“The Gorgon” was directed by veteran Hammer Studios director Terence Fisher. Some of Fisher’s Hammer productions include “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), Horror of Dracula (1958), “The Revenge of Frankenstein” (1958), “The Mummy “ (1959) and “The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll” (1960).
Who was in “The Gorgon” (1964)?
The players who appeared in Fisher’s Columbia-Hammer thriller were Christopher Lee (as Prof. Karl Meister), Peter Cushing (as Dr. Namaroff), Prudence Hyman (as the Gorgon), Patrick Troughton (as Inspector Kanof), Barbara Shelley (as Carla Hoffman), Michael Goodliffe (as Professor Jules Heitz), Richard Pasco (as Paul Heitz), Joseph O’Conor (as a coroner), Jack Watson (as Ratoff), Redmond Phillips (as Hans), Alister Williamson (as Janus Cass) and Michael Peake (as the constable).
That same year, veteran actor Christopher Lee appeared in the role of Capt. Rhodes in Don Sharp’s Columbia-Hammer adventure thriller, “The Devil-Ship Pirates” (1964). Also around that same year, Peter Cushing appeared in the role of Baron Frankenstein in Freddie Francis’ Universal-Hammer monster thriller, “The Evil of Frankenstein” (1964, with Kiwi Kingston as Frankenstein’s monster).
Barbara Shelley was nicknamed as the “first leading lady of British Horror” for her appearances in various Hammer horror/thriller productions, according to IMDB. She also appeared with Lee in Fisher’s “Dracula: Prince of Darkness” (1966) for Hammer.
Patrick Troughton went on to greater fame as the second doctor in the hit BBC sci-fi/fantasy series, “Doctor Who” (Troughton played the doctor from 1966-69 and reprised his role as the second doctor for several guest appearances in 1972/73, 1983 and 1985).
Four years before her appearance as the “Gorgon,” Prudence Hyman appeared in an uncredited role as a tavern woman in Fisher’s Columbia-Hammer horror adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde;” “The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll” (1960, with Lee).
A “Hammer” reunion for Fisher, Lee and Cushing
According to Jeff Stafford’s article on “The Gorgon” (1964) for Turner Classic Movies, the film served as a reunion for Terence Fisher, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing since the three previously worked on Hammer’s cinematic adaptation of “The Mummy” (1959). Because of the lackluster box office returns of Fisher’s Universal-Hammer adaptation of “The Phantom of the Opera” (1962), he felt that a new Hammer horror entry with Lee and Cushing would revive the production company’s prestige to theatergoers in Britain and abroad. Fisher’s “The Gorgon” was praised by critics and cinema attendees alike.
Prudence Hyman’s “Medusa-style” wig
According to IMDB’s trivia section on “The Gorgon,” the Medusa-style “snake” wig for Prudence Hyman’s portrayal of the “Gorgon” character was controlled by multiple wires. A box was attached 25 ft. behind Hyman for Hammer special effects technicians to control the “Gorgon” wig.
Released in the United States as a double-feature with another Columbia-Hammer thriller (with a promotional tie-in)
According to additional details from IMDB, “The Gorgon” was released by Columbia as a double-feature presentation with another Hammer monster collaboration; “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” (1964, with Terence Morgan, Fred Clark, Jeanne Roland and Dickie Owen). For theatergoers who attended the Columbia/Hammer double-feature, participating cinemas gave away souvenir “monster” stamps to patrons (according to the 1964 Columbia Pictures exhibitors’ ad).
Be sure to watch or record Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “The Gorgon” (1964), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Lee, Cushing, Hyman, Troughton, Shelley, Goodliffe, Pasco, O’Conor, Watson, Philips, Williamson and Peake; you will not be disappointed in Svengoolie’s upcoming coast-to-coast big broadcast premiere of “The Gorgon” (1964), this Sat. on Me-TV! A perfect treat for all fellow SvenPals and aficionados of Hammer horror classics with Sven’s additional fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! Highly recommended!
Sidebar: Not affiliated with the Irish-British lizard creature feature, “Gorgo” (1961). –C.H.
Sat., Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow SvenPals from coast-to-coast during #Svengoolie’s big broadcast/Me-TV premiere of “The Gorgon” (1964)!
Sven and his alter-ego, Rich Koz was featured in Jane Recker’s Nov. article on Svengoolie and Rich from Northwestern University’s “Daily Northwestern” newspaper! Congratulations to Sven and Rich on being featured in the “Daily Northwestern” from the entire crowd of fellow coast-to-coast SvenPals! -C.H.
Help out one of our fellow super SvenPals’ friends: Be sure to help out one of the friends of fellow super SvenPal Jamie Lee from the PM&L theatre ensemble by giving generously to her friend’s GoFundMe fund to help offset costs of additional medical treatments. Any amount helps, be sure to donate generously/spread the word to help one of Jamie’s friends! –C.H.
In relation to “The Gorgon” (1964):
“The Gorgon” (1964) is also available on Blu-Ray as part of the “Hammer Films: Double Feature Vol. 1” twinset collection with the Columbia-Hammer production of “The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll” (1960). “The Gorgon” is also available as part of the “Hammer Films Collection: Vol. 1” multi-film DVD anthology set of classic Columbia-Hammer thrillers from Mill Creek Entertainment (by arrangement with Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc./Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)