DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1932) B/W 97m. dir: Rouben Mamoulian
w/Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert, Edgar Norton, Halliwell Hobbes, Arnold Lucy, Tempe Pigott, Col. G.L. McDonnell, Eric Wilton
From The Movie Guide: "Easily the best of the many versions of the [Robert Louis] Stevenson classic [including Victor Fleming's 1941 version]. Although heavily made up as a jagged-toothed simian, March is memory-scarring with his weird body language and fierce posturing as Hyde, in stark contrast to the upright if simpering Jekyll. As Jekyll, courting his unattainable fiancee (Hobart) or tampering with nature and chemistry to create the evil side of his nature in living form, March embodies the essence of gentility. As Hyde, March is truly frightening in his hideous alter ego who taunts and brutalizes a promiscuous barmaid (Hopkins). ...
"March deservedly won an Oscar for his astonishing 'dual' role (shared with Wallace Beery in THE CHAMP), but perhaps the real star of the film is director Mamoulian, whose audacious use of symbolism and careful pacing increase the mystique of this strange story. His heavy use of point-of-view editing is entirely appropriate to the story, and [Karl] Struss's outstanding photography is a marvel to behold.
"Made before the Production Code clampdown in 1934, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE not only uses violence to great effect but also does not shy away from the links between horror and sexuality. During the first transformation scene Mamoulian includes a montage which makes it clear that Hyde represents Jekyll's id, the socially and sexually repressed side of the doctor's psyche. The highly charged scenes between March and Hopkins (who's marvelous as Ivy) are the film's highlights, while those between March and the suitably demure Hobart pale by comparison."
Besides March's Oscar, the film was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (Percy Heath, Samuel Hoffenstein) and Cinematography (Struss).