IMDb > The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
The Curse of Frankenstein
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The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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The Curse of Frankenstein -- The Frankenstein epic finds Baron Victor Frankenstein in jail, attempting to convince his jailers that a monster he created was responsible for the crimes for which he is accused.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   5,390 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)
Mary Shelley (based on the classic story by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Curse of Frankenstein on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 June 1957 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Not recommended for people of nervous disposition See more »
Plot:
Victor Frankenstein builds a creature and brings it to life. But his creature behaves not as he intended. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The birth of Hammer horror! See more (83 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Cushing ... Victor Frankenstein

Hazel Court ... Elizabeth
Robert Urquhart ... Paul Krempe

Christopher Lee ... The Creature
Melvyn Hayes ... Young Victor
Valerie Gaunt ... Justine
Paul Hardtmuth ... Professor Bernstein
Noel Hood ... Aunt
Fred Johnson ... Grandpa
Claude Kingston ... Little Boy
Alex Gallier ... Priest
Michael Mulcaster ... Warder
Andrew Leigh ... Burgomaster
Ann Blake ... Wife
Sally Walsh ... Young Elizabeth
Middleton Woods ... Lecturer
Raymond Ray ... Uncle
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Josef Behrmann ... Fritz (uncredited)
Henry Caine ... Schoolmaster (uncredited)
Trevor Davis ... Uncle (uncredited)
Marjorie Hume ... Mother (uncredited)
Ernest Jay ... Undertaker (uncredited)
Eugene Leahy ... 2nd Priest (uncredited)
Bartlett Mullins ... Tramp (uncredited)
Raymond Rollett ... Father Felix (uncredited)

Directed by
Terence Fisher 
 
Writing credits
Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)

Mary Shelley (based on the classic story by) (as Mary W. Shelley)

Produced by
Michael Carreras .... executive producer
Anthony Hinds .... producer
Anthony Nelson Keys .... associate producer (as Anthony Nelson-Keys)
Max Rosenberg .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
James Bernard 
 
Cinematography by
Jack Asher (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
James Needs 
 
Casting by
Dorothy Holloway 
 
Production Design by
Bernard Robinson 
 
Art Direction by
Ted Marshall 
 
Costume Design by
Molly Arbuthnot (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Philip Leakey .... makeup artist (as Phil Leakey)
Henry Montsash .... hair stylist (as H. Montsash)
Roy Ashton .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
George Turner .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Don Weeks .... production manager
James Carreras .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Derek Whitehurst .... assistant director
Hugh Harlow .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Jimmy Komisarjevsky .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Arthur Banks .... master plasterer (uncredited)
Don Mingaye .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Tom Money .... property master (uncredited)
Fred Ricketts .... construction manager (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jock May .... sound (uncredited)
Jim Perry .... boom operator (uncredited)
Michael Sale .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Les Bowie .... matte painter (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Jock Easton .... stunt double: Christopher Lee (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Len Harris .... camera operator
Steve Birtles .... lighting technician: second unit (uncredited)
Jack Curtis .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Tom Edwards .... still photographer (uncredited)
John Jay .... still photographer (uncredited)
Harold Marland .... electrician (uncredited)
Harry Oakes .... focus puller (uncredited)
Bob Palmer .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Roy Norman .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John Hollingsworth .... musical director
 
Other crew
Doreen Soan .... continuity
Faith Frisby .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
82 min | Japan:83 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolour)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-18 (self applied) (2004) | Finland:(Banned) (1957) | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:16 (video rating) | Netherlands:18 (re-rating) (1958) (original rating: not allowed) (1957) | Sweden:15 | Sweden:(Banned) (1957-1965) | UK:X (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:12 (tv rating) | UK:12 (video re-rating) (2003) (2012) | UK:15 (video rating) (1989) | USA:Approved (PCA #18481) | West Germany:18 (VHS)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film takes place in Switzerland in 1860.See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the opening sequence, the sound of the priest's horse's hooves clopping is not in sync with the movement of its feet.See more »
Quotes:
Baron Frankenstein:Pass the marmalade Elizabeth.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is 'The Curse of Frankenstein' about?
Is 'The Curse of Frankenstein' based on a book?
See more »
22 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
The birth of Hammer horror!, 7 August 2007

In 1934, during the boom of British cinema, businessman William Hinds, decided to enter the industry and create his own film company, "Hammer Productions Ltd.", where he would produce several movies before being forced into bankruptcy due to the end of the industry's bonanza. Along with partner Enrique Carreras, Hinds became a film distributor, but that wasn't really the end of Hammer's history, as many years later, Carreras' son James joined Hinds' son Anthony and together with their parents, resurrected Hammer Film Productions in 1949. The next two important events in Hammer's history were the hiring of director Terence Fisher in 1951, and the enormous success of 1955's horror film, "The Quatermass Xperiment", as they would play important roles the company's future. While Hammer was preparing "Quatermass 2", they gave Terence Fisher the chance to resurrect Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", and Hammer Horror was born.

