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The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 25 June 1957 (USA)
Victor Frankenstein builds a creature and brings it to life, but it behaves not as he intended.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Mary Shelley (based on the classic story by) (as Mary W. Shelley)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... Victor Frankenstein
Hazel Court ... Elizabeth
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Paul Krempe
Christopher Lee ... The Creature
Melvyn Hayes ... Young Victor
Valerie Gaunt Valerie Gaunt ... Justine
Paul Hardtmuth Paul Hardtmuth ... Prof. Bernstein
Fred Johnson ... Grandpa
Noel Hood Noel Hood ... Aunt
Michael Mulcaster Michael Mulcaster ... Warder
Alex Gallier Alex Gallier ... Priest
Claude Kingston Claude Kingston ... Little Boy
Andrew Leigh Andrew Leigh ... Burgomaster
Anne Blake ... Wife
Sally Walsh Sally Walsh ... Young Elizabeth
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Storyline

In prison and awaiting execution, Dr. Victor Frankenstein recounts to a priest what led him to his current circumstance. He inherited his family's wealth after the death of his mother when he was still only a young man. He hired Paul Krempe as his tutor and he immediately developed an interest in medical science. After several years, he and Krempe became equals and he developed an interest in the origins and nature of life. After successfully re-animating a dead dog, Victor sets about constructing a man using body parts he acquires for the purpose including the hands of a pianist and the brain of a renowned scholar. As Frankenstein's excesses continue to grow, Krempe is not only repulsed by what his friend has done but is concerned for the safety of the beautiful Elizabeth, Victor's cousin and fiancée who has come to live with them. His experiments lead to tragedy and his eventual demise. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No-one who saw it lived to describe it! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For some exterior scenes, such as that of the little boy at the river, leaves in the foreground of some shots were painted red and yellow. This gave continuity with the shots of the autumnal foliage seen in the establishing shot of the forest after the Creature first escapes from Frankenstein's laboratory. See more »

Goofs

The puppy is clearly moving even before Victor determines it is alive by examining it. See more »

Quotes

Baron Frankenstein: Shall I tell you something, Paul? There you see the result of your handiwork as much as mine, I gave him life, I put a brain in his head, but I chose a good brain, a brilliant one. It was you who damaged it, you who put a bullet in the wretched thing. This is your fault, Paul! Do you understand that? Your fault.
Paul Krempe: Yes I understand.
Baron Frankenstein: But you won't win, Paul. And shall I tell you why you won't win? Because I shall carry on, if I can't cure it by brain surgery then I'll get another brain, and another...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: More than a hundred years ago, in a mountain village in Switzerland, lived a man whose strange experiments with the dead have since become legend. The legend is still told with horror the world over.... It is the legend of...

The Curse of Frankenstein See more »

Alternate Versions

For its original cinema release the BBFC required cuts to the scene where a man's head is severed by the Baron and dissolved in acid. The severing was reduced to a brief shot and no footage at all survives of the acid scene. Video and early DVD releases featured the U.S print which was cut further to remove a shot of a severed eyeball as seen through a magnifying glass, though the UK cinema print, which contains this shot, was often shown on BBC television. The 2012 Lionsgate release features the restored version which includes the eyeball shot from the UK print. See more »

Connections

Version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) See more »

User Reviews

 
Even if we dared to omit its landmark importance; it's still a terrific movie.
6 November 2010 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

The Curse Of Frankenstein is out of Hammer Film Productions and based on the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. It's directed by Terence Fisher, written by Jimmy Sangster and stars Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Hazel Court & Robert Urquhart. Jack Asher is the cinematographer and James Bernard scores the music.

The first Hammer film in colour, The Curse Of Frankenstein began the second wave of cinematic horror some 25 odd years after the Universal heyday of the 30s. Where Hammer's version differs from the Universal offerings, who were carefully watching what Hammer were doing, is by focusing on the Baron himself rather than the actual iconic creature. This approach threw many critics and observers at the time, with some either calling it too talky, or worse still, depressing and degrading. But the box office tills rang, both in Britain and America, and now the film is revered by film makers and horror historians alike. Rightly so.

Plot basically sees Baron Victor Frankenstein in prison for murder, where faced with the guillotine, he tells to a priest an amazing story of how he and his mentor successfully resurrected a dead body. The resulting creation being the one who committed the murder for which the Baron is now charged. The first masterstroke from Hammer was appointing Fisher and Sangster, the former shoots in lurid Eastmancolor; thus setting the marker for the Gothic style of Hammer to come, the latter produced a crackling script that make the scientist of the piece the actual monster. The second masterstroke was in the casting of Cushing as the driven Frankenstein. Then just a classy actor on TV, Cushing plays it in turns as cold blooded and elegantly charming. Lee, only getting the gig after Bernard Bresslaw's agent demanded too much money, actually doesn't have to do much, but his marionette movements coupled with the fleshy patchwork make up of his face make it totally memorable. Both men of course went on to become horror legends from here.

It's far from the best Hammer Horror film, in fact it's not the best of the Universal Creature reinventions. But it adds grit and intelligence to the Gothic atmospherics, its visuals striking as the character based narrative propels eerily forward. 8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La maldición de Frankenstein See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP65,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolour) (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

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