These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, December 16, 2005

split personality

i just finished watching "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde," the 1941
version with fames cagney playing the dual lead role. i have yet to watch the
earlier fredrick march version (for which he won an academy award).

i read the stevenson novel ages ago in college (in a lit. course where we read dracula and mary reilly). i have forgotten much of the storyline, except that hyde and jekyl become one, no longer meeding the potion to transform from jekyl to hyde. it's a nice psychological book about the dark side of man and trying to control that side. (plus it also gave the stuffy jekyl a way to exorcise his bad boy side without leting people know his true identity).

but, i digress.

i really enjoyed the movie. i thought cagney played the part well. great facial
expression. i thought the transformation was done well, as the camera finally
focuses on his face while he changes over to hyde. that happened several times
throughout the movie. i love the sexual undertones through dialogue, movement
and the showing of some leg (albeit lower leg area), without ever actually getting down to doing the deed on film.

the violence is there, too. it's implied and rarely shown. hyde does beat ivy, but you never get to see the bruises. he also attacks a man and beats him with a cane. but you only see the cane go up and down several times. sometimes not seeing the crime or sex is good. that's what these old movies have that modern-day flicks just can't seem to get away from.

dawn and i have gotten into watching old movies. we have a stack of them yet to watch that we've rented from the library. i've become a big fan of humphrey bogart.
i'm beginning to see through what i've watched that he's one of the best actors of all time. not just a movie star (like freak tom cruise, who can't really act), but a
genuine actor.

next on my list is sahara. another bogart flick.


Blogger Leftylog said...

Boy, where do you get the time? I hope you've seen the original "King Kong." Good stuff. How about the BW "David Copperfield" with WC Fields as Macawaber (It's OK) or "Wuthering Heights" (My wife loves that version). Other good oldies, "The Day the World Stood Still" is a good sci-fi flick as is the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with its anti-communist undertones. More modern classics include "Ben Hur" with Heston and "Cleopatra" with Liz Taylor, "Planet of the Apes" and "Omega Man," both with Heston, and "American Grafitti" with Ron Howard.

I agree with the violence and sex comments. The acts seem more menacing when they are implied because no reality can match a person's imagination.

9:50 AM


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