Experiment in Evil

1959 [FRENCH]

Action / Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100% · 6 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 1269 1.3K


Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
875.14 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
Seeds 11
1.59 GB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
Seeds 16
884.14 MB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 36 min
Seeds 4
1.6 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 36 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by LobotomousMonk 8 / 10

Cordelier and Regle

There is a quasi-prologue to introduce Cordelier, which goes a long way to connecting this TV-based production with other self-reflexive films Renoir made late in his career. Space is not explored or constructed in the same was as films like M. Lange or Regle while a lack of mobile framing maintains psychological identification with the characters. There is deep space, but not deep staging as the camera frames long corridors and archways but not groups of characters within the settings. There are situations where groups of townspeople move around together but it is a group held together tenuously and usually motivated by reactions to an event. The women in the building knew of Opale but found no reason to report his odd behavior underscoring that the milieu is very different from that of Lange, Illusion, Fonds or Regle. Some of the performances suffer from affectation which tends to diminish the impact of the Barrault roles. Dr. Cordelier has a moment while reading the newspaper where the audience is privy to an internal monologue - heightening the psychological dimensions of the narrative. There is some splattering of the famous Renoir stylistics when the doctor's party is thrown and later when the collective of workers attempt to stop Opale. Yet, soon after a flashback sequence puts things right back into the realm of the psychological (theatrical) as opposed to the social (realist). The themes of sexual perversion are somewhat muted (or perhaps they require a more 'European eye' to appreciate). The freedom that Cordelier experiences through subscribing to chaos has interesting political implications. In some manner, I feel that Cordelier is one of Renoir's more clearly political films. The narrative frame returns Renoir to the screen and the storyworld diegetic. The compulsion of the nature of humanity (quest of soul will be punished but will be freedom) echoes the true significance of a film like Regle - these films are connected philosophically, if not also thematically. Cordelier is well worth watching for the dynamic combination of Renoir and Barrault using the multiple camera shooting system. There is an even flow to the storytelling that renders the text engaging.

Reviewed by Cineanalyst 7 / 10

Interesting Adaptation

This is an interesting adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", made for television by Jean Renoir, although late in his career--after his most acclaimed masterpieces. For this adaptation, the names are changed (from Jekyll and Hyde to Cordelier and Opale, most importantly), and it takes place in a modern Parisian setting, but compared to other adaptations, especially the three Hollywood movies, it's more faithful to the original novella. The original mystery is retained. If one weren't familiar with the Jekyll and Hyde story, this version would actually be surprising, especially with the name changes and new setting. Furthermore, Mr. Utterson (here as Mr. Joly), the narrator of the novella, is reassigned his original purpose here, after being ignored in most screen versions.

There are alterations, though. The narrative is made linear, as in most adaptations. And, director Jean Renoir makes his own alterations, occasionally suggesting the alterations made for plays, which were sustained in the 1920, 1931 and 1941 films, such as one scene that gives Hyde an apartment and the female victim for his animalistic sadism. That wasn't in the book, occupies only one scene in this film, but was the focus of the 1941 Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman version. As well, I especially like Renoir's addition of an audio testament.

The absence of special effects for the metamorphoses (here, really only one) is simple and refreshingly inconspicuous, with Jean-Louis Barrault assuming the fetal position while camera positions are changed, instead. Additionally, Joseph Kosma's light music during Opale's scenes is a nice touch. And, Barrault gives an interesting interpretation of Hyde, moving limply and dance-like. The over-sized clothes are a nice remnant from the novella, too. Overall, it's an interesting adaptation. My favorite Jekyll and Hyde version is the 1931 film, but because of its use of the camera; as far as narrative trasmutations, this is the best that I've seen.

(Note: White subtitling was a poor choice for the print I saw; they were sometimes illegible.)

Reviewed by galensaysyes 9 / 10

The best "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

This is the only version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" that enables the viewer to watch the story as if it were new. It's the only one in which the fantastic events proceed from commonplace surroundings: it's set contemporaneously and shot like a documentary program. It's also the only one in which the two characters are believably distinct: one would never guess that the fussy, ascetic Jekyll and the careless, garish Hyde could be the same man. It's the only version that makes clear Jekyll's hypocrisy, which was the point Stevenson was emphasizing and which I never understood before: what Jekyll's friend can't understand--the reason Jekyll blocks the investigation of Hyde's crimes--is not that the criminal has some hold over him, but that he himself is the criminal and is protecting his own good name. Barrault's make-up as Hyde is rudimentary compared to the elaborately gruesome make-ups of the other versions, but what he makes of the character is far more meaningful. This Hyde is comic until he turns violent; he's a cross between Chaplin's tramp, a juvenile delinquent of the 50's, and an aboriginal--figures that can all be seen as embodiments of anarchy. He does exactly as his impulses compel him. Jekyll does the same--but while his patients are anesthetized, so they won't know. This version of "Jekyll", without special effects or filmic style and in modern dress, is the only serious one. I think Stevenson would have respected it.

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