn among a small group of Manhattan film buffs on March 8, 1966. From William K. Everson’s program notes: This long-lost but well-remembered classic hasn’t been screened in the United States for more than twenty-five years. Was he right? Very possibly yes, as I doubt MGM authorized any playdates over that period of time. Everson’s 16mm print likely originated with a Library Of Congress original from which a handful of dupes had been made for in-the-loop collectors. These underground editions were far closer to the complete Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde than anything MGM would distribute throughout the seventies and much of the eighties."

In any case, I'm looking forward to this new release, which will be the closest thing to the original release since it came out.

jekyll-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000.jpeg


lf.jpeg
 
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