Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Retrospective

Mary Reilly

An adaptation of the now-classic story of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, told from the perspective of one of the original novel's minor characters:

19th-century England. Mary Reilly is a young woman working in the household of the wealthy doctor Henry Jekyll. The busy Dr. Jekyll barely registers this polite, reserved woman until one day he notices scars on her arms and develops a peculiar interest in her. […]

A tacit understanding – something akin to affection – soon develops between Mary and the assiduous, rather cold doctor. […] But then Mary is witness to some very strange occurrences. It all begins when Dr. Jekyll announces to his household staff that he has hired an assistant, Mr. Hyde […]. Yet hardly anyone in the house ever gets to see the increasingly uncanny guest […]. That Dr. Jekyll enters his laboratory late at night and horrifying screams can be heard shortly afterwards also puzzles Mary. And what is the meaning of the blood-soaked handkerchief she finds in Jekyll's rooms? […]

The mystery is solved when Mary finally meets Mr. Hyde. She sees a certain resemblance between him and Dr. Jekyll, but Hyde is unkempt, far more energetic ... and attractive. After a horrible crime is committed […], Mary makes a decision based on her common sense and her feelings: although she has served Dr. Jekyll she will now have to stand by Mr. Hyde...



Translated from: Dokumentation der 46. Internationalen Filmfestpiele Berlin 1996

USA / United Kingdom 1994-96, 109 min

by

Stephen Frears

with

Julia Roberts
John Malkovich
George Cole