The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (1957) starring Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing
The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas is about a search for the Yeti. It asks the questions: Who is the real monster? Which is the more human, Yeti or man? Botanist Dr. John Rollason (Peter Cushing) joins the exploration task force. Crass, American showman Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker) has formed the expedition. But not for the altruistic reason he pretends. Soon after setting up camp, a large beast attacks the group. Trapper Ed Shelley (Robert Brown) shoots and kills it. The dead creature is stored in a cave to attract a live specimen. Be careful what you ask for …
The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas is a very good, very enjoyable horror movie. It deals with some legitimate scientists at a Himalayan monastery. Then, a “scientific” expedition comes by. They’re searching for a live Yeti. Despite the Llama of the monastery doing all he can to dissuade them. “There are no Yetis.” But, they convince one of the botanists to come along.
Soon after, it’s clear that the expedition doesn’t care as much about science as money. They catch a monkey, and are planning to pass it off as a Yeti. Despite the scientist’s outrage. Then, they actually shoot and kill a Yeti!
Now, the problems begin. The other Yetis want their friends’ body back. And, the Yeti have several advantages. They’re acclimated to the environment, strong, and very intelligent. They’re also telepathic. They make the members of the expedition see, and hear, things that aren’t there. One by one, the expedition members are led to their death. The only one spared in the caring, sympathetic, scientist. He lives to return to the monastery. Where he agrees with the Llama, that there are no Yetis.
- Forrest Tucker (The Crawling Eye, F-Troop) … Tom Friend. The con artist, who hopes to capture a live Yeti, and make a fortune.
- Peter Cushing (The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror Express) … Dr. John Rollason. The protagonist. He’s been conned by Friend to join the expedition. To give it a veneer of scientific respectability. He comes to suspect that the Yeti are a relative of humanity. But older, wiser, with telepathic abilities. And that they’re patiently waiting for humanity to wipe itself out, so they can inherit the Earth.
- Maureen Connell … Helen Rollason. John’s loving, supportive wife.
- Richard Wattis (Hobson’s Choice) … Peter Fox. John’s assistant, who stays at the monastery with Helen & the Lhama.
- Robert Brown (Warlords of the Deep) … Ed Shelley. Friend’s right-hand man, who actually shoots and kills a Yeti. And the Yetis want the body of their friend back.
- Michael Brill (The Barretts of Wimple Street) … McNee
- Wolfe Morris … Kusang
- Arnold Marlé (The Man Who Could Cheat Death) … Lhama. Head of the monastery, who knows more about the Yeti than he lets on.
- Anthony Chinn (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) … Majordomo
Editorial review of The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas
Gun-runner Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker) embarks on an expedition in search of the fabled creature known as the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman. He is joined by botanist John Rollason (Peter Cushing), whose scientific curiosity is at odds with Rollason’s aim to capture and commercially exploit one of the creatures. Misfortune dogs the expedition as it travels deeper into the Himalayas, but trapper Ed Shelley (Robert Brown) succeeds in killing one of the giant animals. As the party’s numbers rapidly dwindle the ruthless Friend decides to use Shelley as bait in an effort to trap a live Yeti. The hunters soon become the hunted as a series of disturbing events lead Rollason to suspect that they are dealing with creatures of awesome intelligence.
Nigel Kneale’s compelling screenplay for The Abominable Snowman was adapted from his own BBC production The Creature. The film was directed by Val Guest, who had already brought the first two installments of Kneale’s Quatermass saga to the big screen.