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 jailer 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
Over five minutes were cut by the censor for the British release and even more for the American version. See more »
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 »
Cristina, do you love me? Will you marry me Cristina? You say you love me, will you marry me?
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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 »
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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