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Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde (1971)

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poster image courtesy hammerhorrorposters.com


Status: In Release

Category: Film

Release date: October 17, 1971 (UK - Theatrical)

Genre: Gothic Horror

Country of origin: UK

Language: English

Running time: 97 mins

Directed by: Roy Ward Baker

Written by: Brian Clemens

Produced by: Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

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In foggy London Dr Jekyll experiments on newly deceased women determined to discover an elixir for immortal life. Success enables his spectacular transformation into the beautiful but psychotic Sister Hyde who stalks the dark alleys of Whitechapel for young, innocent, female victims, ensuring continuation of the bloodstained research. With each transformation Sister Hyde becomes the more dominant personality, determined to eventually suppress the frail, ineffectual Dr Jekyll forever....

"Dr. Jekyll and SISTER Hyde?"

Come, come. Haven't we got things mixed up a bit? Aren't we getting the title of Robert Louis Stevenson's horror classic mangled?
Well, yes, we are. But that, you see, is where the original -highly original- bit comes in.
Producers Albert Fennell and Brian Clemens are ringing a startling change on an old and much filmed theme.
Instead of Stevenson's kindly Dr. Jekyll changing into a monster called Mr. Hyde in their new film he turns into a nubile she. Hence the title of the Hammer Films horror subject "DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE".
The idea was Brian Clemens's who suddenly dreamed it up one day, jotted it down on the back of an old envelope and offered it as a subject to Sir James Carreras, head of Hammer Films.
Sir James though it was a splendid idea and immediately gave Fennell and Clemens the go ahead to make a film of the subject. So Clemens got down to the job of freely adapting the Stevenson novel.
The result will be that for the first time ON screen an actual sex change, bit by bit, will be seen. Just how it is done is a jealously guarded secret of EMI-MGM Elstree Studios. But it's an effect that will startle.
That fine actor Ralph Bates was chosen to play Dr. Jekyll and when the Sister Hyde bit comes in beautiful actress Martine Beswick takes over.
Of her role in the film, Miss Beswick has this to say: "Sister Hyde is incredibly, blatantly sexy; loves men, revels in being a woman. That's how we all dream of being. Every woman's fantasy is to be a wife in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. Any girl who denies that is lying."
Outspoken words; forthright words. But then, Martine Beswick is a forthright young lady.
In the film of "DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE" the sex change will be shown twice - once when Ralph Bates turns into Martine Beswick and again when he turns back.
Says Brian Clemens: "If we didn't do this we think the audience would consider themselves cheated!"

- article taken from the original UK pressbook prepared by Anglo EMI Film Distributors


Released on DVD in the UK by Optimum Home Releasing on 5 April 2010
Released on DVD in the US by Anchor Bay on 20 November 2001. Now deleted.


12 June 2010, Brian Clemens made OBE

Veteran screenwriter Brian Clemens has been appointed OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's birthday honours list, for services to broadcasting...





11 Aug 2013, 10:25pm

Bates is really good in this good to see him centre stage.