Peter Cushing in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Frankenstein's Curse

In a dark prison cell Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) tells the story of how he ended up there to a priest who he has asked for. As a child Victor (Melvyn Hayes) inherited his family's wealth, property and title and rather responsibly he hired Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart) to tutor him. As the years pass and Victor becomes Paul's equal when it comes to science the pair work together and manage to bring a dead dog back to life. Whilst Victor has bigger plans with his eyes on creating life from dead body parts Paul becomes concerned at not only what Victor is doing but also for the safety of Victor's cousin and fiancee Elizabeth (Hazel Court) who has moved in with him.

Whilst I am sure "The Curse of Frankenstein" holds some sort of nostalgic charm for those who watched it when it first came out in 1957 it is another Hammer horror movie which now is more interesting than entertaining. It isn't that "The Curse of Frankenstein" is a bad movie but we are talking pretty much the same storyline which has been used in every Frankenstein movie as we have the flawed genius becoming obsessed with creating life but every time he does things don't play out as he planned. This is clearly the case with Victor being in prison at the start of the movie and so it is not whether his creation turns out psychotic but how does Victor end up in a cell waiting death as well as how obsessed he will get along the way.

Melvyn Hayes in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

But as I said "The Curse of Frankenstein" is for me a more interesting movie due to certain facts. Whilst they had both been in the same movies before this marked the first time Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing met and following this they became life long friends, appearing in many more movies together. It was the first Frankenstein movie to appear in colour and could have featured Bernard Bresslaw as the monster except Christopher Lee was not as expensive so won the role instead. But my favourite fact or bit of casting is seeing a young Melvyn Hayes as the young Victor Frankenstein. It isn't that Hayes does anything special but seeing the comedian playing it straight but looking like he wanted to laugh the whole time is strangely amusing.

What this all boils down to is that "The Curse of Frankenstein" is not a bad movie and is still quite watchable. But again it is a movie which I am sure radiates stronger with those who experienced it when it first came out rather than for those who join the Hammer Horror party later and wonder what all the fuss is about.