Watch The Curse of Frankenstein
- 1 hr 23 min
In 1957, Hammer Film Productions released The Curse of Frankenstein, the first of their horror films to feature both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who would go on to become two of the biggest stars in the genre. The film is a retelling of the classic Frankenstein story, with Cushing playing the role of Victor Frankenstein, a charismatic and egotistical scientist who becomes obsessed with creating life. Robert Urquhart plays his loyal friend, Paul Krempe, and Hazel Court is Elizabeth, a young woman who becomes caught up in their dangerous experiments. The film opens with Frankenstein on trial for murder. The story then jumps back to his youth, where we see his first experiments with reanimation. He and Krempe discover the secret of life by performing experiments on dead animals, and soon move on to creating a human being. Frankenstein steals body parts from graves and the executioner's block, and begins constructing his creation. However, the creature is hideous and uncontrollable, and Frankenstein is forced to destroy it. Undeterred, Frankenstein makes a new creature, using the brain of an intellectual who had been executed for murder. This creature is more intelligent, but is also filled with a deep anger and resentment towards its creator. Meanwhile, Frankenstein's relationship with Elizabeth is strained, as he becomes increasingly self-absorbed and obsessed with his experiments. The situation comes to a head when the creature escapes and seeks revenge on those who created it. The Curse of Frankenstein was a significant departure from the Universal horror films of the 1930s and 40s, which had been mostly black and white, and had focused on classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolfman. Hammer's film was in color, and was more violent and explicit, featuring graphic scenes of dismemberment and gore. It also portrayed Frankenstein as a more complex and morally ambiguous character, rather than the purely evil figure of earlier versions. The film was a commercial success, and helped to launch the careers of both Cushing and Lee. It also spawned a series of sequels, many of which featured Cushing as Frankenstein and Lee as the monster. While the sequels often lacked the original's intellectual depth and emotional complexity, they maintained its graphic violence and vibrant color palette. Overall, The Curse of Frankenstein is a landmark film in the history of horror, combining a classic story with a modern sensibility, and showcasing the talents of two of the genre's greatest actors. It remains a must-see for horror aficionados, and a testament to the power of classic movie monsters.