Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

In the late 1950s, England's Hammer Studios decided to tap into the lucrative horror film market by producing loose remakes of Universal Studios' 1930s classics.  Their first attempt was The Curse of Frankenstein, starring Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Creature.  Terrence Fisher directed the film.  Jimmy Sangster's screenplay was more faithful to Mary Shelley's original novel than the 1931 James Whale version.  Curse of Frankenstein helped turn Hammer into the new kings of horror.  They produced six more Frankenstein films over the next 20 years, most starring Cushing as the Mad Doctor.
Everything about this film works well.  The musical score is well done.  The sets and costumes are flawless, especially Hazel Court's wardrobe [Elizabeth].  She is given the attention that Alfred Hitchcock gave his leading ladies and steps into each scene like a fashion model on a runway.  Peter Cushing is excellent as Victor Frankenstein and gives what I think is one of the finest portrayals of this character.  Christopher Lee also gives a solid performance as the Creature.  He smartly steers clear of trying to mimic Borif Karloff's iconic performance of the Monster in the original and makes the character his own.  The rest of the cast is solid as well with very good performances from everyone.
This one is a must see, not only because it is the beginning of what would come to be known as Hammer Horror, it is also a wonderful movie in its own right.  A delight from start to finish.  You can find this film on YouTube but, do yourself a favor, and rent the DVD so you can enjoy this film in all its glory.  I found a copy of it at my local used book/DVD store as a double feature with Taste the Blood of Dracula.  The print was flawless.  
Rating: Excellent.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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