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Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

USA 1953
produced by
Howard Christie for Universal
directed by Charles Lamont
starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff, Craig Stevens, Helen Westcott, Reginal Denny, John Dierkes, Jimmy Aubrey, Henry Corden, Carmen De Lavallade, Al Ferguson
screenstory by Sid Fields, Grant Garett, screenplay by Howard Dimsdale, Lee Loeb, John Grant, based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Abbott & Costello, Jekyll and Hyde, Universal horror cycle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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London, the late 19th century: A monster is roaming the street killing people - but reporter Bruce (Craig Stevens) couldn't care less, because he has just met dancer Vicky (Helen Westcott), who is also a leader of the suffragette movement, and has fallen in love with her at first sight. Good thing then that she has fallen in love with him as well, and before you know it, they want to marry.

Good news so far, bad news though that Vicky's guardian is one Dr. Jekyll (Boris Karloff), who doesn't only not apporove of his ward's plans because he wants her all to himself, he has also developed a serum that will turn him into a monster everytime he needs to kill someone. Initially, Jekyll wants to kill Bruce backstage during one of Vicky's shows, but he is chased away by inept suspended cops Bud Abbott and Lou Costello - and by some coincidence Costello even manages to put Jekyll as the monster behind bars, but once the monster has turned back into Jekyll, nobody believes him they are one and the same person. And not only that, resulting from this botched up almost arrest, Jekyll insists that Abbott and Costello remain at his house for the nights as guests and bodyguards - a night during which Costello is temporarily turned into a mouse, which at least convinces Abbott that Jekyll might be the monster.

Eventually, everybody can be convinced that Jekyll really is the monster, and a big manhunt starts, but then Costello turns into a monster as well, which leads to much confusion before Abbott captures Costello and tries to present him to the police chief as the original monster while Jekyll the monster falls out of a window to his death and turns back into Jekyll the man ...

 

Now I don't know who thought Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde might be a good source material for an Abbott & Costello-flick, because in writing that sounds like a pretty bad idea. Having said that, Abbott and Costello meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde isn't too bad and almost works. True, all the best bits of the source material as well as its philosophical undercurrents are thrown out in favour of some comedy and a love story, but at least Abbott and Costello are properly worked into the plot and their comedy is not as annoying as in most of their other films. True, all of this doesn't make Abbott and Costello meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a good film, not by a longshot, but it's by far not as bad as the film's premise makes it appear to be.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD