This is utterly brilliant in every way. The Universal version is a classic indeed but this one is fascinating -- from the vivid set design, the dramatic timing of the score to the thumbs-up performances, especially Peter Cushing's excellent portrayal of the titular character. Cushing's Frankenstein is a swagger portrait, is desperate and twisted, and has the convincing insatiable appetite for playing God.
Amazing set design, fantastic performances from Messrs Cushing and Lee, and a piercing score; 'The Curse of Frankenstein' displays all the iconic aspects of a classic Hammer Horror flick. Director Terence Fisher creates an atmospheric and memorable adventure, and even more impressively, does it on a tiny budget.
A lush technicolour horror that stills plays surprisingly well despite the prosthetics peeling off a little. Peter Cushing really is excellent throughout as the increasingly desperate & depraved Dr Frankenstien hell-bent on quelling nature. The excellent performances, bar a rather rigid Lee, are matched by vivid sets & a panning camera that injects life & suspense. Prof Bernstein's fall looks absolutely brutal!
If you go from this to REVENGE..., then jump to ...MUST BE DESTROYED and end with ...FROM HELL, the flow of the story suddenly comes into focus. It also yields one of the most powerful depictions ever, of a psychopath. Key moment, surprisingly, is at a quiet breakfast scene. After one particularly brutal murder, it's his "Pass the marmalade, will you, dear?" PETER CUSHING is the definitive FRANKENSTEIN.
Without enough time to create a sympathetic character of the monster, this resonates less with the source material than Fisher's Dracula does. The added sub-plot with the maid makes Victor (the terrific Peter Cushing) more villainous than ever. In this version of events, he gets started by reanimating an adorable dachshund puppy, and his brutal plot to secure the brain of a genius professor is a hilarious addition.
Pretty incredible, Peter Cushing kills it as Frankenstein, while Lee's monster is the most plastered together looking creature yet. It's like a rotating emotion of Frankenstein's though, a rough materialization of what he does: self-inflicted wounds. Some beautiful exposition, but this is such a crazed and essential bit of monster cinema.
"It seemed that when we saw CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN there was a graphic quality to it that was totally uncalled for, which made it extremely endearing to us. We enjoyed it a great deal. And I'll never forget the audience's reaction that midnight showing at the New York Paramount. They loved it; they loved it. We were about 15 years old, I think, my friends and myself." (Martin Scorsese)
It really doesn't add a thing to the original by James Whale (which is, by the way, a masterpiece of film-making) and even the beautiful cinematography is ruined by the cheesy special effects. The script is lousy in every way, trying to create something new from an already famous story but only succeeding in making clichés. I love most of Fisher's movies, but this one was really a disappointment.