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The Curse of Frankenstein

Peter Cushing , Hazel Court , Terence Fisher    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.50
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The Curse of Frankenstein + The Revenge of Frankenstein (Sous-titres français)
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Product Details

Product Description

Product Description

In this re-telling of the classic horror tale, Baron Victor Frankenstein becomes friends with one of his teachers, Paul Krempe. At first, both men are fascinated by the potential of their re-animating experiments. Eventually, though, Krempe refuses to help with Frankenstien's human experiments. However, he is drawn back into the plot when Frankenstein's creature kills a member of the house staff.


Britain's Hammer Studios had been making films for decades before they suddenly redefined themselves with this lurid remake of the Universal Studios horror classic. Prohibited by Universal from copying their blocky makeup (and their script, for that matter), Hammer returned to Mary Shelley's novel for inspiration, and then went in its own direction. Peter Cushing plays Dr. Frankenstein as the rational scientist turned cold-blooded criminal in his campaign to discover the secret of life, committing murder to further his ends, or to remove an inconvenient mistress. Christopher Lee is the pitiable creature, a terrified behemoth more innocent newborn than malevolent monster. His pale, pallid, grotesquely scarred face was so thickly applied that he emotes almost exclusively with his eyes and his awkward, stumbling gestures. The not-so-good Dr. Frankenstein is the true monster, a ruthless scientist whose rejection of superstition extends to all moral considerations. Shot in blood-red color by Hammer stalwart Terence Fisher, the stylish, often salacious film became Hammer's biggest success to date, made horror stars out of the classically trained Cushing and Lee, and transformed the B studio into the Hammer we know and love today: the house that dripped blood. The Horror of Dracula immediately followed, reuniting the winning team of Cushing and Lee, and Cushing returned in four of six Frankenstein sequels. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential DVD for Horror Fans. June 17 2004
Shot in colour and released in 1957, "The Curse of Frankenstein" is, of course, the film that made Hammer Films a household name for horror/thriller movie fans all over the world. To fully appreciate the importance and impact of "Curse", you have to look at it in the context of the time when it was made. By the mid-fifties, horror films had long passed their peak in Hollywood--certainly in terms of quality. Black and white "quickies", with almost no budget, were being churned out for teenagers to watch at the drive-in ( at least, those who were watching the screen ! ) Shlock-masters like Roger Corman and Bert Gordon were turning out "masterpieces" like "The Wasp Woman" and "The Amazing Colossal Man".
Suddenly, we have a small studio in England, making a horror film with excellent production values, gorgeously creepy sets, fine costumes, professional actors and a talented director, Terence Fisher. At the same time, along with a classy look, you add liberal amounts of gore ( certainly by 1950s standards ), and a couple of voluptuous "damsels in distress" who can scream lustily when they encounter the monster. It was a winning formula that Hammer would raise to an art form.
Peter Cushing plays Baron Von Frankenstein, and his terrific performance dominates the film. His character goes through quite a transformation from curious scientist to an obsessive fiend, determined to "create life" at, literally, any cost. His mentor/friend Paul Krempe ( Robert Urquhart )is an enthusiastic assistant at first, but soon becomes alienated by the Baron's frantic and ultimately murderous behaviour. Sometimes body parts are easily available--sometimes you have to be "creative" in obtaining them !
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1.0 out of 5 stars Creature Feature March 25 2004
The Curse of Frankenstein could never rank as one of the best versions of Mary Shelley's novel. Even without the Karloff make-up it borrowed too much from the Universal classic, particularly emphasizing the monster's transplanted brain. Stitches were never seen on the critter until the Karloff version, and Hammer had the stitches too. Christopher Lee, who once referred to his character as a walking road accident, did less in the part than the young actor in I Was a Teenaged Frankenstein. There was no sense of pathos like in the Karloff version, or the wronged being of the novel. He killed just because that was part of the formula of creature features. The monster of the book was romantic, thoughtful, intellectual and more. He even had a sense of humor. When Victor Frankenstein tells him to remove his detested form from his eyes, he places his hands over the young scientist's eyes and says, "Thus I relieve thee my creator." All Hammer Studios had was all the guts we would have loved to have in our childhood Halloween houses, but we had to settle for grapes for eyeballs, and spaghetti for brains. The main value in this movie is the introduction of Peter Cushing as a horror actor and Terence Fisher as a horror director.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flamboyant March 2 2004
