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The Son of Dr. Jekyll

The Son of Dr. Jekyll(1951)

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According to copyright records and reviews, the film includes a prologue which begins after "Dr. Jekyll" has murdered his wife in the guise of "Mr. Hyde." The sequence shows Jekyll being killed by a mob. "Utterson" and "Lanyon" then take responsibility to rear the orphaned infant "Edward." The prologue was not in the print viewed, which begins with Edward as an adult.
       According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, United Artists producer Charles R. Rogers brought The Son of Dr. Jekyll to Columbia, but the picture was released without a producer credit and Rogers' contribution to the final film has not been determined. Hollywood Reporter also reported that early in October 1951, Columbia removed writer Edward Huebsch's name from the credits for a press screening. Huebsch had reportedly fled to Mexico at that time to avoid being served a subpoena by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Columbia contacted the Screen Writers Guild to act on a waiver on Huebsch's screenplay credit, but the Guild refused under the rules of the organization. The print screened contained Huebsch's credit, and it has not been determined whether Columbia ever distributed prints without the writing credit. According to modern sources, once HUAC declared that avoiding subpoenas was not illegal, Huebsch returned to the U.S., but was blacklisted.
       Although the writing credits make no acknowledgment of a literary source, the character of Dr. Henry Jekyll was taken from Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The novella has been used as the basis of several films, including Paramount's 1932 picture Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40); and the 1941 M-G-M film of the same title, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Spencer Tracy (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50).