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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde(1932)

Remind Me

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According to Film Daily, Robert Lee relinquished his position as Paramount director and became assistant director to Rouben Mamoulian for this single production, due to its lengthy and difficult shooting schedule. According to the pressbook, Mamoulian had thirty-five historically-correct sets built for the film's 216 scenes, including eight adjoining scenic sets. He directed eighty-one actors and five hundred extras. According to New York Times, Robert Louis Stevenson, the nephew of the author, appeared in the film as an extra, reportedly because he could speak with a cockney accent. According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office cautioned Paramount studio chief B. P. Schulberg against the line in which Ivy tells Hyde, "Take me!" and Hyde's line, "I am going to take you." John V. Wilson, acting in the absence of Colonel Jason S. Joy, the Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, wrote to Schulberg on August 10, 1931, stating that the dialogue was "overly brutal" and "too suggestive." Additional caution was advised for the scene in which Hyde snaps Ivy's garter; in the original dialogue, Hyde said, "Look, my darling, how tight your garter is. You mustn't wear it so tight. It will bruise your pretty tender flesh." The Hays Office also opposed a reference to Ivy's "customers." In a letter to Schulberg dated December 1, 1931, Joy objected to the scene in which Ivy undresses in front of Jekyll when he first comes to her room because it was too long, stating that it should not drag "simply to titillate the audience." Although Joy agreed that Jekyll's attraction to Ivy in the scene "necessarily must be saved," he opposed the action of Jekyll watching Ivy undress. Joy also stated, "Because [the film] is based on so well established a literary classic the public and the censors May overlook the horrors which result from the realism of the Hyde make-up." On December 5, 1931, Joy wrote a memo to Will H. Hays, head of the MPPDA, in reference to a group of "gruesome" pictures, including Dracula and Frankenstein, positing, "Is this the beginning of a cycle which ought to be retarded or killed?" Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was approved by the PCA for re-issue in June 1935, after Paramount agreed to delete the undressing scene and the line in which Jekyll tells Ivy he "wants her."
       Modern sources credit Hans Dreier as art director and William Shea as editor. As reported in Hollywood Reporter on November 19, 1932 (the day after the Academy Award banquet), Fredric March won the 1931-32 Academy Award for Best Actor for this film along with Wallace Beery (for The Champ), who was one vote behind March. According to Academy rules, if two nominees came within two votes of each other, both received an award. Karl Struss was nominated for Cinematography, and Samuel Hoffenstein and Percy Heath were nominated for Writing (Adaptation). The many adaptations of Stevenson's novel include a stage play starring Richard Mansfield (Boston, 9 May 1887); a silent film starring John Barrymore made by Paramount in 1920, directed by John Stewart Robertson (see the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.1063); the 1920 German film Der Januskopf, starring Conrad Veidt and directed by F. W. Murnau; a 1941 M-G-M film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner; the 1959 French film Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier, starring Jean-Louis Barrault and directed by Jean Renoir; and the 1963 Paramount release The Nutty Professor, starring and directed by Jerry Lewis (see the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.3501).