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The Gorgon (1964)

 -  Horror  -  17 February 1965 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,564 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 46 critic

In the early 20th century, a Gorgon takes human form and terrorizes a small European village by turning its citizens to stone.

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(screenplay), (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Prof. Karl Meister
...
Dr. Namaroff
Richard Pasco ...
Paul Heitz
Barbara Shelley ...
Carla Hoffman
...
Professor Jules Heitz
...
Inspector Kanof
Joseph O'Conor ...
Coroner
Prudence Hyman ...
The Gorgon
Jack Watson ...
Ratoff
Redmond Phillips ...
Hans
Jeremy Longhurst ...
Bruno Heitz
Toni Gilpin ...
Sascha Cass
Joyce Hemson ...
Martha
Alister Williamson ...
Janus Cass
Michael Peake ...
Constable
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Storyline

In early-twentieth-century middle-Europe, villagers are literally becoming petrified. Although the authorities try to hush the matter up, it is apparent that at the full moon, Megaera, a Gorgon, leaves her castle lair and anyone looking on her face is turned to stone. When this fate befalls a visitor, experts from the University of Leipzig arrive to try and get to the bottom of it all. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gorgon | stone | full moon | 1900s | legend | See more »

Taglines:

A Monster With the Power to Turn Living Screaming Flesh Into Stone! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La gorgona  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Lee is quoted in 'The Films of Christopher Lee': "Beautiful-looking picture, but the whole thing fell apart because the effect of the snakes on Megaera's head was not sufficiently well done for the climax of the film. Not a memorable film, but it could have been terrific." See more »

Goofs

Megaera is an Erinýe, or Fury, not a Gorgon. The Gorgons were named Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Namaroff: We are men of science. I don't believe in ghosts or evil spirits, and I don't think you do, either.
Professor Jules Heitz: That's one of the most unscientific remarks I have ever heard. I believe in the existence of everything which the human brain is unable to disprove.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
THE GORGON (Terence Fisher, 1964) ***
21 August 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Hammer’s THE REPTILE (1966) is a semi-remake of this one, and an improvement – for which the scriptwriter of THE GORGON, John Gilling, was upgraded to director. Typically, the DivX edition I watched was plagued by artifacts and a few jump-cuts (not to mention being in the odious pan-and-scan format); however, I was very glad to have finally caught up with it – especially in view of the DD Home Video company’s recent folding (this had been mentioned as one of a possible number of Columbia/Hammer DVD releases).

Peter Cushing is rather unsympathetic and pitiful here (but still commanding as ever); Christopher Lee (playing much older than his years and who only really comes onto the scene during the last half-hour) is his usual pompous self; Richard Pasco, then, makes for an unusual hero. As for the identity of the titular creature, Megera, this isn’t much of a mystery – since Barbara Shelley is virtually the only female in sight (and, conveniently, suffers from amnesia spells during the cycle of the full moon); Hammer does seem to have had their myths mixed up here, and isn’t Cushing rather negligent in having failed to prove his theory for five whole years?! Other notable cast members include police chief Patrick Troughton, Michael Goodliffe (as Pasco’s father, who along with his other son, falls victim to The Gorgon) and Jack Watson as Cushing’s over-eager aide.

In most aspects, this is a typical Hammer product from their 1955-68 heyday: rich-looking (production design courtesy of Bernard Robinson) but essentially undernourished – the monster ‘attacks’ being centered around one family unit, while the much-feared castle seems to be situated in the immediate vicinity of the local inn! Still, most of the Hammer stalwarts (above all director Fisher and composer James Bernard) are in good form – however, the two stars only interact in one brief scene and Roy Ashton’s make-up isn’t exactly great (which Fisher, astutely, generally films from a distance and, in fact, we only get to see her full figure at the very end).

Needless to say, I’d love to see this receive an official DVD release – along with my two most-desired Columbia/Hammer properties, namely TASTE OF FEAR (1961) and THE DAMNED (1963).


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