The Revenge of Frankenstein
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(Mar 26, 2012)
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Jimmy Sangster's script abandons all the history attached to the previous films and focuses on many of the issues that drove Mary Shelly's classic novel. He also focuses on the driven, obsessed Baron Frankenstein. Clearly this script (or film) had an impact on Christopher Isherwood's Frankenstein: The True Story filmed two decades later. Peter Cushing gives a skilled, sharp performance and, as usual, he is the film's secret weapon. He could play the phone book and make it interesting. This is one of his best performances in a genre film. Francis Mathews also gives a sharp performance as a doctor that becomes Dr. Stein's pupil.
The DVD looks stunning given the age of the negative. The colors are rich and the wide screen image has been preserved. The extras include the original trailer and production stills from the film. A running commentary from a Hammer film historian or someone involved in the production of the film would have been interesting. Perhaps that will happen when the next generation of high definition DVDs are available. Regardless, this is a fine film that has finally become available again for the first time in years. Snap it up while you can before this disappears as so often happens to Hammer films on video.
I like the course Hammer took with the Frankenstein films. They focused on the "real monster" instead of resurrecting the same creature over and over. Cushing is always a pleasure to watch and he plays the role perfectly. The picture quality on the DVD is very good and is presented in widescreen format. There are some very minor scratches, etc. visible here and there, but they are minor and I doubt the film has ever looked this good. Colors are fairly sharp and clear, though not quite as good as the Warner release of "Curse". The sound is crisp and audible with virtually no hissing. There are virtually no extras on the disc save for a couple of stills and a trailer.
If you are looking to start a Hammer library, this disc should be high on your list just behind the aforementioned "Curse of Frankenstein" and "Horror of Dracula".
Escaping execution, the Baron turns up three years later under an assumed name, practicing medicine but running afoul of the local doctors' council because he snubs them. He is still experimenting, planning to help his semi-paralyzed assistant into a normal life by transferring his brain into an able body. Things go awry, of course...
This is a fast-moving film making it seem much shorter than it actually is. Sometimes things happen a bit too fast, such as when the Baron is confronted by a doctor guessing his secret and he immediately decides to make him a colleague in his experiments. No test questions, no, "Why should I trust you?" Just stick out a hand and shake on it and the deal's done. Mutual trust all around. There's no love interest in this story and the insertion of the minister's daughter as some kind of vague "Helper" seems merely a plot ploy to set the monster free. After all, someone has to do it.
The color is lavish and the costumes authentic. I found myself fascinated by the men's ties or cravats or ascots or whatever their neckpieces were called.
Peter Cushing is good as usual and there's a talented supporting cast, most of them from the Hammer "repertory company"... Richard Wordsworth, Lionel Jeffries, Michael Ripper...faces seen again and again in these films.
It's interesting to see the direction these movies took in contrast to the Universal versions which were the reigning "Frankenstein" movies for so long.
This DVD was purchased y the reviewer and no remuneration was involved in the writing of this review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hammer Film Double Feature = a *3* star set of two Movies!!!Published 4 days ago by A Roger Zelazny Fan
Again awesome. This is one of the best movie series. (there are 6 with Peter Cushing)Published 1 month ago by LaMont
I have this dvd and I love it a good old classic gothic filmPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
With this film you will forget Frankenstein's Monster... instead we have Karl, a man with deformities and a hunched back who saved Victor Frankenstein from the guillotine in return... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rainey Dawn
Baron Victor Frankenstein was sentenced to death but escapes the guillotine! Now he wants revenge! He is back at his work under an alias Dr. Stein. A young man named Dr. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Louise
A must pleasant surprise, "The Revenge of Frankenstein" is surely one of Terence Fisher's best films. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Edgar Soberon Torchia
The Case for this DVD is Environmentally Damaging.
This review is for the physical item I received from Amazon. Read more