The creatures from the first three films (Christopher Lee, Michael Gwynn and Kiwi Kingston)
The creatures from the first three films (Christopher Lee, Michael Gwynn and Kiwi Kingston)

Frankenstein is the title of several horror-adventure films loosely based on the 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, centered on Baron Victor Frankenstein, who experiments in creating a creature beyond human.

Hammer Horror film series (1957–1974)

The original series of films consisted of seven installments, which starred well-known horror actors such as Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as Baron Victor Frankenstein and his creature respectively. The series of films is part of the larger Hammer Horror series.

Year Film Baron Victor Frankenstein actor The Creature actor
1957 The Curse of Frankenstein Peter Cushing Christopher Lee
1958 The Revenge of Frankenstein Michael Gwynn Peter Cushing
1964 The Evil of Frankenstein Kiwi Kingston
1967 Frankenstein Created Woman Susan Denberg
1969 Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed Freddie Jones
1970 The Horror of Frankenstein Ralph Bates David Prowse
1974 Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell Peter Cushing
Frankenstein
Directed by
Screenplay by
Produced by
Starring
Edited by
Music by
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
1957–1974
Running time
634–643 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Producer Max Rosenberg originally approached Michael Carreras at Hammer Films with a deal to produce Frankenstein and the Monster (Rosenberg claims that he came up with the title) from a script by Milton Subotsky. Later, both men were cut out of their profit participation making only a $5000 fee for bringing the production to Hammer.[1] Rosenberg and Subotsky later established Amicus Films, Hammer's main rival in the production of horror films during the 1960s. Screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, who adapted Mary Shelley's novel for Hammer, never mentioned seeing Subotsky's script or being aware of Rosenberg's involvement. Sangster had worked as a production manager and said that he was keenly aware of production costs and kept the budget in mind when writing the script. Sangster said that his awareness of cost influenced him to not write scenes involving the villagers storming the castle that was typically seen in the Universal horror films "because we couldn't afford it". Sangster in an interview with film historian Jonathan Rigby indicated that he hadn't seen any of the Frankenstein films that Universal made. He just adapted the book "the way I saw it".[2]

Peter Cushing, who was then best known for his many high-profile roles in British television, had his first lead part in a film with The Curse of Frankenstein. Meanwhile, Christopher Lee's casting resulted largely from his height (6'5"), though Hammer had earlier considered the even taller (6'7") Bernard Bresslaw for the role. Universal fought hard to prevent Hammer from duplicating aspects of their 1931 film, and so it was down to make-up artist Phil Leakey to design a new look for the creature bearing no resemblance to the Boris Karloff original created by Jack Pierce. Production of The Curse of Frankenstein began, with an investment of £65,000, on 19 November 1956 at Bray Studios with a scene showing Baron Frankenstein cutting down a highwayman from a wayside gibbet.[3] The film opened at the London Pavilion on 2 May 1957 with an X certificate from the censors.

Hammer's first colour horror film, its worldwide success led to several sequels, the studio's new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959), and established "Hammer Horror" as a new distinctive brand of Gothic cinema.[4] [5]

Film Rotten Tomatoes
The Curse of Frankenstein 78% (18 reviews)[6]
The Revenge of Frankenstein 87% (15 reviews)[7]
The Evil of Frankenstein 57% (7 reviews)[8]
Frankenstein Created Woman 67% (12 reviews)[9]
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 70% (10 reviews)[10]
The Horror of Frankenstein 55% (11 reviews)[11]
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell 50% (6 reviews)[12]

Tales of Frankenstein television pilot

Main article: Tales of Frankenstein

In 1959, Hammer shot a half-hour pilot episode for a television series to be called Tales of Frankenstein, in association with Columbia Pictures, directed by Curt Siodmak. Anton Diffring played the Baron, and Don Megowan his creation. The series was scrapped, largely because of the two companies' disagreement over what the basic thrust of the series would be: Hammer wanted to do a series about Baron Frankenstein involved in various misadventures, while Columbia wanted a series of loosely-connected science fiction loosely based around the idea of science gone wrong. Though unreleased at the time of its production, the episode is available on DVD from several public domain sources. Though the series was never produced, Anthony Hinds commissioned several scripts that provided Hammer with material for their later Frankenstein films, specifically Frankenstein Created Woman and The Evil of Frankenstein.[13][14]

Feature films

Number Title Director Release date Continuity
1 The Curse of Frankenstein Terence Fisher May 2, 1957 Main series
2 The Revenge of Frankenstein June 1, 1958
3 The Evil of Frankenstein Freddie Francis April 19, 1964
4 Frankenstein Created Woman Terence Fisher March 15, 1967
5 Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed May 22, 1969
7 Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell May 2, 1974
6 The Horror of Frankenstein Jimmy Sangster November 8, 1970 Remake

Cast and characters

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in the series.

