Director: Terence Fisher
Writer: Wolf Mankowitz
Cast: Paul Massie, Dawn Adams, Christopher Lee, David Kossoff, Norma Marla, Francis De Wolf
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Paul Massie) is working on a formula that will separate the good side of man and the uncontrolled, dark side. In the meantime, his beautiful wife, Kitty (Dawn Adams) is cheating on him with his old friend Paul Allen (Christopher Lee), who is also leaching money off of him. Jekyll decides to test the the formula on himself. He becomes a younger and more handsome man, named Hyde. As Hyde, he is a lecherous, perverse, unscrupulous, and, ultimately murderous man.
Hammer Studios first attempt at adapting Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde takes some liberties with the novella. It takes a more psychological and pyschosexual approach to the subject matter, than some other adaptations may have been. Unfortunately the end result is not as a great as it could or should have been, but is also not with its share of merits.
The film's interest in studying the duality of man is certainly inspired by the book. And, there are some interesting moments and ideas presented. But, it simply does not go far enough. The movie is many times very quiet, which by definition can be fine, but the horror is ultimately too subdued. Even for an early Hammer movie it is quite restrained in what happens, action wise. However, there an undercurrent of a maturity and dark sexuality that do make it interesting from a psychological narrative.