This is the first of Hammer's flamboyant gothic horror-movies, initiating a rich Renaissance for the genre. It's also the first get-together for the quartet who became responsible for the highlights: Peter Cushing is superb as the scientist for whom the moral implications of his unorthodox work are mediaeval dogmatics. When his assistent implies that his experiment is "evil", his reply is: "I wish you would stop saying that". Christopher Lee is the pathetic homunculus, having nothing in common with Karloff or Shelleys romantic creature, rather a tottering retard, failing to understand his surroundings. Jimmy Sangsters screen-play is witty and literary and Terence Fishers direction is simply marvellous, lavish and restrained at the same time. Like most of the movies with "Frankestein" in the title it has very little to do with the novel, but it's a great movie in its own rights, a minor masterpiece. The Warner-DVD do fair justice to the glowing colours, that was one of the trademarks of Hammer's horror-movies.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Get out of his way.....IF YOU CAN! Jan. 24 2004
...as quoted from the original 1957 trailer to this, the first of many British produced Horror Classics. The real treat for audiences, after years of viewing films from Universal's camp in black and white is it being rich in technicolor. Director Terence Fisher, a veteran director of cult classics crafted this well-adapted version which would follow a myriad of future films, yet like many other originals this stands out as the best.
As expected, the screenplay strays greatly from Mary Shelley's original novel, like James Whale's 1931 production, yet it effectively avoids rehashing plot elements from the earlier films. Peter Cushing stars as Baron Victor Frankenstein who is held in prison for murder and his execution is imminent. When he is visited by a Priest, he tells his tale of being obsessed with creating life following inheritance of his family name with the death of his Father. Enter Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart) who tutors Victor in the process. After they restore a dead puppy, they resolve to recreate a man - and thus Victor's obsession, and Paul's reluctance ensues. Trouble begins as Victor's cousin Elizabeth (a very young, and very lovely Hazel Court) comes to stay at the Castle, and Victor has a secret love affair with Justine the maid (Valerie Gaunt, also the Vampiress in HORROR OF DRACULA). Things are guaranteed to get out of hand even more when the Creature awakens!
Although it is stiff and very slow-paced at times, a clever blend of suspense and camp is woven into the script. For instance, there are graphic close-ups of severed hands, assembled body organs, and although seen only very briefly mentions of halfway decayed cadavers. Thus Victor forms the creation out of several different people.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Peter Cushing at his best. These Hammer films are really excellent.
Published 1 month ago by Neil Fennell
5.0 out of 5 stars curse of frankenstein
very good story very gory for it time. peter cushing is wonderful .it,s the best of the hammer frankenstein films.
Published on Nov. 27 2010 by Gordon Donald
4.0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein in glorious technicolour for the first time!
The Curse of Frankenstein was the first of the many gothic horrors for which the Hammer Studios became renowned, and it remains one of the best. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by David L Rattigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brith of Frankenstein
This was the breakthrough movie for Hammer studios and caused a storm of outrage among the critics. Peter Cushing is the Baron and he so completely absorbed in his project where he... Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Ned
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's first Frankenstein
THe Curse of Frankenstein is quite an interesting film that borrows plots from both the novel and Universal's classic. Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Fabiola
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st Hammer thriller
"Curse of Frankenstein" is the first Hammer Studios horror movie of note. It maked horror icons out of Peter Crushing and Christopher Lee. Dr. Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by Vagabond77
5.0 out of 5 stars The film that saved Hammer Studios
I can recall being 10 years old and seeing Curse of Frankenstein on the big screen for the first time playing a double feature with Horror of Dracula. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by Robert C. Fockler III
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hammer
I will watch any movie with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. It is even better when that movie happens to be a horror classic. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2003 by W. Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film!
Peter Cushing is excellent as Frankenstein. This movie is worth watching just to see Christopher Lee as the monster. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2002 by Tony
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