Character Main series Remake
The Curse of Frankenstein The Revenge of Frankenstein The Evil of Frankenstein Frankenstein Created Woman Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell The Horror of Frankenstein
1957 1958 1964 1967 1969 1974 1970
Baron Victor Frankenstein
Doctor Victor Stein / Franck / Carl Victor
Peter Cushing
Melvyn HayesY
Peter Cushing Ralph Bates
The Creature
Herr Schneider / The Monster from Hell
Christopher Lee
Jock Easton
Michael Gwynn
Peter Cushing
Kiwi Kingston Susan Denberg Freddie Jones David Prowse
Priest Alex Gallier Alex GallierU James Maxwell Colin Jeavons Chris Lethbridge-Baker
Elizabeth Heiss Hazel Court
Sally WalshY
Veronica Carlson
Schoolmaster Henry Caine Neil Wilson
Burgomaster of Karlstaad Andrew Leigh David Hutcheson
Burgomaster's Wife Ann Blake Caron Gardner
Fritz Josef Behrmann Lionel Jeffries
Doctor Hans Kleve Francis Matthews Sandor Elès Robert Morris
Stuart MiddletonUY
Susan DenbergP
Chris Cunningham
Doctor Karl Holst Oscar Quitak
Michael Gwynn
Barry Warren Simon Ward
Professor Durendel
President of the Medical Council
Charles Lloyd-Pack Charles Lloyd-Pack
Landlord Alister Williamson Ivan Beavis Jerold Wells
Chief of Police Duncan Lamont Peter Madden Timothy Davies
Police Sergeant #1 Anthony Blackshaw Allan Surtees
Police Sergeant #2 David Conville Windsor Davies
Christina Kleve Susan Denberg Elizabeth Morgan
Dr. Paul Krempe Robert Urquhart
Justine Valerie Gaunt
Aunt Sophia Noel Hood
Professor Bernstein Paul Hardtmuth
Grandpa Fred Johnson
Little Boy Claude Kingston
Warder Michael Mulcaster
Lecturer Middleton Woods
Uncle Raymond Ray
Margaret Eunice Gayson
Bergman John Welsh
Up Patient Richard Wordsworth
Janitor George Woodbridge
Kurt Michael Ripper
Zoltan Peter Woodthorpe
Rena Katy Wild
Drunk Howard Goorney
Doctor Hertz Thorley Walters
Anton Peter Blythe
Johann Derek Fowlds
The Prisoner
Hans' Father
Duncan Lamont
Kleve Alan MacNaughtan
Mayor Philip Ray
Bystander Bartlett Mullins
Spokesman Alec Mango
Anna Spengler Veronica Carlson
Dr. Frederick Brandt George Pravda
Freddie Jones
Professor Richter Freddie Jones
Inspector Frisch Thorley Walters
Ella Brandt Maxine Audley
Police Doctor Geoffrey Bayldon
Madwoman Colette O'Neil
Guest - Plumber Frank Middlemass
Guest - Smoking pipe Norman Shelley
Guest - Reading newspaper Michael Gover
Guest - Playing chess George Belbin
Principal Peter Copley
Dr. Heidecke Jim Collier
Dr. Simon Helder Shane Briant
Sarah "Angel" Klauss Madeline Smith
Asylum Director Adolf Klauss John Stratton
Transvest Michael Ward
Wild One Elsie Wagstaff
Police Sergeant Norman Mitchell
Judge Clifford Mollison
Bodysnatcher Patrick Troughton
Ernst Philip Voss
Brassy Girl Andria Lawrence
Old Hag Lucy Griffiths
Tarmut Bernard Lee
Muller Sydney Bromley
Gerda Sheila Dunion
Twitch Mischa de la Motte
Smiler Norman Atkyns
Letch Victor Woolf
Mouse Winifred Sabine
Chatter Janet Hargreaves
Coach Driver Peter Madden
Alys Kate O'Mara
The Graverobber Dennis Price
Lieutenant Henry Becker Jon Finch
Professor Heiss Bernard Archard
Wilhelm Kassner Graham James
Bailiff James Hayter
Graverobber's Wife Joan Rice
Stephan Stephen Turner
Dean James Cossins
Maggie Glenys O'Brien
Instructor Geoffrey Lumsden
First Bandit Terry Duggan
Baron Frankenstein I George Belbin
Woodsman Hal Jeayes
Woodsman's Daughter Carol Jeayes
Workman Michael Goldie

Crew

Crew/detail Main series Remake
The Curse of Frankenstein The Revenge of Frankenstein The Evil of Frankenstein Frankenstein Created Woman Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell The Horror of Frankenstein
1957 1958 1964 1967 1969 1974 1970
Director(s) Terence Fisher Freddie Francis Terence Fisher Jimmy Sangster
Producer(s) Anthony Hinds Anthony Nelson Keys Roy Skeggs
Writer(s) Jimmy Sangster Anthony Hinds Anthony Hinds
(as John Elder)
Bert Batt Anthony Hinds
(as John Elder)
Jimmy Sangster
Jeremy Burnham
Composer(s) James Bernard Leonard Salzedo Don Banks James Bernard Malcolm Williamson
Editor(s) James Needs Alfred Cox James Needs Spencer Reeve Gordon Hales James Needs Chris Barnes
Cinematographer Jack Asher John Wilcox Arthur Grant Brian Probyn Moray Grant
Production companies Hammer Film Productions
Distributor(s) Warner Bros. Columbia Pictures Rank Film Distributors Warner-Pathé Distributors (UK) Warner Bros.-Seven Arts AVCO Embassy Pictures (UK) MGM-EMI Distributors (UK)
20th Century Fox (US & worldwide) Paramount Pictures (US) Continental Films (US & worldwide)
Runtime 83 minutes 89 minutes 84 minutes 92 minutes (uncut, US)
86 minutes (cut, UK)
101 minutes (uncut, US)
98 minutes (cut, UK)
99 minutes 95 minutes
Release date May 2, 1957 June 1, 1958 April 19, 1964 March 15, 1967 May 22, 1969 May 2, 1974 November 8, 1970

References

Citations

  1. ^ Interview with Max Rosenberg for the Blu-ray of "Asylum", December 2017
  2. ^ "The British Entertainment History Project - Jimmy Sangster -". historyproject.org.uk.
  3. ^ Rigby, Jonathan (2000). English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 1-903111-01-3.
  4. ^ Sinclair McKay (2007) A Thing of Unspeakable Horror: The History of Hammer Films
  5. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Hammer Film Productions Biography". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  6. ^ "The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Meikle 2008, p. 58-60.
  14. ^ Meikle 2008, p. 139.

Sources