Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Wikipedia
Volume 4 chronicles the final films of Abbott & Costello at their home studio, Universal. While the boys put their usual polished verve in these movies, it's hard to. A Monday with “Abbott and Costello meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”! The films of Abbott and Costello hold a very special place in my heart. Karloff lends gravity to the film, but by the time this one followed up Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde On Disc/Streaming.
With that being said these films, unlike many others that I revisit, have to be viewed at face value. There is no real deeper message or meaning here except to entertain the audience, and in that regard this film is a success.
If you are going into this one, as well as any of the other Abbott and Costello Meets… films expecting an existential experience that unlocks deep secrets inside yourself, this may not be for you. These films were intended to allow audiences a small amount of time in their day where they do not have to worry or bring their baggage with them, to just enjoy and laugh at the hijinks on screen.
To me, that is the charm of old school Hollywood films.
A Monday with “Abbott and Costello meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”!
For the most part these films were selfless in the idea that they were made to entertain audiences and get a laugh. That simple fact alone is why I think the Abbott and Costello movies are still beloved today not only by older generations, but really by anyone who is willing to give a black and white film a chance. Personally I felt it was a bold move on the part of Charles Lamont to include the scene.
Providing a strong political backstory for the character of Vicky was a forward thinking idea, and even though the scene ended out in physical comedy it was a nice switch up. Another source of controversy was the method as to which Dr.
Jekyll and eventually Tubby transformed. Instead of drinking a potion, as in all other versions, they inject themselves with a syringe. The censors were very uneasy about this and regulated the film makers by changing the scope from the actual injection to the facial expressions and movements the actors could convey while taking the injection.
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde () - IMDb
This, along with the scenes of Mr. Hyde, actually landed the film an X rating in Britain! The biggest source of conflict probably came from one of the most revered actors of the time. It was no secret that Boris Karloff was not a fan of these kinds of films. He felt as if it was insulting to the characters and genre he had given so much too. The first example of this was when he turned down the role of Frankenstein in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
However, having to fulfill his obligations to the studio he signed on to be in not one, but two A and C films. Abbott and Costello were known for their use of pranks and pie fights in between filming to keep the tempo up, something that Karloff did not much appreciate.
Stuntman Eddie Parker actually performed all of the Mr. Hyde scenes; however he was not even credited in the film. The last part of controversy from this film was the when Karloff wrapped filming; this was his last performance in a Universal studios film. As I stated before, this film should be taken at face value for a good time, however there were some nice takes on the legendary character involved. First off, the manner of how Jekyll transforms is different from every other version of the character.
The character of Dr. Jekyll himself is also different. This version is actually closer to the original novel. The cast, of course, is led by Abbott and Costello, although this film is somewhat unique due to the change in style of their acting.
Their past movies were very heavy with dialogue that would lead to a gag. This film featured much less of this and much more physical comedy. Boris Karloff is, as usual, terrific and haunting. Craig Stevens and Helen Westcott are a nice pairing as their chemistry could be felt coming off the screen. The film featured solid makeup and effects in regards to the transformation scenes.
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
David Horley did the transformation effects in the film using fading, stop motion shots, which was a direct tribute to the transformation scene in the original Dr.
However, by the time he brings the Inspector Reginald DennyAdams, and Slim to the scene, the monster has already reverted to Dr. Jekyll and Tubby is once again scolded by the Police Inspector. The "good" doctor, however, asks Slim and Tubby to escort him to his home. Once at Jekyll's home, Tubby goes off exploring and winds up drinking a potion which transforms him into a large mouse. Afterward, Slim and Tubby try to bring news of Jekyll's activities to the Inspector, but the Inspector refuses to believe them.
Later, when Vicky announces to Jekyll her intent to marry Adams, Jekyll who is secretly in love with Vicky does not share her enthusiasm and transforms into Hyde right in front of her.
Bent, this time, on murdering Vicky, Hyde attempts to attack her.
Abbott And Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde () -- (Movie Clip) Mr. Hyde Will Kill Him!
However, in the nick of time, Bruce, Slim, and Tubby save her and Hyde escapes. During the struggle, though, Jekyll's serum needle is dropped into a couch cushion, which Tubby accidentally falls onto, transforming him also into a Hyde-like monster.
Another mad-cap chase ensues, this time with Bruce chasing Jekyll's monster and Slim pursuing Tubby's monster both believing they are after Jekyll. The police are frustrated and confused by the monster's seemingly impossible running all over London. Bruce's chase ends up back at Jekyll's home, where Hyde falls from an upstairs window to his death, revealing to everyone his true identity when he reverts to normal form.
Slim then brings Tubby still in monster form to the Inspector. Tubby then bites the Inspector and four officers and reverts to himself, much to the chagrin of Slim.