The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

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The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) Poster

In 18th Century Spain, an adopted boy becomes a werewolf and terrorizes the inhabitants of his town.


6.6/10
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  • Oliver Reed in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  • Yvonne Romain in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  • Oliver Reed and Yvonne Romain in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  • Anthony Dawson in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  • Yvonne Romain in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  • Catherine Feller in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

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User Reviews


5 February 2013 | ma-cortes
7
| Over-the-top horror film directed by the master of Hammer Production , Terence Fisher
Extremely Gothic terror intent in the Universal vein and walks a fine line between romance , camp , Wolfman's classic and horror . It displays excellent set design , ambitious screenplay with too many eerie scenes and adequate interpretation for all casting . Terror picture that is renowned for ferocious departure from the stereotypical portrait of the beast . It is set in Europa , dealing with a 19 Century European werewolf , as it happens in Spain , Leon is born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl (Yvonne Romain) who was imprisoned by a nobleman (Anthony Dawson) and raped by a beggar (Richard Wordsworth stated that in the original screenplay his beggar character was a werewolf) . His mother dies giving birth and he is looked after by Don Alfredo (Clifford Evans) and his maid . As a child Leon turned into a werewolf after having been taken hunting . Leon (Oliver Reed in his first horror movie), transformed by the full moon, heads for the forest and a fateful meeting with the villagers . He is developing an extraordinary force and aware himself has a horrible curse who cannot to control . As a young man he works in a wine cellar and falls in love with the owner's daughter named Cristina (Catherine Feller). The curse will be passed on to him at the next full moon and he again turns into a werewolf and terrifies the town.

This exciting motion picture displays drama , suspense, terror with mysterious touches and is quite entertaining ; being the only werewolf movie made by Hammer Studios . It's a crossover with a little of the classic version ¨Lon Chaney's Werewolf¨, the novel ¨Wolfman in Paris¨ by Guy Endore and wrapped in a Hammer style . Atmospheric, slick terror film , creaky at times but it's still impressive . The notorious screenwriter John Elder or Anthony Hinds provides a well-knit plot with mystery and horror, giving full rein to Terence Fisher natural talent for the terror genre . However , being censorshipped , as over five minutes were cut by the censor for the British release and even more for the American version ; the censor had problems with the notion of a werewolf/rapist, so out it went . It's some different but with clear reference to previous vintage film . Good performances from Oliver Reed as a creepy wolfman and Clifford Evans as his mentor . The transformation of man into werewolf is complex and is made by expert make-up artist Roy Ashton who based his makeup for this film on Jack P. Pierce's makeup for The Wolfman by George Waggner (1941) that starred Lon Chaney Jr and Bela Lugosi . Frighteing and thrilling musical score by Benjamin Frankel . Colorful and shining cinematography by Arthur Gant , Hammer's ordinary , being filmed in Bray Studios. The motion picture was masterfully directed by Terence Fisher who filmed classic horror films as ¨Dracula¨, ¨Dracula , prince of darkness¨ , ¨The brides of Dracula¨ , ¨The mummy¨ , ¨Phantom of opera¨, ¨The Gorgon¨ , ¨The devil rides out¨ and many others . Rating : Top-drawer terror film , upscale horror spectacle with a suitable climax at a church . Essential and indispensable watching for Hammer lovers . It's an above average terror and sometimes graphically exciting and turns out to be a good attempt to cash in the werewolf sub-genre . Rating : 6,5 Good .

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the documentary Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror (1994) the Spanish setting for this film was forced upon writer Anthony Hinds after Michael Carreras had the studio back-lot dressed for a film about the Spanish Inquisition. This film was not produced because the Catholic League of Decency threatened to ban it.


Quotes

Leon: Cristina, do you love me? Will you marry me Cristina? You say you love me, will you marry me?


Goofs

During the opening credits, which features a very tight close-up of the werewolf's eyes, the edges of the contact lenses can be clearly seen.


Alternate Versions

The film had considerable problems with the BBFC on its initial cinema release and was subsequently cut by around 5 minutes before release. Much of the edits were made to the beginning of the film and involved the complete removal of the scenes where the servant girl is attacked in the castle dungeon, and her later confrontation with the Marquis (which results in his fatal stabbing). Other cuts included heavy edits to the murder scenes and a shortening of the bedroom scene between Leon and the prostitute. The 1995 Warner VHS featured a print often shown by BBC which featured different cuts. Much of the above was intact (bar for a reduced stabbing) though additional shots were missing including scenes showing dead bodies, shots of dead goats, and much of the climactic killing of the werewolf, including his deafening by the bells, the bloody gunshot wound, and some shots of his dead face over the closing credits. The film was later completely restored with all the missing footage intact and first shown on BBC in 1994, and this version was released (on Region 1 DVD only) as part of Universal's "Hammer Horror Series" 8 film box set. The 2010 12-rated DVD features the same restored and fully uncut print.

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