Contributed by Braylon
The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1975 film directed by Terence Fisher. The Movie centers around a Victor Frankenstein who finds himself inprisoned for his life’s work. The story is a recounting of past events in which Victor has created a creature and alienated all of his friends and what family he might have had left in the process. Victor now finds himself in prison recounting all of this to a priest. The movie has some very dark undertones that culminate in a very serious adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
- Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein
- Hazel Court as Elizabeth
- Robert Urquhart as Paul Krempe
- Christopher Lee as Creature
- Valerie Gaunt as Justine
- Paul Hardtmuth as Professor Bernstein
- Noel Hood as Aunt
- Fred Johnson as Grandpa
- Claude Kingston as Little Boy
- Alex Gallier as Priest
- Michael Mulcaster as Warder
- Ann Blake as wife
- Sally Walsh as young Elizabeth
- Andrew Leigh as Burgonmaster
- Melvyn Hayes as Young Victor
- Middleton Woods as Lecturer
- Raymond Ray as Uncle
- Victor’s Loneliness- Unlink in the original novel Victor is orphaned. His parents have died, although the movie centers around his mother presumably because she was the last to die, and have left him their fortune. This deviation sets up two intrinsic parts to how this screen plays worked. The first part this deviation set up was Victor’s loneliness and lack of the domestic sphere. Without that domestic sphere Victor didn’t learn certain lessons on building healthy relationships with people, in particular women. This is expressed in his treatment of Justine and his lack of treatment in regards to Elizabeth. The second part this deviation did was leave Victor all alone with his money. With this money he was granted a privilege not many children would have had as his age during that time. He was afforded a tutor and grew in his studies. This distanced him from the domestic sphere even more which is expressed in Victor’s sociopathic tendencies, e.g. Victor killing Professor Bernstein for his brain and not seeing a problem in it.
- The Creature's Intelligence- The difference between the creature in the original novel and the creature in this film is staggering. The chief difference between the two creatures is seen in their intellect. Where, in the original, the creature was capable of speech, conversation and even higher thinking like hypotheticals. This, however, is not the case for the creature in this film. His only form of speech through the film is grunting. He isn’t able to engage in conversation as is definitely not able to think beyond base desires. There also seems to be a fair amount of unwarranted violence in the creature from the film. This isn’t to say that there creature in the novel wasn’t capable of violence there was just a reason to his violence that the creature from the film seems to lack. The creature from the film is also killed and re-animated in the film. After his re-animation the creature is seemingly more docile and able to comprehend base commands but ultimate still unable to intellectually engage in his surroundings. These deviations suggest that science isn’t the key to making life, not that the philosophical method from the book proved more effective. What is clear here, however, is that with science holding the respect of the 1950’s and still being unable to create life perhaps this is a reiteration that life should be created the old fashion way.
Previous Victors- Something that is repeated quite frequently in Frankenstein tales is the Victor character’s aloofness to the Elizabeth Character. In the novel the two were set as cousins that were arranged to marry once they were older. The novel also set the two up as siblings for much of their youth. This translated to film makers as a point at which they could insert some dysfunction. In this film, the dysfunction to the form of an affair between Victor and Justine, his maid and apparent lack for Elizabeth sexually. Initially Victor had not even wanted Elizabeth to be there. This dysfunction is explored by means of Victories sexuality. Ultimately, this dysfunction speaks to Victor’s upbringing, or lack thereof.
- With Justine – Another deviation in this film is Justine’s characterization. In the novel Justine and Victor were actual siblings. In the film, things have changed. Justine is now Victor maid and on top of that he’s having an affair with her. In most past adaptations and even in the novel Victor is constantly pre-occupied with his work to ever be sexually active. However, in this film, Victor is plenty active. He and Justine have not only had sex but apparently Victor has promised marriage. His motives turn out to not be so honorable when Justine threatens to go to the public with the workings of his lab. In this film, Victor is characterized a sexual predator. He preyed on Justine, which was only exaggerated when Victor assisted the creature in killing Justine.
- With Elizabeth – Victor’s actions with Justine are held in stark contrast to his actions with Elizabeth. Very similar to other adaptations and the novel, Victor does not show physical attraction for Elizabeth. In this novel, in particular, Victor seems to placate her and thinks of her as a show piece and tool. Where with Justine, he was physically attracted to and honest with her; he does not cary that over to Elizabeth. He dodges questions about his work and refuses to let her into not just the lab but himself. Justine however sees an entirely different view of victor and is even privy, of sorts, to the work going on in the lab.