The legendary Chicago/Berwyn based monster/horror film host will present his big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), this Sat., Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
The 1957 classic Hammer-Warner Bros. “Frankenstein” monster-horror masterpiece production entry was directed by veteran Hammer director Terence Fisher. Fisher’s other classic Hammer horror masterpieces include “Horror of Dracula” (1958, released as “Dracula” in Britain), the latter Hammer-Universal screen adaptation of “The Mummy” (1959), “The Brides of Dracula” (1960), “The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll” (1960) and “The Gorgon” (1964). Fisher’s 1957 “Frankenstein” entry was produced by veteran Hammer producer Anthony Hinds and veteran producer Max Rosenberg, with Hammer associate producer Anthony Nelson Keys and Hammer executive producer Michael Carreras. The screenplay for “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) was written by veteran Hammer screenwriter Jimmy Sangster. Sangster’s screenplay was adapted from Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel, “Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus.”
Who was in “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957)?
The players who appeared in Fisher’s Hammer-Warner Bros. production of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) were Christopher Lee (as Frankenstein’s monster), Peter Cushing (as Victor Frankenstein), Hazel Court (as Elizabeth), Robert Urquhart (as Paul Kempe), Melvyn Hayes (as young Victor), Valerie Gaunt (as Justine), Paul Hardtmuth (as Prof. Bernstein), Fred Johnson (as Grandpa), Noel Hood (as an aunt), Michael Mulcaster (as the Warder), Alex Gallier (as the priest), Claude Kingston (as a little boy), Andrew Leigh (as the Burgomeister), Anne Blake (as the wife) and Sally Walsh (as young Elizabeth, Walsh was the real-life daughter of Hazel Court).
Fisher’s production of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) marked the first Hammer screen pairing of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Lee and Cushing’s other Hammer pairings include “Horror of Dracula” (1958), Hammer adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (1959), “The Gorgon” (1964), and “Dracula A.D. 1972” (1972). Dubbed as the “queen of scream” for her numerous horror film appearances in her screen career, Hazel Court later appeared in the role of Lenore Craven in Roger Corman’s screen adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Raven” (1963) with Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and young Jack Nicholson for American-International Pictures.
Four years before his appearance in “The Curse of Frankenstein,” Robert Urquhart appeared in the role of Gawaine in Richard Thorpe’s Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer adventure-drama with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner, “Knights of the Round Table” (1954).
Christopher Lee was not the first choice for the role of Frankenstein’s monster in “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957)
According to IMDB, veteran monster screen legend Boris Karloff was originally considered for reprising his role of Frankenstein’s monster in “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957). This did not sit well with Universal Studios, as the 1957 Hammer “Frankenstein” feature was co-produced with competing studio Warner Bros. Universal executives warned Hammer executives with legal action if elements from the earlier James Whale Universal mammoth classic monster masterpiece adaptation production of “Frankenstein” (1931) were borrowed. Jimmy Sangster re-wrote the script for Christopher Lee in the role.
“The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957): The first “Frankenstein” feature filmed in color
Terence Fisher’s 1957 Hammer-Warner Bros. horror-monster masterpiece production of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) was one of the first “Frankenstein” feature productions to be filmed in color, according to the American Film Institute’s article on the 1957 Hammer-Warner Bros. “Frankenstein” feature. For Warners’ theatrical release of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), the Eastmancolor process that was used for filming was dubbed as “WarnerColor,” according to additional details from the AFI article.
Philip Leakey’s Hammer “Frankenstein” monster make-up design for Christopher Lee
The “Frankenstein” monster make-up design for Christopher Lee in Fisher’s 1957 feature was created by veteran Hammer make-up artist Philip Leakey, according to IMDB. Leakey created Lee’s “Frankenstein” make-up design at the last minute prior to filming without the use of cast-based/mold-based make-up designs. According to Felicia Feaster’s Turner Classic Movies online article on “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), Leakey’s “Frankenstein” monster make-up design for Lee was inspired by the descriptions of the monster from the original Mary Shelley novel and was noted for having a more “realistic” monster look.
Warner Bros.’ “Horror-A-Thon” tie-ins for the original theatrical release of Hammer’s “The Curse of Frankenstein” in the United States
According to the Aug. 1957 edition of Film Bulletin, the original theatrical release of the Hammer production of “The Curse of Frankenstein” was presented as a Warner Bros double-feature presentation with Leslie Norman’s Hammer sci-fi production of “X the Unknown” (1956) under the “Horror-A-Thon” moniker from coast-to-coast. A “round-the-clock” opening premiere was held at the now-defunct California Theatre in San Diego, California; which began with a “midnight scream premiere.” For Warners’ “Horror-A-Thon” at Broadway’s Paramount Theatre (today’s modern incarnation of the Paramount building) in New York City; patrons who participated in the “Horror-A-Thon” monster costume contest won free admission to the opening screening, along with a “most terrifying moment” letter-writing contest and gimmick “fright insurance” for scared patrons.
