The Curse of Frankenstein

08/29/2015 22:08

Film: The Curse of Frankenstein

Year: 1957

Director: Terence Fisher

Writer: Jimmy Sangster

Starring: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court and Robert Urquhart

 

Review:

This film begins with a priest coming to hear the last confession of a man being held in a cell. The man is the former Baron of Frankenstein, played by Peter Cushing. He tells his tale to the priest.

We see him when he is a young man after his mother’s funeral. His aunt and her daughter leave. As they do, a man arrives played by Robert Urquhart. The young baron intends to hire him and after a little bit of confusion, Urquhart accepts the position.

Cushing tells of how in two years, Urquhart taught him everything he knew, then from there they began to learn new things together. Their experiments grew increasingly more advanced until Cushing comes up with the idea to bring things back to life.

The first they try to bring back is a small dog. At first they think it failed, but they learn that the heart has to beat for a couple of minutes to ensure that all the blood flows through the body before it can reanimate. The dog comes back to life and is perfectly normal.

Cushing gets an idea, but will not share it with Urquhart at first. Cushing goes away to begin it while he leaves Urquhart at his home. One day a woman arrives, played by Hazel Court. We learn that she is the young girl in the beginning grown up and she is coming to stay. She is also going to marry Cushing. This is something the servant isn’t happy about, as she is having an affair with him.

Cushing finally comes back, telling Urquhart that he wants to create life now that they have already brought something back. Cushing pieces together parts from people in an attempt to create the perfect man. He even kills a great professor for his brain. Urquhart tries to stop him from using it, damaging the brain in the process.

Cushing brings life to the monster, but it is just that a monster. He can’t control it, but he will stop at nothing to gain mastery over it. Will he succeed or will everything come falling down around him?

This film is actually a pretty good adaptation of the Frankenstein story. Christopher Lee plays the monster, so he has no lines, but his physical size and the make-up used is really good. I would say he played the role well. What I like about this one, as well as others, is that it brings up the issue of using a genius brain, would it work in making the monster into a genius and only because it is damaged does it fail. Or will it be a monster no matter what?

This one is made in the 50s so it is a tad bit slow, but I think it isn’t a bad version of this story. The acting is good and Cushing plays a great, but crazy Baron Frankenstein. Seeing his collapse at the end is a nice finishing touch to a pretty good view. If you don’t like old movies, I would avoid this one. If you are interested in seeing a well-acted adaptation of this classic, give this film a viewing.

 

My Rating: 7 out of 10