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Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1970)

Peter Cushing , Veronica Carlson , Terence Fisher  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters
  • Directors: Terence Fisher
  • Writers: Anthony Nelson Keys, Bert Batt, Mary Shelley
  • Producers: Anthony Nelson Keys
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001FVE5O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,372 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Another take on the classic tale. This one's a British version from 1969 with a more heartless version of the mad scientist. Instead of having a lab assistant to do his dirty work, this Dr. Frankenstien pushes a young doctor and his betrothed to kidnap the next victim. They must capture the mentally ill Dr. Brandt so that hi sbrain may be used in Dr. Frankenstein's experiments.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Hammer's greatest on DVD at last January 29, 2005
Format:DVD
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed represents one of Hammer's most delicately crafted productions. Production values are above par. Bert Batt and Anthony Nelson-Keys deliver an excellent script. Arthur Grant's photography, James Bernard's score and Terence Fisher's direction are all exemplary. The talented cast includes Peter Cushing in one of his greatest performances, an amusing Thorley Walters and an early appearance from Freddie Jones, as the screen's most tragic and pitiful Frankenstein's "monster" since Christopher Lee (1957) if not Boris Karloff (1931).

Central to the film is a pervasive irony: The irony of a man whose everyday manners are impeccable and gentlemanly, but whose total contempt for human life will lead him to murder and rape without a second thought; the irony of a man given back life only to be cheated out of the one thing in life he loves. Never is this irony more clearly captured than in the very first scene, in which a lilting ballad accompanies a beheading, or (a few scenes later) the quick cut from Anna's words, "You'll find it very quiet here," to a screaming patient in an insane asylum (a surprisingly effective shock moment).

Baron Frankenstein here is no longer the ambiguous anti-hero of sorts that he was in Hammer's previous Frankenstein outings (excepting The Evil of Frankenstein). In Fisher's Hitchcockian opening sequence the camera follows a pair of black and white shoes, suggesting a certain ambiguity, as they make their way through the Victorian streets, but when the owner of the shoes (having just committed one murder and an attempted murder) tears off his hideous mask, it is revealed to be none other than Frankenstein himself. Now the Baron is clearly the monster, and it is he who must be destroyed.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's finest hour? May 25, 2004
Format:DVD
FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED

(UK - 1969)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) blackmails a young medical student (Simon Ward) and his fiancee (Veronica Carlson) into helping him with a brain transplant which goes horribly wrong.

Following a long period of cheap-looking productions designed to play as double-features on their home turf, Hammer returned to premium quality horror with FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED, arguably the company's finest hour, and certainly Peter Cushing's definitive portrayal of the monstrous Baron. Instead of the misguided adventurer depicted in previous films, screenwriter Bert Batt emphasizes the Baron's ruthless pursuit of knowledge and power, culminating in an unexpected sequence in which Cushing's domination of Carlson segues from mere tyranny to rape, a scene which Cushing reportedly found distasteful. Overall, however, Batt's script allows the characters to evolve via a skilfully constructed plot which employs levels of drama and emotion largely absent from much of Hammer's output at the time, alongside the usual elements of horror and suspense. Director Terence Fisher rises to the occasion with remarkable dexterity, orchestrating set-pieces which have been compared to Hitchcock in some quarters, especially the opening sequence in which a petty thief (Harold Goodwin) breaks into the wrong house and has a truly hair-raising confrontation with its volatile owner (leading to a truly great 'reveal'); and the traumatic moment in the back garden of Carlson's boarding house, when she's forced to deal with a corpse (one of Frankenstein's cast-offs) ejected from its makeshift grave by a burst water pipe.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bloody Baron August 5, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is one of the finest in Hammer Horror. This is the fifth of the series with the master horror thespian Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein. The film starts off with a quick little beheading with a scythe, then it's off to the lab. A drunk intruder, looking to burglarize the good doctor, foils Frankenstein's plan forcing him to find other accomodations. He moves into a bed n breakfast and terrorizes a young couple, and blackmails them into doing his bidding. Frankenstein gets the young man to murder, rapes the girl, and steals a colleagues brain, all in the name of science. This is by far the darkest of the Hammer Frankenstein series, and the best. We see that the doctor will stop at nothing to prove a point . Lots of suspense, blood, and lots of the beautiful Veronica Carlson. My only complaint is the reproduction is not the greatest. I only wish Anchor Bay would get off their butts and put ALL the Hammer movies out WIDESCREEN! Seeing a good brain drlling just loses something in pan-n-scan.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the finest Hammer horror film of them all. March 26, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED is the fith entry in the Hammer series, which began with 1957's revolutionary CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Much of the impact of the series can be attributed to the input of director Terence Fisher and star Peter Cushing, and here they are united with stunning results. The story pulls no punches in telling the tale of the Baron, embittered by a string of failed experiemens, who is bent on taking his hatred for humanity out on all those who come into contact with him. Unlike many Fisher-Hammer films, which opt for fairy tale optimism, this film is informed by the nihilistic climate of the late 1960s. Typical for Fisher, the characters and relationships have more depth and complexity than is the norm for a low budget horror film. In fact, the film is more of a drama than anything else, so schlock fans need not apply. A stunning exercise in pathos and suspense, with a brilliant performance by Cushing, and a moving one by Freddie Jones as the pathetic "monster." Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Frankenstein
This film came to my attention when I attended the first Monsterama Con in Atlanta, Georgia in 2014. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Wilson Trivino
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer Classic
That Crazy Dr. Frankenstein. He just can't get enough of dead and mangled bodies. Still the towns people look for him and this time, he looks for women. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brad Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Frankenstein movies Ever!
When I first saw this movie I was WOWED. I thought it would be boring and dated. This movie holds up today. Peter Cushing gives one of the best performances in his career. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cagneyfan67
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Hammer flick
A classic and so very well done. Horror fans will consider this first rate!!! This film really explores the development of the " Frankenstein"
Story
Published 14 months ago by jack great game!
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer film Gold!
The production value in this one are great! The cinematography to all the insane performances. Baron Frankenstein is a man with a mission! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Joseph Grau
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hammer Horror with a Twist.
Hammer Films once was the place for classic Gothic Horror. The small British studio made lower budget films that had a big budget feel and look. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Richard Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
Love this old Peter Cushing movie. Would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes old horror movies. Love it.
Published 14 months ago by Teresa True
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer Fanatic
I'm kind of bias because most productions from Hammer Studio, I adore. Simply because they instantly time warp me back to my younger days when I would watch them (usually a rainy... Read more
Published 15 months ago by N. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars "I've SERIOUSLY broken the law..."
The reasons why some connoisseurs of the horror film genre...Hammer Films specifically...will LOVE this movie are perhaps the SAME reasons why others won't like it at all. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Cushing is great
Not the best of the Hammer Frankenstein movies, but certainly not the worst. It beats "Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell".
Published 18 months ago by Nicola Noetic
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