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Tcm Greatest Classic Films: Horror [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Spencer Tracy , Ingrid Bergman , André De Toth , Robert Wise    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £10.94
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Product details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
  • Directors: André De Toth, Robert Wise, Tod Browning, Victor Fleming
  • Writers: Al Boasberg, Charles Belden, Charles MacArthur, Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Turner Classic Movie
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sep 2009
  • Run Time: 477 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002945DUW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,452 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars get it for the 1932 version 3 Jun 2011
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This dvd is an excellent deal. Ever since I was an avid child reader of Famous Monsters of Filmland, I had wanted to see the 1932 version of J&H but never could. I poured over the pictures because Hyde looked like a combination of ape and werewolf, yet full of human malice, even what today I would label as lust. The images mesmerized me, even the victim, who looked so different from the chaste versions of the Tracy film and others. I now see that that was because she was frankly portrayed as a "girl of the night", before the censors required their blandness and genericized portraits.

Having finally seen the 32 version, I must say it was worth the wait. March shows fabulous dexterity as an actor, morphing into Hyde and holding himself as in a complete transformation, in between human and animal. It is the most believable transformation of any J&H film. But there is a difference to this film, early as it was when talking films had just established themselves as mainstream, a rawness in which the voice of an auteur can clearly be heard; this is one of the things that attracts me to silent films: you can perceive and feel that directors are creating an entire new medium, that they are experimenting as they go along, before the establishment of stock formulas and conventions. I love this vitality of discovery and invention. To be sure, that can make them clunky or even slow, but at their best there can be a freshness to them that Hollywood has all but lost. It helps that the "standards" of decency were not yet imposed, which made the naturalism of the portrayal of gutter London far more compelling in this film version. The victim is obviously a prostitute.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars buy it. 24 Feb 2009
2 versions of the classic story and both very good in contrasting ways.
The 1st, Frederic March version is pre-Hays code Hollywood, which has a subtle but undeniable sadism about it. Spencer Tracy's portrayal has not
aged as well and suffers in comparison, but is by no means bad.