*Latter theatrical re-issue with another classic Hammer horror masterpiece
Veteran pioneering television syndicator Eliot Hyman co-financed Hammer’s 1957 production of “The Curse of Frankenstein,” according to according to Howard Maxford’s extensive Hammer Films retrospective book; “Hammer Complete.” The North American theatrical and television rights to the 1957 Hammer “Frankenstein” feature reverted back to Hyman, who later established film production and television syndication powerhouse Seven Arts in 1960, according to Sponsor Magazine.
In 1964, Hyman’s Seven Arts re-issued “The Curse of Frankenstein” as a Hammer horror theatrical double-feature with the Hammer production of “Horror of Dracula” (1958, also co-financed by Hyman and originally released by Universal Studios), according to Heritage Auctions. Hyman’s Seven Arts acquired Warner Bros. in 1967 to form Warner Bros.-Seven Arts (until 1969, when the company was sold to the Kinney group; the future Warner Communications/WarnerMedia) and “The Curse of Frankenstein” was reunited with Warners after Seven Arts’ 1967 acquisition, “Horror of Dracula” was added to the post-1950 Warner Bros. feature film library. .
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957); this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Robert Urquhart, Melvyn Hayes, Valerie Gaunt, Paul Hardtmuth, Fred Johnson, Noel Hood, Michael Mulcaster Alex Gallier, Claude Kingston, Andrew Leigh, Anne Blake and Sally Walsh; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV! Escape from stress and anxiety! A perfect treat for all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals and fellow aficionados of classic Hammer horror-monster masterpieces everywhere with Sven’s extra fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song, Kerwyn’s “home office” mail call from Berwyn and much, much more! Be sure to see Sven’s big Me-TV premiere of Terence Fisher’s 1957 classic horror masterpiece that made Hammer, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing household names in the horror film genre! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Broadband 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam 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
Join in on the fun by having fun and live-tweeting with the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere via Twitter during #Svengoolie’s big Me-TV broadcast premiere of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing this Sat.!
To all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals/fellow readers/fellow subscribers of “Silver Screen Reflections” everywhere: Again, to quote Svengoolie’s executive producer; Jim Roche: “#KeepCalmAndWatchSven!” Please be courteous, kind, safe, good and respectful to each other. Put love in your heart. Let’s all look to positive/uplifting wisdom, encouragement and enlightenment from Svengoolie, all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere, all fellow super Mystery Science Theater 3000/MST3K MSTies everywhere and all fellow classic film/television enthusiasts everywhere. Again, to all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere; safety first, follow all precautions seriously, wear a protective face mask/appropriate protective face covering, avoid touching your face, use a sleeve/tissue when coughing/sneezing, wash your hands for approximately 20 sec.,practice proper social distancing/physical distancing measures, stay home, keep healthy and stay well. Again, let’s all take preventative measures/steps by being safe, keeping healthy and staying well- and again, we fellow super SvenPals everywhere highly recommend watching Kerwyn’s informative coronavirus/COVID-19 prevention safety public service announcement! Escape from stress, anxiety and chaos by having fun and relaxing with Sven and his Sat. evening big broadcasts of classic monster/creature, horror and sci-fi feature film masterpieces on the airlanes of Me-TV! Join in on the fun with all fellow super SvenPals everywhere by live-tweeting through the airlanes of Twitter during Sven’s Sat. evening big broadcasts! Again, safety first, keep healthy and stay well, Sven/Mr. Rich Koz, the entire Sven/Me-TV production crowd & the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere! –C.H.
“Flashback” clip of Svengoolie/Rich Koz as the “Son of Svengoolie,” Sven (Son of Sven)’s 1980s WFLD/Chicago opening segment for his big broadcast of “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), via Obsolete Video’s official YouTube channel!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Limited quantities available! The official Svengoolie/Me-TV Sven “at-home” box activity gift set is still available for purchase via the official Sven/Me-TV online store site (contains a Sven three-dimensional cube puzzle, a Sven mini “magic doodle” sketch keychain to draw Sven and/or Kerwyn, a deck of Sven playing cards, the Sven “fun putty” egg/“crack me up!,” a Sven plastic spring toy/the “Svenkie,” the 100-piece Sven “It Came From Berwyn!” puzzle, the Sven “squishy bat” stress reliever/not connected to Sven’s former WCIU mail call sidekick, “Ed the bat;” Sven microwave popcorn and a 16-page Sven word jumble puzzle/crossword puzzle/”Svendoku” sudoku/joke/maze/trivia book! And again, to quote the official rule of the Sven/Me-TV online store, “no personal checks!” And only purchase authentic/official Sven & Me-TV items from the official Sven/Me-TV online store! –C.H.
