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Mary Reilly

Julia Roberts , John Malkovich , Stephen Frears    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Stephen Frears reunites with the production talents who made the tempting Dangerous Liaisons for this new look at the infamous Dr. Jekyll (a deft John Malkovich). Instead of being in the laboratory where the good doctor unlocks his evil twin, we stay in the mansion overlooking the lab. An inquisitive, proper maid, Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) slowly becomes Dr. Jekyll's confidant. Rather than a horror story, the film is a spooky mystery that keeps us in the dark, and what a wonderful dark Frears and his designers have fashioned. Roberts carries the movie, digging deep for her best dramatic work to date. Though some may wish she'd show more passion, she holds her emotions appropriately in check. The movie faced considerable, well-documented troubles, including the reshooting of several scenes months after the initial production. This probably affected the finale, which has little impact and nearly ruins a good thing. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars i may be in the minority with my opinion Oct. 24 2007
By falcon
Format:DVD
i admit,it has been awhile since i've seen this movie.however,i still
believe i can write an informed review on it.the reason is simple-Julia
Roberts.Julia Plays the title role,a housekeeper for Dr.Henry
Jekyl.John Malkovich plays Dr.Jekyll.of course where Dr.Jekyll is
Mr.Hyde(his alter ego) is never far behind.John Malkovich is very good
as Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde.Julia Roberts,on the other hand feels miscast
in the tile role.but it's not her acting that's a problem.it's the fact
that she seems to slip in and out of the Irish accent fairly frequently
during the course of the movie.this was so distracting,it took away any
positives from the film.i also felt at the time that Roberts did not
have the depth required for the role.if it wasn't for those two
issues,Mary Reilly could have been a very good movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Film! June 20 2004
Format:DVD
I don't really understand what everyone is talking about when referring to Ms. Robert's performance. I thought it was exceptional. It was nice to see her stretch. Anyway Malkovich was fantastic! This story was great and I thought it was well executed on film. Close had an interesting role also and I loved hearing her accent. See this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing... June 7 2004
Format:DVD
This movie should have been a LOT better than it turned out to be! One can imagine the meeting at the producer's office at which it was pitched: "OK! We're going to retell the story of
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde... only from the point of view of Dr. Jeckyll's maid, Mary Reilly! Let's get Julia Roberts in the title role and John Malkovich to play Jekyll and Hyde!" Sounds like a winner, no?
No!
One is never quite sure who is to blame for all the missed opportunities here; whether the studio wanted to make one film and the director another, or whether director Stephen Frears just made bad choices, but this movie never quite jells. Indecision seems to plague it at almost every turn. When it should be scarey, it settles for being merely creepy. When it should be creepy, it is merely weird. When it should be suspenseful, it goes conventional.
Julia Roberts seems more constrained in this picture than Winnona Rider and Sadie Frost do in their corsets in "Bram Stoker's Dracula." She stays in her "wounded bird" persona throughout the entire film. The trouble is we are given no preamble to explain why should be that way, and no development to explain why she should stay that way.
John Malkovich, ever the unconventional actor, makes an astounding choice with his character, choosing to play Dr. Jekyll
not as the obsessed mad scientist we're so familiar with, but as a doomed Byronic romantic. His Mr. Hyde is just the flip side of that doomed romanticism, blatently sexual, full of spontaneous, unrestrained libido. It's a brilliant choice. If
Frears had picked up this cue and run with it, we would have had an interesting film about the "fallen angel syndrome" which has been the bane of the dating scene for the last 50 years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HEARTILY DAAAAAARK! May 22 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
ONE of the BLEAKEST films ever made about this subject - practically in black and white [nice touch] hi-lighting the splashes of vermillion - and bright red blood! [Especially the lipgloss used by Glen Close as the 'madam' with a scar instead of lips ..... nasty and memorable piece of work .... uses them like switchblades ...]
