Hyde and Stein

Yup. While I haven’t seen a direct acknowledgement (and, admitted I haven’t looked very hard) the Jekyll and Hyde musical is based on the 1931 film version of the story. The version for which Fredric March won an Oscar. The plot descriptions I’ve found online for the movie match the plot of the musical. The film is supposed to be quite good and rather livelier than the adaptations of Frankenstein and Dracula that came out the same year.

And speaking of Frankenstein, I’ve started reading the Barry Moser illustrated edition. He apparently chose to illustrate the 1818 text. I’ve read somewhere that Mary Shelley rewrote the story after its initial publication. Out of curiousity I checked my Berni Wrightson illustrated edition and discovered that it’s a different version. So I looked around and yes, there’s an 1831 version. So that’s probably what Wrightson used. I doubt if I’ll take the time to thoroughly read this later text – I’m enjoying myself but not to the point of looking forward to plunging back in again very soon after I’m done.

I’m about half way through. It’s easy to imagine the story as a silent film with all the stereotypical overdramatic acting. Frankenstein is a big drama queen prone to fits of melancholy and collapsing in despair and guilt. Justine has been hanged for a murder she didn’t commit and Frankenstein is all despondant and remorseful. Gaah. He has the wit to fashion an artificial human (this version isn’t exactly specific about what he uses in the construction – parts of human corpses is implied but using animal parts or even mechanical substitutes is possible) and yet he can’t think to lie to help an innocent person? He knows that no one would believe him if he told the truth (“A thing I raised from the dead killed my brother!”) but there are certainly a few stories he could have told that might have helped Justine (“I made a horrible enemy in Ingolstadt who swore revenge against me and my family!”). Instead he feels bad. Idiot.