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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 ... The Beggar
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:

He had but one body - yet lived with two souls! 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

In Spain the Catholic innkeeper would have had a crucifix rather than a plain cross (and indeed his wife calls it a crucifix). The plain cross (without Jesus on it), such as was shown in the film, is used primarily by Protestants. 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 Monster Mania (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wonderful Werewolf Film
27 November 1999 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

It's Spain and a beggar walks through a deserted town forced into public festivities at the marriage of a miserly, degrading Marqis. He goes to the palace in search of food, and instead is given life imprisonment. This is the opening of one of Hammer's best monster films, and easily one of the best lycanthrope films ever made. The beggar through a raping of a servant girl spawns a baby werewolf. The film is about this boy and then man living with his affliction and finally succumbing to its eventual fate. Terrence Fisher has done a superb job with his direction, creating atmospheric sets, wonderful, rich costuming, an impressive musical score highlighting key dramatic moments, and most notably creating a story of a beast in man with compassion, understanding, and depth. The acting all around is excellent(once you get past the notion of Britishers playing Spainards), and Oliver Reed stands out as the young protagonist literally being torn apart inside. The make-up for the beast, while not as grand as Universals, is top-notch and harrowing to the eye. The film is a sight to see and it again affirms that many of the monsters of the movies are tragic heros not in control of what they do.


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