Monday, December 15, 2008

Universal Monsters: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Eh, I just can't stop with these "Universal Monsters" posters , even when it isn't a "Universal Monster"!

As a fan of those Universal Monster movies from the 30s and 40s, it always sorta bugged me that Universal never did a version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, the one classic literary monster that's on the same par with Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, etc.

I guess that's because MGM did a a version in 1931 (which is the one reflected here--it even won Frederic March an Oscar for his performance) and then did another one (with Spencer Tracy, less well-received) in 1941, so maybe Universal never felt like they had enough time to make a mark with their own version.

In any case, I felt like it would be fun to graft the 1931 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde into the Universal Monsters poster framework I had built, as if at some point down the line they got the rights to it and released with the rest of their classic monster movies.

I debated for a while how to portray the Jekyll/Hyde persona--have them both as the main monster? When I realized that would make things way too crowded, I decided the obviously right way to do it was focus on the monster--Hyde--and have Jekyll as a co-star, even if March spends way more time being Jekyll than Hyde in the film.

Like I mentioned before, I'm always a little concerned about watering down my collection of Classic Monster Posters, because they are by far the most popular work I have done, and I don't like to add one to the roster if I don't think its as good as the rest--but I think this one came out really well, and I'm happy to add it to the collection.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Yes, I too have wondered how Universal would have treated this story. I think Claude Rains would be the best actor for this role. As Larry Talbot's father, one can imagine him as Dr. Jekyll and as the Invisible Man he can be imagined as Mr. Hyde. Excellent job on the poster btw.