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The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Approved | | Horror | 7 June 1961 (USA)
In 18th Century Spain, an adopted boy becomes a werewolf and terrorizes the inhabitants of his town.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder), Guy Endore (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clifford Evans ... Alfredo
Oliver Reed ... Leon
Yvonne Romain ... Servant Girl
Catherine Feller ... Cristina
Anthony Dawson ... The Marques Siniestro
Josephine Llewellyn Josephine Llewellyn ... The Marquesa
Richard Wordsworth Richard Wordsworth ... The Beggar
Hira Talfrey Hira Talfrey ... Teresa
Justin Walters Justin Walters ... Young Leon
John Gabriel John Gabriel ... The Priest
Warren Mitchell ... Pepe Valiente
Anne Blake ... Rosa Valiente
George Woodbridge ... Dominique
Michael Ripper ... Old Soak
Ewen Solon ... Don Fernando
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Storyline

In the Eighteenth Century, in Spain, a beggar comes to the castle of a cruel marquee on his wedding day to beg for food, and the marque locks him in his dungeon, where he is forgotten. The mute daughter of the gaoler feeds him along the years. When she grows-up, the widower marquee unsuccessfully tries to shag her and locks the servant in the dungeons with the beggar that rapes her. When she is released, she kills the marquee and flees to the forest. She is found living like an animal in the woods by Don Alfredo and he brings her home. Soon his servant Teresa finds that she is pregnant. When she gives birth to a boy on Christmas, she dies and the boy Leon is raised by Don Alfredo and Teresa. A few years later they learn the curse that the boy carries with him, and the local priest advises that he must be raised with love. What will happen to Leon? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HALF-MAN... HALF-WOLF... COMPELLED BY THE HIDEOUS CURSE OF HIS EVIL BIRTH TO DESTROY - EVEN THOSE WHO LOVED HIM! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Curse of Siniestro See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With the exception of the opening titles, Oliver Reed does not appear until roughly halfway through the film and his screen-time as the werewolf is even less (first appearing at just over an hour into the 93 minute film). 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 »

Alternate Versions

The film had considerable problems with the BBFC on its initial cinema release and was subsequently cut by around 5 minutes before release. Much of the edits were made to the beginning of the film and involved the complete removal of the scenes where the servant girl is attacked in the castle dungeon, and her later confrontation with the Marquis (which results in his fatal stabbing). Other cuts included heavy edits to the murder scenes and a shortening of the bedroom scene between Leon and the prostitute. The 1995 Warner VHS featured a print often shown by BBC which featured different cuts. Much of the above was intact (bar for a reduced stabbing) though additional shots were missing including scenes showing dead bodies, shots of dead goats, and much of the climactic killing of the werewolf, including his deafening by the bells, the bloody gunshot wound, and some shots of his dead face over the closing credits. The film was later completely restored with all the missing footage intact and first shown on BBC in 1994, and this version was released (on Region 1 DVD only) as part of Universal's "Hammer Horror Series" 8 film box set. The 2010 12-rated DVD features the same restored and fully uncut print. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood! (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961) **1/2
11 February 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This film, more by accident than design, has become one of my most-watched Hammer films. Actually, I liked it immediately and, therefore, I return to it willingly...though I wouldn't really rank it among their top films! Still, for being the studio's only stab at the werewolf legend, the plot is pretty stacked with fanciful lore which differs quite a bit from what Universal came up with in the 30s and 40s...or, for that matter, anything that we've seen since! Truth be told, it's highly improbable and even rather silly but, then, the film is so thick with atmosphere throughout (belying the typical low budget) that it doesn't matter at all! Oliver Reed essays his most significant starring role for Hammer with dignity and a brooding quality, in my opinion, and the supporting cast does pretty well by their roles but, again, the film's main asset is its beautiful look (including the wonderful werewolf make-up). I also don't mind the fact that we see the fully-fledged transformation only once as the build-up to it is terrific and the film, on the whole, emerges as one of Fisher's most assured efforts.


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