HOWEVER, considering a triple bill - this one fits snugly into the 'OTHERS' and 'FROM HELL' - with a gentle bow in the direction of 'The Innocents'.
JULIA ROBERTS shines as the maid - much maligned and mistreated - only to end up in this house of horror - emotional horror that is shown in vivid flashback [Mary's childhood], etc - our dear Charles Dickens was never this explicit about the chauvinistic society of the Victorian ear .... especially the mistreatment of women and children .... chattel?
THE TALE weaves itself around the going on of the dear Doctor and his depraved ['what literally lies beneath'] alter ego - and this rather odd somewhat sado-masochistic [perhaps ala 'Nightcomers'] evolves around Mary, The Doctor and Mr. Hyde ....
VERY CREEPY STUFF - especially the swinging gangways between the lab. and the house ... excellent art direction and costuming ... but incredibly creepy stuff .....
Similar to DANGEROUS LIASONS - this movie literally becomes darker, and darker as it progresses .... a hidden JULIA ROBERTS/JOHN MALKOVICH treasure - worth visiting!
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5.0 out of 5 stars HEARTILY DAAAAAARK! May 22 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
ONE of the BLEAKEST films ever made about this subject - practically in black and white [nice touch] hi-lighting the splashes of vermillion - and bright red blood! [Especially the lipgloss used by Glen Close as the 'madam' with a scar instead of lips ..... nasty and memorable piece of work .... uses them like switchblades ...]
HOWEVER, considering a triple bill - this one fits snugly into the 'OTHERS' and 'FROM HELL' - with a gentle bow in the direction of 'The Innocents'.
JULIA ROBERTS shines as the maid - much maligned and mistreated - only to end up in this house of horror - emotional horror that is shown in vivid flashback [Mary's childhood], etc - our dear Charles Dickens was never this explicit about the chauvinistic society of the Victorian ear .... especially the mistreatment of women and children .... chattel?
THE TALE weaves itself around the going on of the dear Doctor and his depraved ['what literally lies beneath'] alter ego - and this rather odd somewhat sado-masochistic [perhaps ala 'Nightcomers'] evolves around Mary, The Doctor and Mr. Hyde ....
VERY CREEPY STUFF - especially the swinging gangways between the lab. and the house ... excellent art direction and costuming ... but incredibly creepy stuff .....
Similar to DANGEROUS LIASONS - this movie literally becomes darker, and darker as it progresses .... a hidden JULIA ROBERTS/JOHN MALKOVICH treasure - wprth visiting!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars FORGET ERIN, MARY DESERVED OSCAR!!!
I recently purchased this movie on DVD. It is a remarkable film. ALL the actors are fantastic. The Julia Roberts character is so interesting; timid but not really, loyal and... Read more
Published on May 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars It forces us to recognize our own Dr.Jekylls and Mr.Hydes
This is the 10th time that i just finished watching the movie! I cant help it but watching again and again! Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by "meryweather"
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Roberts at her best
Very atmospheric and compelling film. Jeckyll & Hyde seen through the eyes of young victorian house maid Mary Reilly, Julia Roberts in a perfect role. Read more
Published on April 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Must See Movie
As a fan of what I have heard called gothic novels - Bronte, Dickens, etc. - I have got to put in a word for this movie. This is a phenomenal movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Jennifer B. Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Roberts- different but GREAT!!
this was a different part for Julia Roberts, but I have to admit, she pulled it off!! I think she did great, this was a awsome movie. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia deserved an Oscar
I have come across many films with Julia Roberts, but I didn't find any of the films (nor Julia's performances) very notable or memorable, not even Erin Brokovich. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Gothic Romance
This film got panned at it's release, but the critics were unfairly hard on it. They had no understanding of the Gothic Romance genre and had obviously never read the original... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Be nice, she's not that bad!
I have to disagree with the critique of Ms. Robert's acting. It's been criticized before as "blah," wooden or uninspired. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003
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