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Favorite "Alter-ego" Movie


pintorini
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From Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) to Batman Begins (2005), films have long featured alter-egos as central characters. The expression "alter ego," from the Latin phrase for "other I," sometimes refers to an alternate psyche, a secondary personality in one's body that is masked by one's usual public persona. On the other hand, the term "alter ego" sometimes refers to a single personality manifested in two or more distinct bodies, persons, and/or entities. For example, it is sometimes said that the title character in Dickens's novel David Copperfield is the "alter ego" of the author himself.

 

Unsurprisingly, movies featuring alter egos often fall within the horror, mystery, and science fiction genres. Alter egos can, however, be found in mainstream movies of all types. For example, in the 1959 movie Pillow Talk, Rock Hudson, wishing to seduce Doris Day but painfully aware that she despises him, invents a gentlemanly alter ego in the hope of luring Ms. Day to his boudoir.

 

Do you have a favorite movie featuring alter ego characters??? If so, please share.

 

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I think one of the best alter egos would be Harvey. I always felt the rabbit was what Elwood really wanted to be (personality wise).

 

The most frightening one, however, would be 'The Picture of Dorian Grey'. That's probably the best alter ego of all time. All of a man's bad traits go into a picture instead of his real life.

 

Anne

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I like two British variants on the Jekyll-Hyde theme. "I, Monster" has Christopher Lee as the Dr. Jekyll character. Interestingly, when he first transforms, he doesn't look that different, but he becomes (and acts) more monstrous with each subsequent transformation to "Hyde."

 

Roy Ward Baker's "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde" is extremely clever, combining all the "Victorian dualism" stories like Jekyll/Hyde, the Body Snatchers, Jack the Ripper and Dorian Gray into one big ball.

 

I think the John Barrymore version of "Jekyll/Hyde" is probably the best one Hollywood did. "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is fun, and it is interesting to see the elderly Karloff as J/H. He seems much more deliberate about turning into a monster than the role is usually played.

 

Karloff made a British film "The Haunted Strangler" in which he was a criminologist who didn't know he was a murderer. (I haven't seen it.)

 

"Hangover Square" is a great film with Laird Cregar as a pianist who commits murders when he blacks out.

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> I wonder why the names are like they are. George

> Sanders is fine, but then you have Hatfield Hurd, and

> Reed Donna. Isn't that odd?

 

Or "Hatfield Reed" and "Hurd Donna," depending on how you read it! :) Isn't that strange? I guess the Yugoslavian poster designer wasn't very familiar with English names! (*giggles*) Still ... I think it's the best possible art for a "Dorian Gray" poster. I love how the people are gazing at the horrific portrait of Gray.

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Alter-ego film? Hmmm... I'm embarrassed but I always loved the Batman films. My favorite being with Val Kilmer (I know, I'm sad). But I always remember watching Batman Returns as a child and thinking it was so scary! Left a lasting image in my head of carnivals. I'll never look at another clown the same.

 

Great thread.

 

bhf1940

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I liked the first two "Batman" movies. I even liked the second one better than the first. Not only did Batman have two natures, but so did Catwoman, and I liked their doomed romance. I can't believe how people really slammed "Batman Returns." They cried it was too dark for a toy with happy-meal tie-ins. Then some grad students wrote an article claiming the movie (with its German Expressionism borrowings) was really anti-Semitic. Gee, folks, it is just a movie.

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"The Bad Seed" and "Psycho" come to mind.

Another movie (one of my all time faves) comes to mind...I don't know that it fits the "alter-ego" category. It's Robert Altman's "Three Women" with Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall and Janice Rule. It's a dreamy, spooky character study of three women who (SPOILER ALERT) "merge into one."

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pintorini,

 

Just a guess, but I bet the crossed eyed guy in the painting was asked about name placement on the poster, e.g. "Hatfield Reed" and "Hurd Donna".

 

benwhowell...the movie you mentioned, "Three Women", sounds interesting. I plan to find and rent the Altman movie.

 

Rusty

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"Another movie (one of my all time faves) comes to mind...I don't know that it fits the 'alter-ego' category. It's Robert Altman's 'Three Women' with Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall and Janice Rule. It's a dreamy, spooky character study of three women who (SPOILER ALERT) 'merge into one.'"

 

Interesting. I thought of another polyfemale movie: the Powell/Pressburger movie of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman, wherein Olympia, Stella (both played by Moira Shearer), Antonia and and Giulietta are all aspects of one woman.

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The posts about poly-female movies remind me that I have now tried to record The Three Faces of Eve twice to no avail; technology failed me both times. The first time my cable went on the fritz, the second time TiVo recorded the wrong channel. :( Maybe it isn't meant to be.

 

3s2ges: I will definitely have to check out The Scarlett Pimpernel--I like Leslie Howard a lot!!!

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