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The Gorgon (1964)

Approved | | Horror | 17 February 1965 (USA)
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 by), (based on an original story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Prof. Karl Meister
... Dr. Namaroff
Richard Pasco ... Paul Heitz
... Carla Hoffman
... Professor Jules Heitz
... Inspector Kanof
... Coroner
Prudence Hyman ... The Gorgon
... Ratoff
... Hans
Jeremy Longhurst ... Bruno Heitz
Toni Gilpin ... Sascha Cass
Joyce Hemson ... Martha
... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A venture into the deepest, starkest realms of the supernatural . . . See more »

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Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

17 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gorgona  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Lee is quoted in 'The Films of Christopher Lee': "Beautiful-looking picture, but the whole thing fell apart because the effect of the snakes on Megaera's head was not sufficiently well done for the climax of the film. Not a memorable film, but it could have been terrific." 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: Incidentally I understand that some of your democratic citizens tried to eject the late professor Heitz. You better warn them not to attempt that sort of behaviour with me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Many Faces of Christopher Lee (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of Terence Fisher's most undervalued films.
13 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

"Overshadowing the village of Vandorf stands the Castle Borski. From the turn of the century a monster from an ancient age of history came to live here. No living thing survived and the spectre of death hovered in waiting for her next victim."

Directed by Terence Fisher for Hammer Film Productions, The Gorgon stars Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley and Richard Pasco. Photography is by Michael Reed, the design courtesy of Bernard Robinson and the unique score is by James Bernard {he blended Soprano with a Novachord). Very much a bit off kilter in terms of classical Hammer Horror, The Gorgon sees Hammer turn to Greek Mythology for its latest instalment.

The key issue here is that The Gorgon should be viewed more as a doomed love story featuring a legendary horror character. To call this a horror film is just wrong, and marketing it a such has done the film few favours over the years. Fisher always thought of The Gorgon as one of his best film's, and he was right to do so for it's a hauntingly beautiful piece of work, that is also one of Hammer's most visually accomplished efforts. Yes the effects of the Gorgon herself come the finale are low budgeted naffness, to which if it had been possible to never show close ups of her the film would have been greater. More so because all the prior long distance shots of her have gained maximum chill factor. A floaty green demon accompanied by eerie music, effectively shot in dreamy Technicolor by Michael Reed. But cest la vie, the story is such we have to have these close ups, so lets just embrace this minor itch for existing in a time before CGI and applaud its adherence to the Gothic tradition that the film faithfully captures.

Tho featuring the big Hammer Horror hitters Cushing & Lee, it's Barbara Shelley who really takes the honours. Her Carla Hoffman is the axis of the movie, an emotionally conflicted character, beautiful yet sorrowful, she gets an in-depth makeover from Shelley. Further lifting the film above the average jibes bestowed on it by cruel and unfair critics. Patrick Troughton also lends some good support as Inspector Kanof, wonderfully attired in Rosemary Burrows' Gothic European costumes. There's no bad performances in truth, all the cast are delivering good work to do justice to the material. There is no, if you pardon the pun, ham in this Hammer Horror.

A wonderfully told story is given a smart technical work over within the budget restrictions. Forget any hopes of a blood laden movie, for this is not the one. But if you yearn for Gothic atmosphere or prefer a hauntingly told tale, then this is for you. 7/10


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