The Curse of Frankenstein

1957

Terence Fisher
Director
Hammer Films
Studio
Warner Brothers
US Distributor

A radical doctor conducts experiments to cheat death with the aid of assorted cadavers.

The film that put the Hammer studio firmly on the map with its gruesome technicolour updates of the old classic horrors played (mostly) straight by no-nonsense actors notably Cushing and Lee.

-The Sloth

Masterful retelling of Mary Shelley's classic tale of science gone wrong that reset the waning horror genre and made the name of Hammer and the teaming of Cushing and Lee forces to be reckoned with.

A surprisingly ghoulish tale for its time; some of the Baron's actions are still shocking in their calculated lack of morality. The only real detriment is the character of Krempe, who tiresomely moralizes and pulls disgusted faces at Cushing's work, but does nothing to stop it until it's too late. The fact that Urquhart doesn't visably age while Victor grows from gormless Melvyn Hayes into taciturn Peter Cushing doesn't particularly help! The whole subplot with Elizabeth is a trifle unnecessary as well.

Other than those minor quibbles, a classic that spawned a veritable horde of sequels, some much more worthy than others. Leakey's makeup is excellent; the creature looks much more the abomination that Shelley described than the Universal version, and Lee brings as much pathos to his wordless role as Karloff did a quarter-century before.

Note: Several scenes showing the Baron's youth were cut, but the roles were listed in an early pressbook for the film. Patrick Troughton's voice was retained for the charnel house man, while the roles of the burgomaster and uncle were recast.

-Dave W.



2nd May 1957
Cinema



82 mins
1.66:1


25th June 1957
CInema



82 mins
1.66:1



HyperLink
"
Peter Cushing
Baron Victor Frankenstein
Hazel Court
Elizabeth
Robert Urquhart
Paul Krempe
Christopher Lee
The Creature
Valerie Gaunt
Justine
Melvyn Hayes
Young Victor
Paul Hardtmuth
Professor Bernstein
Fred Johnson
Grandpa
Noel Hood
Aunt Sophia
Michael Mulcaster
Warder
Alex Gallier
Priest
Claude Kingston
Little Boy
Andrew Leigh
Burgomaster
Anne Blake
Wife
Sally Walsh
Young Elizabeth
Middleton Woods
Lecturer
Raymond Ray
Uncle
Lindsay Hooper
Prison Gatekeeper
Unknown Female 51
Mourning Relation
Unknown Female 54
Mourning Relation
James Ure
Mourning Relation
Dave's Unknown Male 8
Mourning Relation
Unknown
Man with Elizabeth's Bags
Unknown
Charnel House Man
[see note above]
Helen Ford
Ellen, the New Maid
Philip Johns
Assistant Warder
Bill Rooney
Assistant Warder
Patrick Troughton
Kurt
(scenes deleted?)
Hugh Dempster
Burgomaster
( recast)
J. Trevor-Davis
Uncle
(recast)
Joseph Behrmann
Fritz
(scenes deleted)
Henry Caine
Schoolmaster
(scenes deleted)
Marjorie Hume
Mother
(scenes deleted)
Ernest Jay
Undertaker
(scenes deleted)
Eugene Leahy
Second Priest
(scenes deleted)
Bartlett Mullins
Tramp
(scenes deleted)
Raymond Rollett
Father Felix
(scenes deleted)
Jock Easton
Stunts
Corpse on Gibbet
The Creature's Final Fall
(uncredited)
Unknown
Stunt Professor Bernstein
Oakley Court
Frankenstein's Manor
(it really was the Frankenstein place!)

Tony Sullivan: Vidcaps & Notes

Dave Wright: Revised Screencaps & Notes