Synopsis of Curse of Frankenstein
Curse of Frankenstein (1957) starring Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee, Robert Urquhart
Many things–the acting is first-rate. Peter Cushing plays the amoral Baron Victor von Frankenstein. Hazel Court has the role of his beautiful fiance. Robert Urquhart as the Baron’s friend and initial helper. They share the bizarre task of giving life to a patchwork quilt of a human being. The result is the creature, played by Christopher Lee, that is both sympathetic and nearly mindless. But the true monster in this film is Baron von Frankenstein.
It’s a fascinating look into the descent of a brilliant man into being a heartless murderer–and riveting.
Curse of Frankenstein is a true classic of the horror genre and is definitely not for children. For teenagers and older, I recommend it and rate it 4 stars out of 5.
Editorial review of The Curse of Frankenstein, courtesy of Amazon.com
The Curse of Frankenstein is a classic 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, based on the novel Frankenstein (1816) by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer’s first colour horror film and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio’s new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and established “Hammer Horror” as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema. The film was directed by Terence Fisher and starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in two of their most iconic roles. …
Trivia for The Curse of Frankenstein
- Although they had both previously appeared in Hamlet (1948) and Moulin Rouge (1952), Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing met on the set of this film for the first time. They would pass the time between shots by exchanging Looney Tunes phrases, and quickly developed a fast friendship, which lasted until Cushing’s death in 1994.
- For many years The Curse of Frankenstein was the most profitable film to be produced in England by a British studio.
- Christopher Lee’s monster make-up was almost literally done at the “last minute”. Previous attempts to design a monster make-up using a cast of Lee’s head had failed. Make-up artist Philip Leakey made the final design the day before shooting began. He directly applied it onto Lee’s face, using primarily cotton and other household materials. Since he didn’t use any latex or molds, the make-up had to be recreated from scratch every day.
- The script called for a child actress to play Hazel Court’s character, Elizabeth, as a little girl in flashback scenes. Court suggested to the producers that her daughter, Sally Walsh, who looked very much like her mother, play the part. As Court said in an interview, “She hated it – HATED being in it! I think it was all foreign to her, and she didn’t understand it. She still remembers it to this day, and still doesn’t like it!”
- The original concept for this film was a black-and-white feature with Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein monster. Universal threatened a lawsuit if Hammer copied any elements from the classic Universal version. Hammer had Jimmy Sangster completely redo the script and had Jack Asher shoot it in Eastmancolour.