|Written by:||Valerie Martin (novel), Christopher Hampton (screenplay)|
|Directed by:||Stephen Frears|
|Mary Reilly is a lonely servant in the home of Dr. Henry Jekyll, devoted to her position and her master. Slowly, a gradual friendship between Mary and the doctor begins as well as a growing attraction. However, the household is thrown into turmoil when the master announces he will be getting an assistant. The staff speculate on his employment, as he is never fully seen and remains a mystery.
Mary delivers Jekyll’s breakfast, one day he asks of her scars. She later explains about her abusive father, and how he tortured her with rats when she was young. Jekyll asks a favour of her, and asks her to deliver a letter. It is to a Mrs Farraday, who is turns out is a Madame of a whorehouse. The Madame agrees to accommodate the doctor’s assistant in one of her apartments.
Mary’s curiosity about the assistant causes her to follow him secretly into the doctor’s lab one night, where she witnesses him handing over a cheque for blood money.
When she sees him returning, she hides in the lab as the exit door appears to be locked. She is terrified as Hyde discovers her hiding place but he just throws her a key. The next morning, she finds Jekyll in the yard with a sprained ankle so she helps him back to his room. He asks her more questions about her father.
Early next morning, Jekyll wakes her and asks her to deliver another letter to Mrs Farraday. When she arrives at the brothel, the Madame is furious. She shows Mary the room that has been let to Hyde and it is covered in blood. Mary returns with a blood stained handkerchief of Jekyll’s with a message that Farraday will do what is necessary to cover this up.
While cleaning the library, she finally meets the handsome and enigmatic Edward Hyde. Although initially repelled, Mary soon finds herself drawn towards his passionate nature. He teases her about her father. The next day, when delivering Jekyll’s breakfast, she is cross with him for breaking her confidence. He apologises for his assistant, and asks her to accompany Hyde on an errand. They visit the slaughterhouse yard where there is blood and entrails everywhere. When they return with the organs that the doctor requires for his research, Hyde again torments Mary, asking if she is aware of how much Jekyll longs to touch her. He instructs her to fetch tea, but on the way she answers the door to Mrs Farraday. She insists on seeing Jekyll and so Mary takes her through to the lab.
Jekyll is there, but not at all pleased to see Farraday. She demands more money for her continued silence. Mary leaves them alone, but while she is out watering the garden, she notices the lights in the lab go out. Investigating, she discovers nothing but a small pool of blood on the theater table.
While cleaning in Jekyll’s study, Hyde again corners her, but apologises for his earlier rudeness. He then crushes a tea cup, cutting his hand quite badly. When asked later by Poole about the broken crockery, she confesses taking all the blame. The next time she delivers the doctor’s breakfast, he said he knows she lied, as he knows that it was not her fault.
Later she receives a letter, informing her that her mother has passed away. When she went to her mother’s dwelling to visit the body, the landlord says he has sold her belongings in order to recoup outstanding rent. Mary states she wants to give her mother a proper burial and goes out into the fog to find a funereal parlor.
She is grabbed in an alley by Hyde who is being chased by mounted police. He hides behind her as they rush by. He thanks her for being in the right place at the right time, kisses her then leaves. When she returns to the house, she is greeted by a policeman who shows her into the dining room where she is questioned by a detective in connection to a recent murder. He asks if she has seen Hyde in the last 24 hours, to which she lies and says no. When she meets Jekyll later, he said she should not have risked so much and lied for Hyde. He said he has given him money to disappear.
Mary buries her mother, but as she leaves the cemetery she is confronted by her father who pleads with her to meet with him occasionally claiming that he is terminally ill. She refuses and leaves him behind.
When delivering the usual breakfast, she is surprised to discover Hyde in the doctor’s bed. She tries to get away to raise the alarm, but he stops her. Hyde then reveals to her his true nature. He explains that the doctor injects himself with a serum, a cure for his depression, and that Hyde is the resulting cure. He in turn injects the ‘antidote’ to resume being Jekyll. He said that he now has the ability to appear without the aid of Jekyll’s serum.
Hyde releases her, and she joins her colleagues in the kitchen for breakfast. They are interrupted by Jekyll who orders Poole to take a sample of a potion to the chemists and ask them to analyse it. He is to wait until they are successful as this is a matter of life and death. Mary realises that Jekyll is talking about the antidote. She helps him back to the lab and asks if what Hyde told her is true. He is surprised she had not guessed. Unfortunately, Poole returns unsuccessful.
Mary packs her things to leave, but on her way out, she decides to stop by the lab. Hyde is there and grabs her, smashing bottles all around. He holds a knife to her throat but something prevents him from killing her.
He injects himself with the antidote, and Mary is forced to witness the horrific transformation between one man to the other. Jekyll reveals that Hyde has mixed a poison with the antidote. Mary asks if this is some form of revenge against Jekyll, but he insists that is a release. He then dies in Mary’s arms.
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