Ugly

So, after Jekyll Week is over, we’ll all be able to answer that popular trivia quiz question ~

Q: What do Conrad Veidt and Bernard Bresslaw have in common?

A: They both starred in film versions of the Jekyll & Hyde story which have been lost.

If you have this in your attic, call the BFI! And if you have Murnau’s DER JANUSKOPF with Veidt, alert the media! That’s one of the lost films I would gladly sacrifice one of my less important limbs to have back.

“You!” Conrad Veidt invents underplaying.

I assumed THE UGLY DUCKLING was probably no great loss, having deplored most of the Lance Comfort horror movies I’ve caught, but I recently saw TOMORROW AT TEN, a ’60s thriller in which Robert Shaw imprisons a child in a nursery with an exploding golliwog on a timer, then calmly shows up to collect the ransom in person. It was rather fine, tense and bitter and with a stunning mid-point reversal that would leave people slack-jawed if the DVD blurb didn’t give it away. So the loss of his DUCKLING may be a tragedy after all. It’s certainly an alarmingly recent film to be M.I.A.

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13 Responses to “Ugly”

  1. Too bad that the Jekyll week is over, I was fond of that story, not to mention the exquisite style of Stevenson who I like much.
    The new topic is not bad either!

  2. It’s not over yet! At least one more post today, and it looks like I have enough other observations to take us through the weekend.

  3. I should hope so! There’s Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde to consider AND Bernardo Bertolucci’s Partner with Pierre Clementi, Stefania Sandrelli, Tina Aumont and the most unusual and innovative score ever written by Ennio Morricone.

  4. I should watch Partner as a last act of Jekyll Week. Although isn’t it more Dostoievsky than Stevenson? Still, that’s no reason to avoid it, far from it.

    I have a piece on Sister Hyde almost ready.

  5. At least two other “Jekyll”-connected titles come to mind:

    “Daughter of Dr. Jekyll”: Edgar G. Ulmer plus Arthur Shields plus Gloria Talbot? ‘Nuff said.

    “Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype”: probably a rotten film, at least based on the fact that I was only willing to watch one scene when it appeared on television, but the fact that this no-budget comedy was written and directed by the scriptwriter for Corman’s “Little Shop of Horrors” — Charles B. Griffith — has got to count for something. It’s also got a cast that includes Oliver Reed, Corinne Calvet, Jackie Coogan, Dick Miller Miller, and Mel Welles.

  6. Partner is MUCH more Stevenson than Dostoyevsky. And more Jerry Lewis than anything else.

  7. [after having watched the Ulmer trailer]

    How odd that, in the midst of all that thrashing and lurid cheesiness, we see John Agar wearing a striped coat out of “Three Men In A Boat.”

  8. Heh! I like the way the whole image lurches drunkenly from side to side (as a result of being video’d off a TV). Ulmer should have shot the film like that, as an experiment.

    I’d watch Partner right now, but Fiona is giving John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars another chance.

  9. An interesting wrinkle on the Roddy McDowall approach.

  10. Have you seen the BBC “Jekyll” of last year? I thought it was great.

  11. This has cropped up a few times in Comments… I seem to be one of the few who didn’t care for it much. Treating it as a case of MPD was fine, and I enjoyed all the accommodations Jekyll had made with Hyde, but when they brought the original story in it lost credibility for me. And Nesbitt had to strain for effect as Hyde.

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