|Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde|
DVD Cover Art
|Directed by||David Price|
|Produced by||Jerry Leider|
Frank K. Isaac (Co-producer)
|Written by||David Price (story and screenplay)|
Oliver Butcher (screenplay)
|Music by||Mark McKenzie|
|Cinematography||Tom Priestley Jr.|
|Edited by||Tony Lombardo|
|Distributed by||Savoy Pictures (USA)|
Rank Organisation (International)
|Box office||$3,039,634 (USA and UK)|
Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde is a 1995 British-Canadian-American comedy film starring Tim Daly, Sean Young and Lysette Anthony. The film is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic 1886 horror novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story takes place in modern times and concerns a bumbling chemist who tampers with his great-grandfather's formula, accidentally transforming himself into a beautiful businesswoman who is hellbent on taking over his life.
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Dr. Richard Jacks (Tim Daly) is a perfumer working at a major fragrance company. His projects have failed and the chief executive, Mrs. Unterveldt (Polly Bergen), is thinking of replacing him with a woman. After his great-grandfather dies, Richard attends the will reading. He receives nothing but notes from scientific experiments and discovers that his ancestor was Dr. Henry Jekyll. He then decides to add more estrogen to a mixture that Jekyll was working on in the hope that it will prove less dangerous. Monitoring his vital stats after ingesting the formula, Richard gives up and attends a job interview.
Although everything appears normal at first, Richard's voice begins to crack, his fingernails grow long and the hairs on his arms recede into his skin. He then feels a strange sensation in his groin area and watches in horror as his manhood disappears. Then, his head hair grows long and he starts to develop breasts. Embarrassed, Richard flees back to the lab, where the final stages of the transformation into a woman take place. The new female alter-ego (Sean Young) names herself Helen Hyde and introduces herself as Richard's new assistant. She rewrites his reports, is kind to his secretary, flirts with his superiors, Yves Dubois (Harvey Fierstein) and Oliver Mintz (Stephen Tobolowsky) and rewards herself with a shopping spree. Later, Helen meets and befriends Richard's fiancée, Sarah (Lysette Anthony), and convinces her to move out of his apartment just so she can have it for herself.
The next day, after several comments from colleagues, Richard realizes that Helen was real but is unable to access any of her memories. Nonetheless, he feels invigorated and invites Sarah to his place for a romantic meal. Everything appears to be going well until he realizes he is transforming into Helen again, causing Sarah to flee in confusion. Helen becomes resentful at having to share a body. She disfigures one of Richard's colleagues, Pete (Jeremy Piven), and steals his ideas. She even attempts to seduce Oliver. Just when they are about to have sex, she starts changing back into Richard and hides in the bathroom and escapes via a nearby window. Due to her flirting with Oliver, Helen is named Richard's superior at work. To stop her, Richard handcuffs himself to the bed, only to be horrified as Sarah walks in and finds his closet to be full of lingerie. This leads Sarah to believe that he and Helen are having an affair.
Helen then has a private meeting with Dubois and Mintz presenting "Indulge", the perfume she stole from Richard. It is during this meeting that she fondles the crotches of both men with her hosed feet at the same time under the table, in order to persuade them. She then sleeps with Dubois shortly after he confronts her about her false resume. Helen then warns Richard via video of her intentions to take over completely. Richard realizes that he is actually starting to spend more time as Helen than himself. He tries to humiliate Helen in front of her superiors by stripping naked and writing obscenities all over his body, hoping that they will walk in after he turns into her. Helen manages to outsmart Richard by delaying the transformation, causing his plan to backfire and him to be fired.
Sarah is finally convinced by seeing CCTV security footage from the initial transformation. Richard comes up with a formula that would effectively destroy the female part of himself, but he must consume it as Helen within a certain time frame. To avoid letting her escape, Richard handcuffs his hands and straps his feet to a bed. After he transforms, Sarah attempts to inject Helen with the formula but fails--injecting only about 20% of it, causing random body parts to spontaneously transform between male and female. A fire breaks out in the apartment and Helen manages to escape.
At the launch of Indulge, the perfume she stole from Richard, Helen steals a guest's dress. As she mingles, the effects of the formula cause her to temporarily grow stubble; her breasts also disappear and reappear. Sarah, who sneaked into the party, hides in a podium and waits until the promotion video starts before injecting the rest of the formula into Helen, who changes back into Richard for good. Relieved, he realizes it's over but sees that he's now standing in a room full of colleagues wearing a dress. Richard makes a speech about how the only way he could understand a woman was to become one. He then is offered a promotion as well as a vacation, which he accepts. As he removes the undergarments, he comments "Helen and her damn thongs" before heading out with Sarah.
The film received a 14% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film was nominated for three Razzie Awards including Worst Actress for Sean Young, Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screen Couple for Daly and Young. It was also nominated for Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy at the 1995 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards.
"At an age when she should be hitting her stride," wrote film critic Mick LaSalle, "she is already parodying herself -- parodying her public image, of all things, not her screen image...It's just possible that schlock is Young's natural element and roles like this her true calling". Hugo Davenport in the Daily Telegraph said, "Apart from being a travesty of Stevenson, it is so crass, witless and misogynistic that it makes "Confessions of a Window Cleaner" look like Dostoevsky".
A review from The Austin Chronicle summarized the film by saying, "Overall, this PG-13 bore is neither crass enough nor intelligent enough to hold anyone's attention."
After its theatrical run, HBO Video released the film onto VHS and Laserdisc. It was released on DVD in 2004.