The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) | Hammer’s first horror looks fresher than ever on Blu-ray

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Happy 57th birthday to The Curse of Frankenstein, which premiered in the UK on this day in 1957. Here’s my original review of the 2012 Blu-ray restoration from Lionsgate.

The creature created by man and forgotten by nature!
Drawing from Mary Shelley’s original 1816 gothic novel, director Terence Fisher’s 1957 adaptation recounts the grisly tale of how aristocratic scientist Baron Victor Frankenstein’s obsession with creating the perfect human brought out the monster within himself.

(…) will haunt you forever!
The Curse of Frankenstein was Hammer’s first colour horror film and an international box office hit that turned the studio into the house that dripped blood. It also made stars of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who would cement their horror credentials in Hammer’s 1958 follow-up The Horror of Dracula. But they certainly proved their star quality in this flamboyant melodrama – Cushing’s Baron is an elegant, restrained performance that neatly avoids tipping over into parody, while Lee’s skillful exercise in mime imbues his mute brain-damaged creature with real emotion.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Please try not to faint
Over half a century after its original release, The Curse of Frankenstein has been given a longed-for high definition restoration (in 2012), with the inclusion of an eyeball shot that was deemed too scary back in the conservative 1950s. It’s also gorgeous to look at, especially the Baron’s lab – which is littered with smoking vats of coloured liquids and whirring machines emitting electrical sparks – and the bosomy period costumes worn by the film’s leading ladies, Hazel Court and Valerie Gaunt.

The Lionsgate 3-disc Double Play includes a Blu-ray disc and two DVDs shock-full of exciting new content that vintage horror fans will appreciate. These include three documentaries – there’s a lovely one devoted to Peter Cushing – plus two bonuses, Terence Fisher’s rarely-screened 1953 sci-fi Four Sided Triangle, and the 1958 TV pilot Tales of Frankenstein, starring Anton Diffring.

The Curse of Frankenstein was released on Double Play (Blu-ray and DVD) on 15 October 2012

The Hammer horror can also be rented from BFI Player (£3.50/£2.98)

Read my review of 1973’s Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell which is also out on Blu-ray in the UK


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on May 2, 2014, in BFI Player, British Film, Classic, Cult classic, Hammer-Amicus-Tigon, Must-See and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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