Monstrous Adaptations

Jekyll and Hyde, a 10-episode 2015 series based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, debuts today on Amazon Prime’s add-on channel PBS Masterpiece.

Robert Jekyll (Tom Bateman) lives in 1930s London, a callow, sensitive man looking to leave his foster parents’ protective nest. Soon, Robert finds himself drawn to his dark side, the legacy of a curse inherited from his grandfather. When angered or threatened, he transforms into Hyde, a shadowy but confident figure possessing incredible strength and agility. In the process of searching for a cure, he’s drawn deeper into Hyde’s dark world.

The cast includes Can You Ever Forgive Me’s Richard E. Grant, Donald Sumpter, Stephanie Hyam, Thomas Rhys Harries, Natalie Gumede, Michael Karim, Phil McKee and Oliver Gilbert.

The series aired originally on the UK’s ITV, but was cancelled after one season.

Amazon Prime and Prime Video subscribers can get PBS Masterpiece for an additional $5.99 a month following a seven-day free trial. 

An Amazon Prime membership costs $12.99 month/$119 annually and includes the streaming service, free shipping and other benefits. An Amazon Video membership costs $8.99 a month just for the streamer. For more information, visit Amazon.

Other Screen Adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

There have been countless adaptations of Stevenson’s book for the screen, not to mention such spiritual offspring as The Nutty Professor and The Incredible Hulk. Here are a few noteworthy examples – and where you can stream them:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) – Starring John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst and Martha Mansfield

This silent version is available to stream for free on YouTube and right here:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) – Starring Fredric March, who won an Oscar for his performance, Miriam Hopkins and Rose Hobart

You can rent it starting at $2.99 from Google Play, Vudu and other providers.

Below, March rapidly transforms from man to monster:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) – Starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner

You can stream it free on the library streamer Hoopla (check with your local library branch to see if it participates). You can also rent it starting at $2.99 from iTunes, YouTube and other services.

Below, Jekyll is triggered by an encounter with the British authorities:

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) – Starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and Boris Karloff

The famous comedy duo, who faced-off with the likes of Frankenstein, the Wolfman and the Mummy, take on the doctor with the split personality. This entry is available via a Peacock subscription. Peacock offers three viewing plans: free, with ads, offering thousands of hours of programming; a $4.99/month Peacock Premium, also with commercials, featuring a larger content library; and an ad-free (well, almost ad-free) $9.99/month Peacock Premium Plus. For more, visit Peacock.

(Top image: Tom Bateman in ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ Source: YouTube video)

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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