Skip to content

Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

The Curse of Frankenstein 1957

  • Watched on Saturday Sep 19, 2020 via Blu-ray (2012 | Lionsgate Films | Academy ratio)
    A: 5 stars (out of 5)

    For Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee’s first film for Hammer, a guest review from the good Baron himself.

    Paul, a prominent academic, lands a comfy job tutoring a young orphaned Baron. Years pass and the Baron proves an exceptional student. Together, they reach a scientific breakthrough. They have brought an animal back to life.

    Eager for fame, Paul pushes them to share their findings with the world, but the Baron sees the bigger picture. Their journey has just begun, and sharing now would prove a distraction. Paul relents and the two continue.

    But Paul soon realizes it’s no longer a partnership. The student has surpassed the teacher. Seeing his chance at fame fade, Paul demands the Baron halt his experiments.

    Surprised and disappointed, the Baron resolves to continue alone, certain Paul will change his mind. Paul does not. Driven by feelings of jealousy and inadequacy, Paul sabotages the Baron’s experiments. When the Baron perseveres, Paul then tries to drive a wedge between the Baron and his beautiful fiancé.

    Oblivious to Paul’s machinations, and fearing his experiments may be too much for one man, the Baron pleads for Paul’s help. Paul declines. When—as the Baron feared—an experiment gets out of control, Paul seizes the opportunity and runs to the village. Meanwhile, the Baron faces mortal danger alone and saves his fiancé from certain death.

    Dazzled by Paul’s silver tongue, the villagers arrive, seize the Baron, and sentence him to death. As a last resort, the Baron confides his story to the local priest, who responds with disbelief. Exasperated, the Baron thinks himself at his wit’s end. But then Paul arrives at the jail.

    Though they may have grown apart, the Baron remains sure that Paul, a man of science, will aver his story. But with ice in his veins, Paul turns his back on the Baron and leaves the jail with the Baron’s wife on his arm. Years of living in the Baron’s shadow have driven Paul into a self-righteous delusion. In condemning the Baron he seeks to become him by assuming the Baron’s wife and wealth. The Baron, so close to freeing mankind from the shackles of mortality, faces death. This is the Curse of Frankenstein.

    Thank you, Baron. And I agree, Paul is the worst.