Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Robert Urquhart and Peter Cushing

THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957). Director: Terence Fisher.

In Hammer studio's reinvention of the Frankenstein legend, Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is not a conscience-stricken man but a veritable sociopath, this being the second 1957 film to present a totally evil Dr. Frankenstein [the first being I Was a Teenage Frankenstein]. Victor is not only amoral, but he's quite the lover boy, making out with the saucy maid, Justine (Valerie Gaunt) but getting rid of her when she proves a complication. Victor is assisted by his boyhood tutor, Paul (Robert Urquhart), and has a fiancee named Elizabeth (Hazel Court); the creature is played by no less than Christopher Lee. The Curse of Frankenstein has absolutely nothing to do with Mary Shelly's novel, but it borrows an idea from the Universal picture with Karloff in that the monster is given a damaged brain. The acting from all is very good, including Melvyn Hayes as Victor as a boy. Except for the end credits, the musical score sounds practically generic. Followed by The Revenge of Frankenstein.

Verdict: All told minor but influential and quite entertaining. ***.

No comments: