Favorite Horror Films of the 1950s: The Curse of Frankenstein




First I want to begin with a mea culpa. I made an error in my last post about horror films in the 1950s. I wrote that Horror of Dracula was the initial film in Hammer Studio’s emergence as a major production house of horror films; it was not the first.  The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 was their first horror movie.  I apologize for the mistake.



Terence Fisher directed The Curse of Frankenstein for Hammer, and Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Hazel Court starred. The result was an innovative, fast paced, and  vivid colored.  It was, like so many others, loosely based on the great work of Gothic English Literature by Mary Shelley: Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus (1818). Yes, that is the accurate subtitle, although it is usually omitted in most printings of the book.


This movie was highly successful, both financially and critically.  And like Horror of Dracula would, it spawned a long series of sequels. A major difference between the direction of the following films was the focus: the monster Dracula was the recurring character in the vampire movies, while Dr. Frankenstein, and not his creature was the repeating protagonist/antagonist of the Frankenstein movies. This is also an  important distinction between the Hammer and the earlier Universal movies in which the Creature was the primary recurring character.

The Creature was also a mindless killing machine in this film, and none of the Creature’s humanity was kept from the novel, which is the film’s major flaw. It is, nevertheless, an important film from this era, and if you enjoy or are interested in horror films, then I recommend it.



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18 thoughts on “Favorite Horror Films of the 1950s: The Curse of Frankenstein

  1. The most mind-blowing thing about Frankenstein though is it having been written by a nineteen year old… And then there is all that brouhaha about how a nineteen year old woman married to a famous poet could not have possibly written it…too bad those naysayers have so little faith in the talents of some youth, and ignore Mary’s profound and early literary influences. After all that, the film is just fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on docsuesszues-zen and commented:
    My grandparents had a bar, and game room in their house when I was growing up. I remember part of the decor was about 10-12 old-style movie posters from the classic horror era. Needless to say this marble, green felt, and dark wood recessed floor adult-ish playroom was extremely creepy at night, and irresistible to a young child sneaking around exploring.

    I remember looking at those strange posters, and being transported to another time.

    The ambiance of the room, the feeling of those horror posters from another time. So visceral, and stark, strangely real in an absurd way that reminds of fever hallucinogen awakenings into something, that staggers the speech, and erasing a few minutes… Leaving a feeling, perhaps… A strange one…


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