Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde |
Actor: Michael Rennie
Director: Allen Reisner
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense
Gore Vidal wrote the script for this excellent adaptation of Robert Louis Stevensons' classic horror story that first appeared in the legendary anthology series ""Climax."" Includes bonus ""Lights Out"" episode, ""Lost W... more »
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Curiosity Value: Episodes from Early TV Shows "Climax!" and
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 01/29/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is released from Alpha Home Entertainment. The DVD contains two episodes: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (B&W 48 minutes) and "The Lost Will of Dr. Rant" (B&W 22 minutes).
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" stars Michael Rennie as the titular character, whose secret experiment unleashes the "beast" within him. This Robert Louis Stevenson tale is in fact an episode from the anthology TV show "Climax!" (aired on July 28, 1955) and adapted for TV by Gore Vidal. The original music is by Jerry Goldsmith.
Unlike more famous 1931 and 1941 feature-film versions (starring Fredric March and Spencer Tracy respectively), this TV episode dispenses with the good doctor's melodramatic love story and focuses on the consequences of Jekyll's experiment. Only the bare-bone elements of the original story has made it to this version, and despite the efforts of the players (including Cedric Hardwicke and Mary Sinclair), the result is not very impressive. Michael Rennie (perhaps best known for his performance as "Klaatu" in "The Day the Earth Stood Still") is very good as Dr. Jekyll, but his portrayal of the hedonistic Mr. Hyde is a bit disappointing with minimum amount of special make-up. Probably this couldn't be helped because it is said most of the show's episodes were broadcast live, so the crew had to do without elaborate effects.
"The Lost Will of Dr. Rant" is based on M. R. James's short story "The Tractate Middoth" and this short work is in fact from the TV show "Lights Out." The episode was aired on May 7, 1951, starring Leslie Nielsen, Pat Englund, Russell Collins and Eva Condon.
The story begins when John Eldred, an anxious old man looking for a rare edition of the Talmud, arrives at a Boston library. Leslie Nielsen plays a librarian named Bill, who is more than happy to help him find the book, but some mysterious powers intervene in the form of a creepy stranger. The episode has a very interesting premise, a blend of ghost story and detective novel, and the adaptation is fairly faithful to James's original short, but it really needs a better final act that is too short.
As these are from old TV shows, you should expect neither crisp image nor clear sound quality. Still the DVD has a curiosity value with two episodes from the earliest days of American TV shows.