Most people know the bare bones of the story but don't let that disuade you from buying it. Universal were not the only studio making classic horror in those days. Great value.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  144 reviews
73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for the 1932 Version 8 Feb 2004
By Louis Barbarelli - Published on
This is a two-sided DVD that contains two versions of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. As many other reviewers here have said, the 1932 Frederick March version is far superior to the 1941 Spencer Tracy version. The older version, directed by a 34-year-old Rouben Mamoulian, is a masterpiece and part of movie history. The later version, directed by Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz director Victor Fleming, seems like an uninspired copy of the earlier one. Frederick March understood the role and seemed to revel in it. But, oddly, while he overacts a bit as Jeykyll, he seems totally believable as the monstrous Hyde. Tracy seemed uncomfortable with both personalities, playing Jekyll as too much of a saint and Hyde as too much of a leering sadist. March conveys the personality of Hyde as joyfully enervated by the full release of Jeykll's baser instincts. His Hyde has fun with his own badness. Tracy's just drowns in it.
The special effects in the older version are also superior, and there is lyrical Freudian symbolism in the sets, statues, paintings, etc, that really adds to the drama and continually reminds us of Mamoulian's power as a visual director. The newer version attempts some symbolism (for example, the two whipped horses transform into the two leading ladies) but its symbolism is so heavy handed that it makes the earlier film seem profoundly subtle by comparison.
Even the makeup in the older version is superior. In the Tracy version, Mr. Hyde's appearance seems inconsistent from cut to cut within the same scene. And the use of a masked double for Tracy, even in non-stunt scenes in the London fog, is painfully obvious. You don't even need to pause the DVD to see it.
The earlier version is so technically dazzling, it's hard to believe it was filmed only a couple of years after the silent Lon Chaney classic, Phantom of the Opera. I've never seen an early 30's film that looked so crisp and sounded so good. And no review of this version should leave out the excellent and sexy performance of Miriam Hopkins. She's convincing as a love-starved hooker and even more convincing as the terrified victim of a depraved client. In many ways, her performance seems less theatrical, and therefore more contemporary, than March's.
The Greg Mank commentary on the 1932 version is entertaining and informative, in a gossipy as well as scholarly style. Through his commentary, you find out things about the film and crew that really do add to your insight and enjoyment of the film. There is no commentary on the 1941 version, but Mank does disciss it a little (in too forgiving a way, I think) near the close of the 1932 version. Overall, I think this is a great collector's DVD, and will be one of the most treasured in my collection.
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC VINTAGE HORROR..... 10 Nov 2003
By Mark Norvell - Published on
There's the silent 1920 version with John Barrymore, there's the lamentable 1941 version with Spencer Tracy (and an excellent Ingrid Bergman), and then there's Rouben Mamoulian's classic 1931 version which brought Fredric March an Oscar as Jekyll/Hyde. This, to me, is the best. Not only is March's Hyde a hideous monster but the carnality between Jekyll/Hyde and the Cockney bar wench Champagne Ivy (Miriam Hopkins) is more explicit. This was Pre-Code Hollywood. Rather faithful to Stevenson's story, the film is brilliantly cast and directed. The atmosphere of 1800's London is thick with Victorian attitudes on one end and soaked with sex and sin on the other. It is between these two worlds that Dr. Henry Jekyll finds himself torn after experimenting with mind (and personality) altering drugs that bring out the bestial Mr.Hyde. The transformation scenes are well done for 1931. London's tawdry side of town is where Hyde seeks out the lustful Ivy and takes her forcibly as his mistress. Jekyll had already met her while "slumming" with a friend. Her image stuck with him as her bare garter-clad leg dangled seductively in his mind while her voice purred, "You'll come back, won't you?" But it's Hyde who goes back and dooms the helpless Ivy to a life of hell. In one of the scarier moments, Hyde hisses at the terrified Ivy "I'll show you what horror is!" And proceeds to do so. March deserved the Oscar for his masterful portrayal of the dual personality that is Jekyll/Hyde and Hopkins is perfect as Ivy. Rose Hobart is Jekyll's wealthy fiancee and the rest of the cast is grand. The classic organ score adds the right creepiness and morbid tone for this beautiful b&w melodrama. A welcome addition to DVD and a collector's dream, 1931's "Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde" is a horror classic and not to be missed by afficianados.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'd make just one change... 5 July 2009
By calvinnme - Published on
... and that would be the deletion of the 1941 version of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and replacing it with the 1932 version of the same film. The 1932 version was made before the production code went into effect and allowed you to see Mr. Hyde in all his debauchery along with Miriam Hopkins as the girl of the street caught in his grasp. The two are available as a double feature in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941).

Frea ks (1932) was misunderstood at the time of its release, but is now highly regarded as a horror classic. Director Tod Browning really had a vacuum to fill after Lon Chaney's death ended their successful partnership. This film is an example of his finest work post-Chaney. It is about Hans, a little person in a circus attracted to a beautiful but evil woman who marries Hans for his money and plans to murder him. When the other circus "frea ks" find out about Hans' bride's plans, they extract a cruel but fitting revenge. This film is available in a more deluxe edition that includes commentary. Audiences were troubled by this one when it came out because people with actual disabilities were used rather than actors and actresses in makeup.

The Haunting (1963) is more effective in this version than in the 1999 version with all of the special effects. You actually never see anything in this film - you just hear the sounds and experience the horror of Julie Harris' character as she stays in a haunted house along with a group of people as part of an experiment framed by a psychiatrist. This is currently available separately as The Haunting

House of Wax (1953) is a remake of a precode version of this same film made in 1933. This 1950's version has both advantages and disadvantages when compared to the precode version. The 1950's version has the advantage of Vincent Price as the mad sculptor and a very young Charles Bronson as his brutish assistant. However, the 1930's version had Glenda Farrell as the brassy newspaper woman trying to solve the case of a bunch of disappearances with Fay Wray as the damsel in distress that the mad doctor has his eye upon. The 1950's version has the damsel in distress as the female lead, with no equivalent to Glenda Farrell in sight. You can compare the two yourself by purchasing House of Wax, which is a double feature including both versions of the film. The color on the 1953 version of this film was very "runny" on the original DVD. Let's hope it's been cleaned up some.

