The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

curse of frankenstein poster 1957 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Darker Frankenstein

Not the classic tale for purists

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Curse of Frankenstein

Studio:  Hammer Film Productions

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  May 2, 1957

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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I really just want to play God…screw the science!

Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is a driven man.  He desires to bring life to the dead and will stop at nothing to play God.  Despite warnings from his friend Dr. Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart) and hiding it from his fiancée Elizabeth (Hazel Court), Victor goes ahead with his experiment…and unleashes evil upon the world!  Now, the Monster (Christopher Lee) is alive and Victor will have to answer for his crimes.

Directed by Terence Fisher, The Curse of Frankenstein is a Hammer production adapting Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic novel Frankenstein.  The movie was met with critical acclaim and success and started a franchise.  The film is often found in multimovie packs or as an individual release.

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I just want to be in a movie where no one wants to kill me!

Frankenstein is a story that been told over and over again on the screen since its first presentation in 1910 by Thomas Edison’s studio.  Having said that, The Curse of Frankenstein is a very different approach and a different feeling film.  It might not resonate with everyone, but I do find it a fun entry in a series of movies about the monster.

This version of Frankenstein doesn’t paint Victor as a tortured man, but a man who is plotting and rather evil.  He wants to create the perfect creation and even kills an admired professor for his perfect brain.  He cheats on his fiancee with a maid and kills her when she discovers the truth about his creation.  When his creation fails, he blames everyone else.  This is an odd portrayal of a character that is generally presented as a flawed visionary.  I like the change, and it also makes this version stand out a bit more.

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I don’t know what you’re freaking out about…I think I look gooood!

The movie owes a lot to the performance of Peter Cushing.  Cushing was a Hammer favorite and often played the hero.  In this entry of the series, he is more of a villain and that is a nice twist (and a nice contrast to his Van Helsing portrayal in the Hammer Dracula series).

The movie also casts Christopher Lee as the Monster (or the Creature) who isn’t as boxy and lumbering as Boris Karloff’s version.  I kind of like how this Frankenstein looks and feel he more represents the “monster” of Shelley’s novel.  The creature is different and that is a good thing.

I rather like The Curse of Frankenstein.  It is a likable and different approach to an old story.  Purists might object to the turn the movie takes on Frankenstein who is rather a hero of gothic romance, but I find this movie almost a stand alone since it diverges so far from the novel’s plot.  The Curse of Frankenstein was followed by The Revenge of Frankenstein in 1958.

Related Links:

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Frankenstein Creates Woman (1967)

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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