Hammer Films: Frankenstein

This page is about the 20th Century cinema film releases of the Hammer Films Frankenstein franchise. Cinema release dates courtesy IMDb*. Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

Background

As production began on Quatermass 2 (1957), Hammer Films entered talks with Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.). During this period, two young American filmmakers who later established Hammer’s rival Amicus, submitted to a.a.p. a script for an adaptation of the novel Frankenstein. Although interested in the script, a.a.p. were not prepared to back a film made by Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky, who had just one film to their credit, Rock, Rock, Rock! (1956). However, the script made its way to Hammer. Rosenberg would often claim he ‘produced’ The Curse of Frankenstein, an exaggeration repeated in his obituary.

Plans were made to shoot the film in Eastmancolor – a decision which caused worry at the BBFC. Not only did the script contain horror and graphic violence, but it would be portrayed in vivid colour.

The project was handed to Anthony Hinds who was less impressed with the script, and whose vision for the film was a simple black-and-white ‘quickie’ made in three weeks. Concerned that the script had too many similarities to the Universal films, it was rewritten as The Curse of Frankenstein. The new treatment impressed Hammer enough to rescue the film from the ‘quickie’ treadmill and to produce it as a colour film.

The film was directed by Terence Fisher, with a look that belied its modest budget. British TV star Peter Cushing portrayed Victor Frankenstein, and supporting actor Christopher Lee was cast as the imposingly tall, brutish creature. With a budget of £65,000 and a cast and crew that would become the backbone of later films, Hammer’s first gothic horror went into production. The use of colour encouraged a previously unseen level of gore. Until The Curse of Frankenstein, horror films had not shown blood in a graphic way, or when they did, it was concealed by monochrome photography. In this film, it was bright red, and the camera lingered on it.

The film was an enormous success, not only in Britain, but also in the USA, where it inspired numerous imitations from, amongst others, Roger Corman. It found success on the European continent also, where Italian directors and audiences were particularly receptive.

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The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957)
UK release May 2, 1957 US release June 25, 1957

The Curse of Frankenstein will haunt you forever!

The Curse of Frankenstein is a British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein (1818) 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 and The Mummy, and established “Hammer Horror” as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema.

Baron Victor Frankenstein, in prison for murder and trying to evade the guillotine, tells a priest how he and his mentor, Paul Krempe, had performed many scientific experiments, eventually leading to the resurrection of a dead body. The baron’s obsession and the monster’s homicidal nature cause the deaths of several of those around them. Finally the Baron is confronted by an enraged monster about to throw Victor’s fiancée Elizabeth, from the castle parapet. [IMDb]

Notable Cast & Crew

1913-Peter_Cushing,_from_The_Brides_of_Dracula_(1960)
Peter Cushing (1913-1994), “Victor Frankenstein”

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Christopher Lee (1922-2015), “The Creature”

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Hazel Court (1926-2008), “Elizabeth”

1935-Melvyn_Hayes-Superted_Wiki
Melvyn Hayes (1935-), “Young Victor”

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Terence Fisher (1904-1980), director

1927-2011-Jimmy_Sangster-Wikipedia
Jimmy Sangster (1927-2011), screenplay
Music from the film

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The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1958)
US release June 1, 1958 UK release August 27, 1958

We dare you to see it!

We double-dare you to forget it!

The Revenge of Frankenstein is a British horror film made by Hammer Film Productions. The film saw the return of Peter Cushing, reprising the eponymous role. In the US, it was released on a double feature with Curse of the Demon.

The Revenge of Frankenstein was a sequel to The Curse of Frankenstein, the studio’s 1957 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.

Baron Frankenstein escapes from the guillotine and goes to Germany. There, he names himself Dr. Stein and plans to restart his experiments by using parts of dead bodies. [IMDb]

Notable Cast & Crew

1913-Peter_Cushing,_from_The_Brides_of_Dracula_(1960)
Peter Cushing (1913-1994), “Dr Victor Stein”

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Francis Matthews (1927-2014), “Doctor Hans Kleve”

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Eunice Gayson (1928-2018), “Margaret”

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Michael Gwynn (1916-1976), “Karl”, in his new body

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Lionel Jeffries (1926-2010), “Fritz”

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Charles Lloyd-Pack (1902-1983). “President of the Medical Council”

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Michael Ripper (1913-2000), “Kurt”

1904-1980-Terence_Fisher-Wikipedia
Terence Fisher (1904-1980), director

1927-2011-Jimmy_Sangster-Wikipedia
Jimmy Sangster (1927-2011), screenplay
Music from the film

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The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964)
US release May 25, 1988 UK release August 26, 1988

Shock…shock…

The Evil of Frankenstein continues the Frankenstein saga produced by Hammer Films. The film’s version of the Monster is noted for resembling the one in Universal Pictures‘ original Frankenstein series of the 1930s and 1940s, including the distinctive laboratory sets as well as the flat-headed look which had been designed for Boris Karloff. Earlier Frankenstein films by Hammer had studiously avoided such similarities for copyright reasons. However, a new film distribution deal had been made between Hammer and Universal. As a result, Hammer had free rein to duplicate make-up and set elements.

Upon returning to his home village to continue his experimental research, the destitute Dr. Frankenstein revives his old creature, but a hypnotist wants the monster to control for himself. [IMDb]

Notable Cast & Crew

1913-Peter_Cushing,_from_The_Brides_of_Dracula_(1960)
Peter Cushing (1913-1994), “Victor Frankenstein”

1931-2004-Peter_Woodthorpe-Wikipedia
Peter Woodthorpe (1931-2004), “Zoltan”

1917-2007-Freddie_Francis_photo-Wikipedia
Freddie Francis (1917-2007), director
Music from the film

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