If you're really curious about Warner Horror and can stand to spend just a little bit more, I highly suggest Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection (Doctor X / The Return of Doctor X / Mad Love / The Devil Doll / Mark of the Vampire / The Mask of Fu Manchu). Most of the films have commentary in that collection.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true horror masterpiece 18 April 2002
By Simon Davis - Published on
This film without a doubt is the very best version of the many that have been made of the classic horror story by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Fredric March has the great distinction of being the only actor to win an academy award for best actor for a performanc ein a horror film.
I find this film a real viewing experience, from the superb cast ..Miriam Hopkins yet again proving what a truly wonderful actress she was especially in the scenes when she is literally a prisoner of Hyde's, through to the superb sets and period atmosphere. Although filmed entirely in Hollwood the film reeks with Victorian London atmosphere, from the costumns to the gas lamps, fog etc. I love the film for its look alone but the whole tragic story is brought vividly to life in March's towering potrayal of the dedicated Doctor who interfers in the creation of life. For the time the transformation scenes when he turns into Mr. Hyde are truly remarkable and the look and manner of My Hyde is very scary and quite confronting. March's version is far superior to the Spencer tracey version, fine film that that is as well. March's Hyde has a far more vicious, almost animal quality to it and his physical appearance is much more dramatci as well.
Knowing what a refined actor Fredric March was, his performance as Hyde is incredible and its a very energetic performance as well.
I couldn't fault this fine production, superb in every department. One of the best horror films ever created and with a knockout performance by one of Hollywood's greatest actors Fredric March. Watch this late at night with the curtains pulled shut for extra effect!!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of Its' Time 7 Oct 2005
By Randy Keehn - Published on
I watched Fredric March in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" last night and I was impressed by the quality of this 1931 movie. From the opening scene that takes us from the perspective through the eyes of the main character and then transfers us via a mirror to the camera's perspective, I knew there was talent behind this production. There were a number of other noteworthy scenes including some fantastic shadow imagery during a chase scene and the impressive on-screen transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. I looked up the director, Rouben Mamoulian, and discovered that he has some other noteworthy films to his credit. They include "Laura", "Blood and Sand", and "The Mark of Zorro" but I confess, I hadn't heard of him before. In addition to Mamoulian, a lot of credit goes to the Academy Award-winning preformance of Fredric March. He does well playing the dual roles and giving each one its' own seperate characterization.

Frankly, I got more out of this version of "Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" than any other version I'd seen. I confess that I never read the book but I think I got the purpose of Robert Louis Steveson's novel. Dr. Jekyll is focussed on the idealistic theory that, if we could but chemically seperate the good nature of man from his evil one, the society that would emerge would truly be heaven on Earth. What we discover, along with Dr. Jekyll, is that man speaks of the greatness within but succumbs to the earthly obsessions. The scene in which Jekyll is tempted by a loose woman (played quite ably by Miriam Hopkins) is quite provacative for 1931. In being that provacative, Mamoulian captures our essence as well as Jekyll's and we spend the rest of the movie torn between sympathizing with and rebelling against the good Dr.'s negative transformations.

What kept this movie, for me, a notch below greatness, was the physical makeup of Mr. Hyde. He was certainly hideous in appearance but his hair looked like some sort of bad joke. If it was meant to convey the image of an ape, it succeeded. However, the director had already reached us on a more personal level so I felt that the ape-like crown of Hyde's was contradictory to the message; we have our ugly side but it is still human in nature. Perhaps a minor point but it distracted me every time Hyde emerged.

This movie was truly ahead of its' time. It didn't scare me but it did make me think about a number of things.
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