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Frankenstein - 1970
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Frankenstein - 1970 (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
20 July 1958 (USA) See more »
The One...The Only KING OF MONSTERS as the new demon of the atomic age!
Needing money, the last of the Frankensteins leases his castle out to a film company as he tries to complete his ancestor's gruesome experiments at creating life. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
More Classic Horror on DVD this October
 (From Dread Central. 18 June 2009, 10:15 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Torch, Scorch, Unforch...." See more (28 total) »


  (in credits order)

Boris Karloff ... Baron Victor von Frankenstein
Tom Duggan ... Mike Shaw
Jana Lund ... Carolyn Hayes

Don 'Red' Barry ... Douglas Row (as Donald Barry)
Charlotte Austin ... Judy Stevens
Irwin Berke ... Inspector Raab
Rudolph Anders ... Wilhelm Gottfried
Norbert Schiller ... Shuter
John Dennis ... Morgan Haley
Mike Lane ... Hans Himmler / The Monster
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Kenney ... Assistant Cameraman (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... Station Porter (uncredited)
Otto Reichow ... Atomic Reactor Expert (uncredited)
Franz Roehn ... Cab Driver (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard W. Koch 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Richard H. Landau  screenplay (as Richard Landau)
Charles A. Moses  story
Aubrey Schenck  story
Mary Shelley  characters (uncredited)
George Worthing Yates  screenplay

Produced by
Aubrey Schenck .... producer
Leon Spielberg .... assistant producer
Original Music by
Paul Dunlap  (as Paul A. Dunlap)
Cinematography by
Carl E. Guthrie 
Film Editing by
John A. Bushelman 
Production Design by
Jack T. Collis 
Set Decoration by
Jerry Welch 
Makeup Department
George Bau .... makeup artist
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Vieira .... assistant director
Art Department
George Sweeney .... property master
Sound Department
Francis E. Stahl .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
William T. Cline .... operative cameraman
Charles Harris .... key grip
Ralph Owen .... electrical supervisor
Editorial Department
Leon Spielberg .... post-production coordinator
Other crew
Richard Owens .... electrical effects
Mary Yerke .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
83 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Producer Aubrey Schenck had hoped to get the film released by Warner Brothers but had to settle for Allied Artists. Previously, films produced by Schenck's Bel-Air Productions, like The Black Sleep (1956), had been released by United Artists.See more »
Continuity: The degree of damage to Karloff's disfigured eye changes from scene to scene.See more »
Douglas Row:Jealousy, jealousy, lover! Don't blame me because you're no longer an ingenue.
Judy Stevens:That's not exactly what you said when you married me.
Douglas Row:Well, I keep you on the payroll. i'm loyal.
Judy Stevens:Oh, yes, you're loyal to wives 1 through 4 inclusive.
[Indicating beautiful actress Judy Stevens]
Judy Stevens:Would you care to try your luck with 5?
See more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
"Torch, Scorch, Unforch....", 12 November 2012
Author: ferbs54 from United States

Horror icon Boris Karloff, during the mid-1950s, significantly slowed down his prodigious output of the '30s and '40s. After 1953, fans would have to wait a full four years before his next horror picture, "Voodoo Island," was released, and that one is generally acknowledged as one of Boris' few stinkers. The British actor seemed to rebound a bit in 1958, however, with the releases of "Frankenstein 1970"--a shlocky yet entertaining picture--and the very-well-done British film "Grip of the Strangler." "Frankenstein 1970" was the fifth Frankenstein film that Karloff had participated in, following the classic original in 1931, the eternal glory that is 1935's "Bride of Frankenstein," 1939's excellent "Son of Frankenstein" and 1944's "House of Frankenstein," but--no surprise--the film in question is any number of rungs down the scale, qualitywise, as compared to those great others.

Here, the 70-year-old Karloff plays Victor von Frankenstein, the final descendant of the infamous House. Needing additional funds to purchase the atomic reactor that will enable him to complete his experiments (and at this point, need it even be mentioned what those experiments consist of?), he rents out his ancestral castle near Frankfurt to an American TV production company that is making a movie to celebrate Frankenstein's 240th anniversary. (Never mind that that would make for a birth date of 1730, if the film actually does take place in 1970, and that Mary Shelley's original novel came out in 1818, although admittedly set in "17--." Also, never mind the fact that the film makes no attempt to look as if it's transpiring 12 years in its then future.) But when body parts, such as brains and eyes, are in short supply, what is the good Baron supposed to do, other than use parts from the retainers, film crew and nubile actresses on hand?

"Frankenstein 1970" is a film that I never got to see as a little kid, despite its ubiquitous presence on television back then. When I mentioned to my Psychotronic Guru, Rob, that I had just acquired the DVD to watch, he enthused about the film's opening scene, which he said he'd found terrifying when he saw it in a theater over 50 years ago. Film historian Tom Weaver says the same thing on the DVD's commentary regarding this sequence, in which a claw-taloned maniac pursues a screaming, hysterical blonde through a fog-shrouded landscape and into a swamp, and in truth, that scene IS the best and scariest moment in the film; the only scary moment, as it turns out. For the rest of it, the picture is a tad slow moving, occasionally dull, with many scenes of the Baron puttering around with his creation in his lab, dictating his progress into a running tape recorder. The resultant monster is one of the most ridiculous looking in any Frankenstein film; indeed, swaddled in mummylike wrappings as he is, we never even get a good look at the pathetic thing, until the picture's admittedly startling final moment. A lumbering bundle of bandages, with a head that looks like a giant cardboard box residing under the wrappings, the monster here is an object of laughter, not fright. Eyeball-less as it is, the monster seems to get around just fine, leading the viewer to wonder just why the Baron is so obsessed with procuring orbs for his creation. Besides the monster, the film's laboratory equipment and creation sequence FX pale mightily in comparison to those earlier four Frankenstein films, which all featured stunning-looking lab sets and amazing creation sequences (particularly "Bride"). Still, it must be said that director Howard W. Koch (later, the producer of such classic films as "The Manchurian Candidate," "The President's Analyst," "The Odd Couple" and "Plaza Suite") makes nice use of his CinemaScope frame, that the score by Paul Dunlap is occasionally gripping, and that cinematographer Carl E. Guthrie has provided some moody B&W visuals. The film also offers fans of grisly horror some very mild gross-outs, such as a jar of spilled eyeballs, the massaging of a human heart, Boris' tale of the tongueless commandant, and a corpse-grinding machine (an inspiration for Ted V. Mikels, perhaps?). Basically, however, the film is of interest mainly because of Uncle Boris, who gets to overact deliciously and impress his many fans, once again, with that wonderfully mellifluous voice. As in the 1934 classic "The Black Cat," Boris also gets to play some chilling music on his home organ, always a dismal thrill! Bottom line: Filmed as it was in only eight days (!) in January '58, "Frankenstein 1970," cheezy as it is, remains a surprisingly decent, oddball entertainment. After 1958, fans would have to wait another five years before Karloff's next horror pictures, which he made under director Roger Corman. So this film, and "Grip of the Strangler," had to hold them for a while (in addition to TV's "Thriller," of course, which Boris hosted from 1960-'62). And really, where else can you find a line like "Torch, scorch, unforch"?

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How about a DVD release for it's 50th anniversary??? phasedin
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YES!!! DVD Release!!!! phasedin
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