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The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Approved | | Horror | 7 June 1961 (USA)
In Spain, Leon is born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl who was raped by a beggar. His mother dies giving birth and he is looked after by Don Alfredo. As a child Leon becomes a ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as John Elder), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alfredo
...
Leon
...
Servant Girl
...
Cristina
...
The Marques Siniestro
Josephine Llewellyn ...
The Marquesa
Richard Wordsworth ...
The Beggar
Hira Talfrey ...
Teresa
Justin Walters ...
Young Leon
John Gabriel ...
The Priest
...
Pepe Valiente
Anne Blake ...
Rosa Valiente
George Woodbridge ...
Dominique
Michael Ripper ...
Old Soak
...
Don Fernando
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Storyline

In Spain, Leon is born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl who was raped by a beggar. His mother dies giving birth and he is looked after by Don Alfredo. As a child Leon becomes a werewolf after having been taken hunting. As a young man, he works in a wine cellar and falls in love with the owner's daughter Cristina. One full moon, he again turns into a werewolf and terrifies the town. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THIS SUMMER'S NEW BIG THRILL! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 June 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Curse of Siniestro  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over five minutes were cut by the censor for the British release and even more for the American version. See more »

Goofs

During the film's opening titles, the camera zooms in on the werewolf's eyes which are clearly hazel. When Leon transforms in the jail cell, his eyes are initially Oliver Reed's natural color: pale blue. When he turns at stares at the old man in the cell with him while in mid-transformation, he is clearly wearing hazel-colored contact lenses like the ones shown over the opening titles. However, when he has fully transformed into the werewolf and moves towards the old man, his eyes are again clearly pale blue and remain that color for the rest of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Collection Fred Vargas: L'homme à l'envers (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Over-the-top horror film directed by the master of Hammer Production , Terence Fisher
5 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Extremely Gothic terror intent in the Universal vein and walks a fine line between romance , camp , Wolfman's classic and horror . It displays excellent set design , ambitious screenplay with too many eerie scenes and adequate interpretation for all casting . Terror picture that is renowned for ferocious departure from the stereotypical portrait of the beast . It is set in Europa , dealing with a 19 Century European werewolf , as it happens in Spain , Leon is born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl (Yvonne Romain) who was imprisoned by a nobleman (Anthony Dawson) and raped by a beggar (Richard Wordsworth stated that in the original screenplay his beggar character was a werewolf) . His mother dies giving birth and he is looked after by Don Alfredo (Clifford Evans) and his maid . As a child Leon turned into a werewolf after having been taken hunting . Leon (Oliver Reed in his first horror movie), transformed by the full moon, heads for the forest and a fateful meeting with the villagers . He is developing an extraordinary force and aware himself has a horrible curse who cannot to control . As a young man he works in a wine cellar and falls in love with the owner's daughter named Cristina (Catherine Feller). The curse will be passed on to him at the next full moon and he again turns into a werewolf and terrifies the town.

This exciting motion picture displays drama , suspense, terror with mysterious touches and is quite entertaining ; being the only werewolf movie made by Hammer Studios . It's a crossover with a little of the classic version ¨Lon Chaney's Werewolf¨, the novel ¨Wolfman in Paris¨ by Guy Endore and wrapped in a Hammer style . Atmospheric, slick terror film , creaky at times but it's still impressive . The notorious screenwriter John Elder or Anthony Hinds provides a well-knit plot with mystery and horror, giving full rein to Terence Fisher natural talent for the terror genre . However , being censorshipped , as over five minutes were cut by the censor for the British release and even more for the American version ; the censor had problems with the notion of a werewolf/rapist, so out it went . It's some different but with clear reference to previous vintage film . Good performances from Oliver Reed as a creepy wolfman and Clifford Evans as his mentor . The transformation of man into werewolf is complex and is made by expert make-up artist Roy Ashton who based his makeup for this film on Jack P. Pierce's makeup for The Wolfman by George Waggner (1941) that starred Lon Chaney Jr and Bela Lugosi . Frighteing and thrilling musical score by Benjamin Frankel . Colorful and shining cinematography by Arthur Gant , Hammer's ordinary , being filmed in Bray Studios. The motion picture was masterfully directed by Terence Fisher who filmed classic horror films as ¨Dracula¨, ¨Dracula , prince of darkness¨ , ¨The brides of Dracula¨ , ¨The mummy¨ , ¨Phantom of opera¨, ¨The Gorgon¨ , ¨The devil rides out¨ and many others . Rating : Top-drawer terror film , upscale horror spectacle with a suitable climax at a church . Essential and indispensable watching for Hammer lovers . It's an above average terror and sometimes graphically exciting and turns out to be a good attempt to cash in the werewolf sub-genre . Rating : 6,5 Good .


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