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Climax! - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

episode 1.34

USA 1955
produced by
Edgar Peterson for CBS
directed by Allen Reisner
starring Michael Rennie, Cedric Hardwicke, Mary Sinclair, Lowell Gilmore, Diane Doxee, Harry Fields, John Hoyt, Keith McConnell, Barbara Morrison, Karen Scott, Gilchrist Stuart, William Lundigan (host)
screenplay by Gore Vidal, based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, music by Jerry Goldsmith

TV-series
Climax, Jekyll and Hyde

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Utterson (Cedric Hardwicke), a good friend of Doctor Jekyll's (Michael Rennie) lpearns from Jekyll's butler Poole that a stranger, possibly the killer Hyde, is hiding in Jekyll's laboratory and has quite probably killed the good Doctor. Utterson helps Poole force open the door to the lab, and when Hyde attacks him, Utterson shoots him in self-defense. Then his eyes fall on a notebook that seem to be Jekyll's tesament ...

About two years ago, Jekyll set out to explore the human soul, to seperate good from evil. Unfortunately, he finds a serum that can do just that and instead of turning into pure goodness, he turns into pure evil, his alter ego Hade. And while by day, Jekyll's doing charity work and the like, he finds more and more pleasure in turning into Hyde at night, roaming the dancehalls of the city, picking up girl after girl ... and especially Estelle (Mary Sinclair) is a girl to his liking, even though (or because) she's engaged to another man.

Hyde gets more and more ruthless, and Jekyll gets more and more horrified of his alter ego, but he is so addicted to being Hyde by now that he only stops taking his potion after Hyde has actually killed someone - Estelle's fiancé by the way.

Consequently, Jekyll destroys the potion, its formula, and the antiserum, does more charity work and tracks down Estelle and tries to make up to her ... when he suddenly turns into Hyde again, out of nowhere and without the potion - and almost kills her too. He can only just escape the police and hide in his lab, but his state is extremely unstable, he now frequently and without warning turns to Hyde and back to Jekyll again and can now of course not leave the lab under any circumstances until he finds the antiserum - but the chances are very slim, until eventually the story returns to its starting point and Hyde is shot by Utterson - but when the police arrives, the dead body turns out to be Doctor Jekyll.

 

Quite a literary adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, done for TV and mostly recorded live, so don't expect anything too fancy, it's made rather on the cheap and the special effects and special make-up are rudimentary at best - but as early TV goes, this one's actually pretty good, it moves along at a swift enough pace, the actors are pretty good and the dialogue is well-written. No masterpiece perhaps, but totally watchable.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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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
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD