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The Gorgon (1964)

Not Rated | | Horror | 17 February 1965 (USA)
In the early twentieth century, a Gorgon takes human form and terrorizes a small European village by turning its citizens to stone.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

John Gilling (screenplay by), J. Llewellyn Devine (based on an original story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Christopher Lee ... Prof. Karl Meister
Peter Cushing ... Dr. Namaroff
Richard Pasco Richard Pasco ... Paul Heitz
Barbara Shelley ... Carla Hoffman
Michael Goodliffe ... Professor Jules Heitz
Patrick Troughton ... Inspector Kanof
Joseph O'Conor ... Coroner
Prudence Hyman Prudence Hyman ... The Gorgon
Jack Watson ... Ratoff
Redmond Phillips ... Hans
Jeremy Longhurst Jeremy Longhurst ... Bruno Heitz
Toni Gilpin Toni Gilpin ... Sascha Cass
Joyce Hemson Joyce Hemson ... Martha
Alister Williamson ... Janus Cass
Michael Peake 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gorgona See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£150,000 (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 (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prudence Hyman was nearly decapitated for real. She was supposed to duck when Sir Christopher Lee swung the sword, but forgot to do so at the critical moment. The Assistant Director pushed her aside just in time. The scene was then redone with a dummy. See more »

Goofs

Megaera is an Erinýe, or Fury, not a Gorgon. The Gorgons were named Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. The film states that there are two deceased Gorgons, Medusa and Tisiphone. The Erinýes are named Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, and there are no stories of them being killed. The Erinýes had snakes for hair, which may have resulted in the confusion. They are best known from Agamenon's _The Eumenides_, which means The Kindly Ones, a euphemism for the Erinýes, immortals who avenge intrafamilial murder. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Namaroff: [Seeing Carla's reaction to his dissecting of a brain] It isn't a pretty sight. Never ceases to amaze me why the most noble word of God, the human brain, is the most revolting to the human eye.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of Terence Fisher's most undervalued films.
13 April 2010 | by SpikeopathSee 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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