From Sven’s Berwyn studio dungeon set to your home studio dungeon set! Download Svengoolie’s Me-TV famous Berwyn dungeon “studio set” background (featuring Body Sorrell) for your favorite videoconferencing platform (Skype, Zoom, etc.), as part of Me-TV’s assortment of classic TV show backgrounds for online videoconferencing!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere jumped for joy for one of the latest Sven art creations/creation additions from one of our fellow super SvenPals on the airlanes of Twitter! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Nanette Keir recently premiered her latest “kaleidoscope”-style Sven art element/Sven art creation with a new “Zalman T. Tombstone” sketch custom Photoshop art brush! Nanette’s Sven “kaleidoscope” art creation also features her sketches of Svengoolie and Kerwyn, also in the form of custom Photoshop art brushes! A “Berwyn kaleidoscope” of Sven, Kerwyn and Tombstone!
Congratulations to Nanette from all of us fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere on your recent Svengoolie/Kerwyn/Tombstone Photoshop art/Photoshop brush “kaleidoscope” creation! We fellow super SvenPals and we’re proud of you! Looking forward to more! Keep up the wonderful and excellent work! Three cheers, two thumbs up, stay safe, stay well, keep healthy, peace, kudos,“Hi-Keeba” & a toast to Nanette & all fellow fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere!
Extra! Extra! Extra! To paraphrase Lou Costello, “Extra, Abbott!!” Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals and fellow aficionados of Universal Studios classic monster features and classic comedy features everywhere jumped for joy when they recognized a recent article on one of the classic mammoth Universal monster-comedy-horror masterpieces from one of our fellow super SvenPals on the airlanes of Twitter! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee recently wrote an in-depth article for the “25 Years Later” 25YL film/TV/entertainment/horror entertainment blog on Charles Barton’s classic Universal Studios mammoth monster-comedy-horror masterpiece with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Glenn Strange, Bela Lugosi, Lenore Aubert, Lon Chaney Jr., Jane Randolph and Frank Ferguson, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)! Published under the title of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein: Humor Meets Horror,” this was Jamie’s debut article for the 25YL blog website! For those who have not read yet, we fellow super SvenPals and fellow classic Universal monster/horror/comedy aficionados everywhere highly recommend reading Jamie’s in-depth article and analysis on the classic 1948 Abbott & Costello/Universal mammoth monster-comedy-horror feature masterpiece!
Congratulations to Jamie from all of us fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere on your debut in-depth article for the “25 Years Later” blog site on “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)! We fellow super SvenPals and fellow super jammers are all jumping for joy and we’re proud of you! Looking forward to more! Keep up the wonderful and excellent work! Three cheers, two thumbs up, stay safe, stay well, keep healthy, peace, kudos,“Hi-Keeba” & a toast to Jamie & all fellow super “Jammin’ with Jamie” jammers, fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere and fellow aficionados of classic Universal monster/comedy/horror feature film masterpieces everywhere! -C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Help out one of our fellow super SvenPals’ friends: Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals: Be sure to give generously, spread the word/share the word to help one of the friends of fellow fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee. An updated GoFundMe site for Jamie’s friend has been established to help offset additional expensive medical/health-related costs. And again, additional information can be found through the official GoFundMe website of Jamie’s friend. Again, donate generously and spread/share the word to help Jamie’s friend. And again, any amount helps. -C.H.
In connection to Peter Cushing:
Nov. 1975 edition of NBC’s “Tomorrow” show with Tom Snyder, titled “Monsters & the Movies” with guests Peter Cushing, Prof. Leonard Wolf and Forrest J. Ackerman (from a June 1976 re-broadcast of “Tomorrow,” taped off of NBC Chicago O&O WMAQ-TV 5); via Rick Klein’s official “FuzzyMemories” YouTube site
In connection to “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957):
“The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) is also available on DVD as part of the multi-film anthology set of classic Hammer/Warner Bros. & Warner-owned horror/monster masterpieces, “Turner Classic Movies’ Greatest Movies Collection: Hammer Horror” and on DVD as part of the “Horror Double Feature” twinset, paired with the Hammer-Warner Bros. production of “Taste the Blood of Dracula” (1970) from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The 1957 Hammer-Warner Bros. classic “Frankenstein” monster masterpiece is also available for streaming from Warners through participating streaming/video-on-demand service providers.
Note: The author of “Silver Screen Reflections” does not endorse any advertisers on WordPress’ site platform and/or YouTube’s site platform. Also, the author does not endorse any political advertisements.