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The Gorgon (1964)

 -  Horror  -  17 February 1965 (USA)
6.5
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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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Title: The Gorgon (1964)

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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 All (64) »

Taglines:

A venture into the deepest, starkest realms of the supernatural . . . 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

Actress Barbara Shelley, who played the possessed heroine, Carla Hoffmann, wanted to play the part of the gorgon as well for continuity, and suggested to producer Anthony Nelson Keys that she use a special wig with live green garden snakes woven into it for a more realistic effect. Her idea was rejected by Keys due to budget and time considerations. When Keys saw the abysmal gorgon effects in the finished film, he told Shelley that he should have listened to her suggestion. As Christopher Lee quips, "The only thing wrong with "The Gorgon" is the gorgon!" See more »

Goofs

When the nurse rolls Sasha's stone body in and hits her finger on the table she breaks off about 2/3 of the finger. Later the finger on the ground and the missing digit is the entire finger. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Karl Meister: Well, I hadn't seen you for some considerable time, so I thought I'd come see what you're doing.
Paul Heitz: It's a long story.
Prof. Karl Meister: I've come a long way to hear it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Girl Ghouls (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A world turning to stone
1 October 1999 | by (Glasgow, scotland) – See all my reviews

The crucial clue to understanding the work of director Terence Fisher is to note that his directing hero was not one of the 'usual suspects' for a horror director, like Lang or Hitchcock, but Frank Borzage, the 30's director of tender, fragile romances like 'Moonrise' and 'A Farewell To Arms'. And as he grew more confident and independent in his work for Hammer films, Fisher's most personal work smuggled Borzagian romance past his producers in horror guise. Forget the usual critical cliche about his work: that it presents rigidly defined black-and-white battles between Good and Evil.This only applies to a handful of his pictures, usually from the earlier part of his Hammer career. In Fisher's mature work, the lines between good and evil are often more ambiguous than in many of the more modernist horrors that came after him (e.g.'The Exorcist' and 'Halloween'). And his most heartfelt work - 'Curse Of The Werewolf','Phantom Of The Opera','Frankenstein Created Woman'and the film discussed here, is a sequence of tragic love stories. Which brings us to 'The Gorgon', one of the most romantic but also the bleakest of these love stories. All the key characters in the film are driven by the most desperate love: the pregnant Sascha in the opening scenes, Professor Heitz mourning and defending a lost son, Carla and Paul in their foredoomed affair, Namaroff oppressing Carla and torturing himself with the love she can never reciprocate, Ratoff(who might at first seem a token thug)worshipping Carla as devoutly as is master does, even Christopher Lee's celibate Meister has a father's anxious protectiveness towards Paul. But in the bleak world which cameraman Michael Reed depicts throughout in grim blues and greys, there is no reward for such devotion but the stony isolation of death. The film, however, is tragic rather than merely nihilistic, for the characters are haunted throughout by the thought that their love might somehow win them a place in some better world somewhere else. This makes Carla's parting from Paul in the castle scene all the more poignant: haven't we all known a moment such as she knows then, when we face the fact that the door to salvation was open to us as recently as a couple of minutes ago, but we looked away at the wrong moment and the breeze blew it shut? That's why this, like all Fisher's best films, is such a treasurable work. It's not about shock effects, but about the beauty and sadness of being alive. It stands as the bleakest of all Gorgon myths, bleaker by far than the Greek originals, for it portrays a whole world whose fate is to turn to stone.


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