Thursday, October 1, 2015

MIRIAM HOPKINS GETS A LEG UP ON DR. JEKYLL


Released on the last day of December, 1931, Rouben Mamoulian's DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE thrilled audiences with its startling, pre-code scenes of violence, lust and sexual seduction.

Miriam Hopkins played the role of Ivy Pearson, a music hall barmaid/prostitute who becomes the object of Mr. Hyde's brutal affections. In one of the more salacious scenes, Dr. Jekyll, knowing that his alter ego is tormenting her, visits Ivy to console her. Ivy respnds by attempting to seduce the Good Doctor before they are interrupted by Jekyll's colleague. The scene ends with a shot of Ivy sitting on the edge of her bed, wrapped in a bed sheet with enough showing to indicate she is clearly nude under it, and bouncing her gartered leg in what is generally considered symbolic of sexual desire. Later releases of the film would have eight minutes of footage removed.

With a subtitle of "Weird", Hopkins is shown here pictured as Ivy in a spread for PICTURE PLAY magazine's January, 1932 issue. The photos are presumed to be by Gordon Head, stills photographer on the film. The page includes an inset of the movie's second leading lady, Rose Hobart. Between the two, however, it is Ivy's sexy/tragic character and images that are always remembered.


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