More than a hundred years ago, in a
mountain village in Switzerland lived
a man whose strange experiments with
the dead have since become legend.
The legend is still told with horror
the world over. . . . It is the legend of...
CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Cushing |Hazel Court | Robert Urquhart (By permission of A.B.P.C.)
on the classic story by
Mary W. Shelley
MCMLVII CLARION FILM PRODUCTIONS
Music composed by James Bernard
by Humphries Laboratories Ltd.
. . . James Needs
Art Director . . . Ted Marshall
Camera Operator . . . Len Harris
Continuity . . . Doreen Soan
Hair Stylist . . . H. Montsash
Production Designer . . . Bernard Robinson
Production Manager . . . Don Weeks
Assistant Director . . . Derek Whitehurst
Casting . . . Dorothy Holloway
Make-up . . . Phil Leakey
Victor Frankenstein . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PETER CUSHING
Elizabeth . . . . . . .. . . HAZEL COURT
Paul Kempe . ROBERT URQUHART
Creature . . . . . CHRISTOPHER LEE
Young Victor . . . . . MELVYN HAYES
Justine. . . . . . . . . . VALERIE GAUNT
Professor Bernstein . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAUL HARDTMUTH
Aunt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NOEL HOOD
Grandpa . . . . . . . . FRED JOHNSON
Little Boy. . . . . CLAUDE KINGSTON
Priest . . . . . . . . . . . . ALEX GALLIER
Warder . . . MICHAEL MULCASTER
Burgomaster . . . . .ANDREW LEIGH
Wife. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANN BLAKE
Young Elizabeth . . . .SALLY WALSH
Lecturer . . . . MIDDLETON WOODS
Uncle . . . . . . . . . . . .RAYMOND RAY
Mother . . MARJORIE HUME
Kurt (the body snatcher) . . PATRICK TROUGHTON
Fritz . . JOSEPH BEHRMAN
Priest . . EUGENE LEAHY
Undertaker . . ERNEST JAY
The Schoolmaster . . HENRY CAINE
Tramp . . .BARTLETT MULLINS
Father Felix . . . RAYMOND ROLLETT
Produced at BRAY STUDIOS
Curse of Frankenstein
was the film that launched Hammer into the Horror market proper.
It gave Peter Cushing his first starring role, and terrified the
world. It is a classic, that status cannot be denied whether one
likes it or not.
The colour is glorious, and it makes for some horrific scenes,
such as when the creature is shot in the head. The glorious blood
in a beutiful rich red.
Cushing is on top form as Frankenstein, a role he would reprise
no fewer than five times for Hammer. At this point, we see
Frankenstein get carried away by the sheer scope of his
discoveries, and his gradula meglomania. Even here, it is the
Baron who is the monster. He will stop at nothing, dragging
everyone down, and taking chances.
Lee, is still obvious under heavy make-up. The first pairing of
Lee and Cushing, sees a moving performance of Lee as the Creature.
His stilted movements, and pity and hurt visable on the face, we
feel sorry for the confused creature. Even Hammer's billing makes
it clear, that we are not to think of Lee as the Monster, that is
the Baron's privilage, but rather as the creature, a thing to be
Urquhart is, I feel, slightly stilted as Kempe, but nevertheless,
gives a good performance, as does the rest of the cast. Hazel
Court and Valerie Gaunt are good as the Baron's love interests,
and an uncredited Patrick Troughton, makes his first Hammer
appearance (as in many others, as the body snatcher). Though one
has to listen for his voice, in the copy I have at least, all we
get to see of Troughton is his arms.
boasts excellent direction by Terence Fisher, as well as those
brilliant colours we love from Hammer, though as this page
demonstrates, the white titles on a red background are a bit much.
Shot well, with vast elaborate sets, it is a must see. Everything
is first class, despite the relatively low budget.
The film was produced
in the autumn of 1956 in and around Bray in Hampshire. Many of
the scenes were shot in the local park. Money for the venture,
largely came from the success of the Quatermass series of films.
Not exactly a remake, hammer's plot differs in style from the
Universal feature. It was also the first Frankenstein film to be
shot in colour, and as such, this is perhaps where most of the
Universal refused permission to use their costume designs for the
creature, and as a result, we end up with somethng much more akin
to Shelley's creation in the novel, though the same cannot be
said for the story.
originally ran for 83 minutes, and was a smash hit in the US as
well as the UK. It is now available in the UK on the Warner
Terror Vision label code S036163, released in 1997,
it received a 15 certificate, and a running time of 80
minutes. The release is in full screen, though reportedly good
quality. The film is trimmed by some three minutes, though the
rumour goes, that several scenes were cut due to the gore levels,
in the years since. One is a close-up of an eyeball, another of a
hand (possibly the one Pat Troughton hands over, 22mins in), the
other is a scene of Cushing dropping a head into acid. This would
be approximately 18 minutes into the film. Shots exist of the
scene, though it is clearly cut in the film itself.
posted Tuesday 28th September 1999
all original text, and layout of the page © RJE Simpson 1999
reformatted and reposted 22 August 2006
mail me with corrections, comments etc to email@example.com