The Curse Of Frankenstein
| 82 MINS | COLOUR | HAMMER |
The film starts with young Victor Frankenstein’s education. After the funeral of his father, Victor is tutored by Paul Krempe. Victor is a very able student who absorbs everything that Paul Krempe can teach him. Their experiments soon turn to finding the secret of life itself, and they successfully manage to revive a dead puppy. Victor wants to take it a stage further and create human life from dead tissue, but Paul is against the idea.
After grudgingly coming round to Victor’s way of thinking, they both embark on a mission to create human life. Victor brings paul’s attention to a highwayman, who has recently been hanged. They retrieve the body but realise that some parts of the body will have to be replaced, in particular the brain. Victor finds a dastardly way to get his hands on a brain – murder!
After inviting Professor Bernstein to the castle, a man with a brilliant mind, Victor kills him and obtains his brain. Unfortunately, the brain is damaged in a quarrel when Paul discovers how Victor obtained it. When Paul disowns Victor but stays at the castle to protect his fiancee, Victor continues the work on his own. When he finally manages to create an animated human life after much work, he is devastated to find that it is a psychotic one. The creature eventually escapes and goes on a murderous spree. Can Victor keep his experiments secret from the authorities, or will his madness destroy him?
Victor and Krempe hunt the rampaging creature down, shoot it and bury it in the woods.
After Krempe has left town, Victor disinters his creation and revives it. The creature is used to kill his maid, Justine, when she threatens to go to the authorities.
The creature escapes yet again and this time threatens Victor’s fiancee, Elizabeth. Victor knows that he must destroy his creation, so he pursues it, burning it with a lantern and causing it to plummet into a bath of acid. Its body now completely dissolved, Victor gets the blame for Justine’s murder and is condemned to die by execution. Krempe refuses to testify for the Baron, and Victor is led away to the guillotine. There, the film concludes.
BritishHorrorFilms.co.uk: Curse Of Frankenstein is everything you’ve ever read about it – undeniably a classic, and possibly one of the best films made during the 50s.
Classic-Horror.com: Bonus points for the neat ending. Pales next to Karloff, but what doesn’t? Otherwise, this is one of the finest horror films ever made.
Screenonline.org.uk: Critics were horrified by the colourful blend of blood and sex, but the film was a huge commercial and artistic success.
From trailer: The horror of Frankenstein is on the march!
- Directed by Terence Fisher
- Produced by Anthony Hinds & Max Rosenberg
- Cinematography Jack Asher
- Production company Hammer Film Productions
- Hammer were unable to use certain elements from Universal, including the monster make-up, due to copyright.
- First Frankenstein film to be made in colour.
- First Hammer film to pair Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
Peter Cushing — Baron Victor Frankenstein | Hazel Court — Elizabeth | Robert Urquhart — Paul Krempe | Christopher Lee — The Creature | Melvyn Hayes — Young Victor | Valerie Gaunt — Justine | Paul Hardtmuth — Prof. Bernstein | Noel Hood — Aunt (Sophie) | Fred Johnson — Grandpa | Claude Kingston — Little boy | Alex Gallier — Priest | Michael Mulcaster — Warder | Andrew Leigh — burgomeister | Anne Blake — Burgomeister’s wife | Sally Walsh — Elizabeth