Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman headline this screen version of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale, directed by Gone with the Wind and Wizard of Oz legend Victor Fleming. Tracy stars as Dr. Jekyll, a scientist who downs an experimental elixir that transforms him into a monstrous alter-ego, Mr. Hyde. Lana Turner co-stars as Jekyll's fiancée, and Bergman as Eva, the woman who captures his heart. A film steeped in heavy Freudian symbolism, this production also tries something unusual by relying largely on Tracy's shift in facial mannerisms (in lieu of heavy make-up) to convey the personality change. As a result, the movie manages to place a much stronger emphasis on emotions than on the terror of physical mutation. Neither critics nor audiences bought it: the film fell prey to critical castigation when it hit movie screens in mid-August 1941, with many indicating that they vastly prefer the 1931 Rouben Mamoulian/Fredric March version. Still, this one has its defenders.
by Nathan Southern synopsis