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The Curse of Frankenstein (Bilingual) [Import]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The picture quality of the DVD is superb. The picture is presented in widescreen format. The colors are bright with no signs of scratches or dirt as far as I could tell. You would never know this movie is over 45 years old. The sound is presented in its original mono track. Voices come through loud and clear. There are very few extras. There is a film trailer and a still gallery with film facts called "The Making of a Monster". It would be nice to have Lee record a commentary at some point. Hammer went on to produce 6 more Frankenstein films, with Peter Cushing in the title role of 5 of them. The Curse of Frankenstein should be the cornerstone of any good classic horror or Hammer DVD library.
It is beautiful. And apparently Warner used a very fine quality source print for this release. The colors are lovely, and the widescreen presentation is satisfying. As a great admirer of Hammer films, it is exciting to finally see this beautifully photographed film as it was seen on the big screen in 1958.
The story is much closer to Mary Shelley's original novel, though the creature, here played by Christopher Lee, is much like the one portrayed by Karloff; large, horrifying to look at, and almost an "idiot" in intellectual capacity, but somehow tugging at our sympathies. But he is more frightening to behold in this film, with his ghastly white complexion, and bizarre, searching eyes. As the film progresses, he becomes even harder to behold as he is ravaged by the terrifying encounters that make up his sad, short existence.
And Peter Cushing is astonishing in his portrayal of Baron Victor Frankenstein. He is a single-minded, driven scientist. Both brilliant intellectually, and uncompromising in vision. And yet, he is also not exactly evil, though his actions are, as is seen clearly by the murdering of his one-time lover and maid, Justine, as you see both determination and regret reflected in his expressions, while he listens to her screams.
It's easy to see why, when viewing both "Horror of Dracula" and "Curse of Frankenstein", these two films made Cushing and Lee international stars and horror icons.Read more ›
The only way that you can compare Fisher and Whale's film is in the impact both had with the public and on other horror films. Both films made the horror film a staple of movie houses (horror films had been on the decline during the 40's); both films set new standards for the "look" of horror films as well. Peter Cushing brings a vitality and cold intelligence to his role as Dr. Frankenstein. Christopher Lee's unique interpretation of the Monster steals cues from Karloff while maintaining a presence all his own. Lee has admitted that Karloff's portrayal had an impact on his own and, while there are similarities, Lee's is as unique and original in it's own way.
Warner has done a pretty good job with this disc. The picture quality, color and general look of the DVD is an improvement over The Mummy issued last year (and The Mummy looked pretty good). Curse looks better than Horror of Dracula which suffers from some grain problems and a less than stellar print.
Terence Fisher wasn't as pivotal a director as James Whale but his films weren't designed for the same audience. Fisher's films are every bit the equal of many of the horror classics he and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster remade. I'd also recommend Revenge of Frankenstein which Columbia has done a pretty good job on as well.
It isn't perfect.Read more ›
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 !Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Peter Cushing at his best. These Hammer films are really excellent.Published 22 months ago by Neil Fennell
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
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 morePublished on July 6 2004 by David L Rattigan
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 morePublished on May 27 2004 by Ned
THe Curse of Frankenstein is quite an interesting film that borrows plots from both the novel and Universal's classic. Read morePublished on May 23 2004 by Fabiola
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,... Read morePublished on March 25 2004 by stephen spotswood
"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 morePublished on March 16 2004 by Vagabond77
This is the first of Hammer's flamboyant gothic horror-movies, initiating a rich Renaissance for the genre. Read morePublished on March 2 2004 by mikkel carlsen
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