Just about gone are the days of Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and their good old-fashioned horror pictures. Occasionally one of them crops up again with a week-kneed off-shoot of Frankenstein, but every effort fails to recapture the mood. Originally, Stevenson's "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" was one of the standout pictures of this melodramatic school; in today's guise, it is merely another problem in psychology.
Spencer Tracy takes up the task of portraying the famous dual personality without the help of more than a few pounds of make-up, and relies upon mugging and histrionics to do the rest. His is the case of a man trying to take some of the duties of the divine into his own hands. As Jekyll and Hyde, he proves his point about the portions of good and evil in the human system, but pays the supreme sacrifice for his presumption. With more than his ordinary zeal for a part, perhaps too much. Tracy nevertheless does a thoroughly good job. Lana Turner, as the love in his life, shows less of herself (than heretofore) and more acting ability than none at all (as heretofore.) In grid Bergman, however, is really good.
"Father Takes a Wife" is certainly the lesser half of the double bill qualitatively and qualitatively. For some strange reason. Gloria Swanson has been restored to the screen, but she should stood where she was.