Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


SON OF DR. JEKYLL (1951). Director: Seymour Friedman.

Edward Jekyll (Louis Hayward) discovers that he is the son of the notorious Dr. Jekyll of Mr. Hyde notoriety. For reasons that are never explained, he finds his father's note books and decides to continue his experiments, even down to drinking the dangerous formula. [Apparently brains don't run in the Jekyll family.] Meanwhile Dr. Lanyon (Alexander Knox), a friend of the late Dr. Jekyll, hovers about looking ominous. Although Edward does briefly turn into Mr. Hyde, this is less a horror film than a mystery. When the secret is revealed, it occurs to the viewer that everything could have been avoided if only a certain party hadn't stupidly told Edward who he was. In any case, a somewhat similar premise was used for the superior Daughter of Dr. Jekyll six years later, although Son holds the attention, has atmosphere, and is not without entertainment value. Well-acted by Hayward and the rest of the cast, which includes Paul Cavanagh as an inspector. Nice score by Paul Sawtell.

Verdict: Has its moments but Daughter is more fun. **1/2.

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