In "The Curse of Frankenstein", Peter Cushing plays Baron Victor Frankenstein, who after losing his family at a young age, hires scientist Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart) as a mentor. Along Krempe, the young Baron develops his enormous genius for science, becoming great friends and colleagues as he grows up. During one of their experiments, they discover a way to bring a dead dog back to life, an amazing discovery that excites both scientists as it could be of enormous use for medicine. However, Victor wants to go further, and decides that the next step is the creation of life. Krempe refuses to help Victor in that experiment, but decides to stay in the house to protect Victor's cousin Elizabeth (Hazel Court), who has arrived to marry Victor, unsuspecting of her fianceé's experiments. The Baron's obsession with his experiment will prove to be more dangerous than what Krempe thinks.

The screenplay for this new version of Shelley's classic was written by Jimmy Sangster, who had previously written "X: The Unknown" for Hammer the previous year. Unlike what happens in Universal's 1931 classic adaptation, the plot is completely focused on the Baron's figure instead of on the creature, which gives a new and fresh angle to the story, as it explores Frankenstein's obsessions and how they begin to consume his life. To achieve this, Sansgter adds a lot of human drama and character development that at times makes the film more a Gothic tragedy than a typical horror film, but even when limited, Sangster's use of suspense is still pretty effective. It still isn't exactly a straight adaptation of Shelley's novel, but Sangster's screenplay does offer an interesting idea by not making the Creature a misunderstood monster, but the literal symbol of Frankenstein's failure and corruption.

Anyways, while Jimmy Sangster's screenplay is indeed worthy of recognition, it was really Terence Fisher's work as a director what ultimately gave Hammer horror it's true face. While already an experienced director by the time he made "The Curse of Frankenstein", Fisher found in Hammer's horror films the creative freedom that allowed him to explore new realms in this reinterpretations of old classics. His care for details in set design and costume design give the film a great look that equals the one of movies with bigger production values, and using vibrant colors, he puts a special emphasis on blood for the first time. There are also several sexual overtones in the film that give the movie a different style to previous incarnations of the novel, an element that Fisher would take further in posterior movies, specially in "Dracula" and "The Curse of the Werewolf".

"The Curse of Frankenstein" is also the film that introduced two of the most important actors in the horror genre since the days of Universal's movies: Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. As Baron Frankenstein, Cushing delivers an outstanding performance that can be considered among the best in the history of the genre. Making a fascinating character out of the unsympathetic Baron is not easy, but Cushing succeeds remarkably and completely makes the movie his own. Lee has a considerably smaller role as the Creature, but while "Dracula" would be the movie where he would shine the most, here he delivers a powerful performance as the Monster. As Frankenstein's mentor, Paul Krempe, Robert Urquhart is pretty effective and makes a great counterpart to Cushing's Baron. Hazel Court is less successful as Elizabeth, although it's not really a bad performance at all.

It's hard not to think about comparing Fisher's interpretation of "Frankenstein" to the legendary movie made by James Whale 26 years before for Universal, but really, in the end it's a pointless exercise as both movies are so different from each other (and different from Shelley's novel) that there's no proper way to compare them. While one has a powerful story of a misunderstood monster (played brilliantly by Boris Karloff), the other is a tale of ambition and obsessions where the monster is nothing more than the ultimate result of Frankenstein's evil, so it's impossible to tell which one is the best of the two. What can really be said about "The Curse of Frankenstein" is that it suffers from an extremely slow pace that may turn off some viewers, although as the story unfolds, this slow pace does pay off in the end and helps to build up a perfect Gothic atmosphere.

An enormously successful film, "The Curse of Frankenstein" began the style of Gothic horror that would later be labeled as "Hammer Horror". With Fisher at the helm, Hammer would become a great influence in how the genre was developed through the 60s, giving it new life and pushing the boundaries of the era. While maybe overshadowed by Fisher's posterior masterpieces, "The Curse of Frankenstein" is still one of the best tales of Gothic horror that have appeared on the silver screen. 8/10

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