Curse Of Frankenstein (1957)

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.

Okay, so not a great deal happens for much of the film (Christopher Lee's monster doesn't appear for what seems like hours), but as a platform for Peter Cushing's considerable talents it's superb. He lights up the screen every time he strides on, and it's no wonder that this film both elevated him to star status and typecast him for the rest of his life. Whether he's seducing the maid, murdering eminent scientists, chopping open people's heads or shooting his betrothed (oops), he's brilliant.

Can't think of anything bad to say. This is going to be a short review indeed.

Great moments include the aforementioned murder, when Victor tells his guest to step back, shouts "look out" and then pushes him viciously off the balcony. But tell me this - how come when the Prof lands on his head with a sickening thud, it doesn't damage the brain, yet when the well-meaning dunderhead Krempe knocks it against a wall, it's completely wrecked?

And I've got to mention the "young Victor" segment, when he's played by none other than Melvyn Hayes. Inspired casting - what with Windsor Davies popping up in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, these films are a veritable It Ain't Alf Hot, Mum fest. What next - Mister La-de-da Gunner Graham in Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Sadly, it's crap like Horror Of Frankenstein - not destined to lumber onto cinema screens for another 13 years - that people remember.

Curse is cleverer, better made, more violent and infinitely more enjoyable. Diminishing returns? Not 'alf.

Director: Terence Fisher Writer(s): Jimmy Sangster

Cast: 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 - Professor Bernstein, Noel Hood - Aunt (Sophie), Fred Johnson - Grandpa, Claude Kingston - Little Boy, Alex Gallier - Priest, Michael Mulcaster - Warder, Andrew Leigh - Burgomaster (Hermann), Ann Blake - Wife, Sally Walsh - Elizabeth (as child)


Last updated: February 26, 2010

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