The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) reviews and overview

 
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‘Screen’s greatest screamfest!’

The Revenge of Frankenstein is a 1958 British science-fiction horror feature film in which the Baron escapes the guillotine to continue his experiments.

Directed by Terence Fisher from a screenplay written by Jimmy Sangster with additional dialogue by Hurford Janes, the Hammer Films production stars Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Eunice Gayson and Michael Gwynn.

The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Salzedo (Hammer House of Horror TV series ‘The Silent Scream’).

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“In Curse, Baron Frankenstein came across as an arrogant genius whose sole purpose was to bring his ghastly experiment to life. Revenge allows us, albeit briefly, to see the Baron in a different light, namely a skilled doctor who has fallen, quite tragically, under the spell of his own ambitious goals.” 2,500 Movies Challenge

“Adding to the climactic melee is another monster, built in the image of Doctor Frankenstein himself! Full of clever (if gory) touches, Revenge of Frankenstein is among the best of Hammer Studio’s late-1950s output.” All Movie

“Michael Gwynn is no Christopher Lee, but that’s not the idea because Hammer chose to make this film about the maker, not the monster, and Gwynn turns out to be one of the most sympathetic of Frankenstein’s creations. While this movie might not be “scary” in the traditional sense, it’s an immersive examination of Frankenstein’s legacy following his original experiment.” Battleship Pretension

“The film leaves behind the quicker pace and slicker production values of some other Frankenstein pictures but manages to craft a dimmer, more disturbing story that builds on lore, not simply reworks it. This is a welcome addition to the Frankenstein collection and one of the better films in it.” Blu-ray.com

“Of particular note is Cushing’s performance as Frankenstein (when has he ever failed?) and the ultimate degeneration of the monster from society plaything to hideous animal, done with very little make-up and a lot of anguish from actor Michael Gwynn.” British Horror Films

” …the entire film is well-acted and both Oscar Quitak and Michael Gwynn give poignant performances as Frankenstein’s latest experiment.  It’s a visually vibrant and nicely paced horror film, one that never drags like some of the later Hammer Frankenstein films.” Through the Shattered Lens

“Cushing is coolly superb as the mad doctor, the action is well-paced. A few brilliantly-placed touches of humor spice up this festive dish. And there’s a great, great ending.” The Terror Trap

“The Baron, now making inroads into polite society, sees his obsessions drag him back to earth as his blase attitudes to the sacred nature of life prove his undoing, and not for the last time. Revenge is not the best of the series, but it does amuse, and even provoke in its way.” The Spinning Image

“Gwynn twists and distorts himself to suggest regression to savagery, succeeding where the script stumbles. Even some mainstream reviewers gave Revenge high marks based on Gywnn’s sympathetic performance, often overlooking Cushing to praise the gaunt actor.” Trailers from Hell

The Revenge of Frankenstein is handsomely mounted and mostly entertaining, but it feels more than a bit stiff in spots. Although director Terence Fisher keeps the pace going at an OK clip, and Jimmy Sangster’s script has a few touches of black humor, for the most part Revenge of Frankenstein is a step down from the original.” The Video Vacuum

Cast and characters:

  • Peter Cushing … Doctor Victor Stein
  • Francis Matthews … Doctor Hans Kleve
  • Eunice Gayson … Margaret
  • Michael Gwynn … Karl
  • John Welsh … Bergman
  • Lionel Jeffries … Fritz
  • Oscar Quitak … Dwarf
  • Richard Wordsworth … Up Patient
  • Charles Lloyd Pack … President
  • John Stuart … Inspector
  • Arnold Diamond … Molke
  • Marjorie Gresley … Countess Barscynska (as Margery Gresley)
  • Anna Walmsley … Vera Barscynska
  • George Woodbridge … Janitor
  • Michael Ripper … Kurt
  • Ian Whittaker … Boy
  • Avril Leslie … Girl
  • Ernest Blyth … Music Recital Attendee (uncredited)
  • Gordon Boyd … Male Nurse (uncredited)
  • Jimmy Charters … Patient (uncredited)
  • Alex Gallier … Priest at Execution (uncredited)
  • John Gayford … Footman (uncredited)
  • Richard Gregory … Policeman (uncredited)
  • George Hirste … Dirty Old Patient (uncredited)
  • Raymond Hodge … Official At Exhumation (uncredited)
  • Gerald Lawson … Legless Patient (uncredited)
  • Eugene Leahy … Kleine (uncredited)
  • Michael Mulcaster … Tattoo Harry (uncredited)
  • Julia Nelson … Inga (uncredited)
  • George Spence … Villager (uncredited)
  • John Tatum … Manservant (uncredited)
  • Robert Brooks Turner … Joseph the Groom (uncredited)
  • Freddie Watts … Patient (uncredited)
  • Middleton Woods … Patient (uncredited)

Technical details:

  • 90 minutes
  • Technicolor
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66: 1
  • Audio: Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Censorship:

British censors the BBFC demanded cuts to remove shots of a brain being tipped into a jar.

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!

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