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Frankenstein Created Woman

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Frankenstein Created Woman
Frankcreatedwoman.jpg
Directed by Terence Fisher
Produced by Anthony Nelson Keys
Written by John Elder (Anthony Hinds)
Starring Peter Cushing
Susan Denberg
Thorley Walters
Music by James Bernard
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Editing by Spencer Reeve
Studio Hammer Film Productions
Distributed by 20th Century-Fox
Release date(s) March 15, 1967 (1967-03-15) (USA)
Running time 86 min. / USA: 92 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Frankenstein Created Woman is a 1967 British Hammer Horror film directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein and Susan Denberg as his new creation. It is the fourth film in Hammer's Frankenstein series.

Where Hammer's previous Frankenstein films were concerned with the physical aspects of the Baron's work, the interest here is in the metaphysical dimensions of life, such as the question of the soul, and its relationship to the body.

ProductionEdit

Frankenstein Created Woman was originally mooted as a follow-up to The Revenge of Frankenstein during its production in 1958, at a time when Roger Vadim's Et Dieu créa la femme (And God Created Woman) was successful. The film finally went into production at Bray Studios on 4 July, 1966. It was Hammer's penultimate production there.

PlotEdit

Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), assisted by Dr Hertz (Thorley Walters) and Hans Werner (Robert Morris), discovers a way of trapping the soul of a recently deceased person. Frankenstein believes he can transfer that soul into another recently deceased body to restore it to life.

Hans is the lover of Christina (Susan Denberg), daughter of innkeeper Herr Kleve. Christina's entire left side is disfigured and partly paralysed. Young dandies Anton (Peter Blythe), Johann (Derek Fowlds) and Karl (Barry Warren) frequent Kleve's inn where they taunt Christina and refuse to pay. Johann threatens to have his father revoke Kleve's license if he complains. The taunting angers Hans, who gets in a fight with the three of them and cuts Anton's face with a knife.

Eventually Kleve throws the dandies out for non-payment. They return in the night to steal wine from his inn. Kleve catches them and they beat him to death. Hans, the son of a murderer known for his short temper, is convicted and beheaded. Frankenstein gets hold of Hans' fresh body and traps his soul.

Christina drowns herself. The peasants bring her body to Dr Hertz to see if he can do anything. Frankenstein and Hertz transfer Hans' soul into her body. Over months of treatment they completely cure her physical deformities. The result is a physically healthy female with no memory. She keeps asking who she is. Frankenstein insists on telling her nothing but her name and keeping her in Hertz's house.

She kills Anton, Karl and Johann, driven mostly by the ghostly insistence of Hans. Frankenstein and Dr. Hertz become rather suspicious of her behavior surrounding the killings and take her to where Hans was executed. However, they believe she subconsciously retains her memories of her father's death rather than Hans. By the time they realize the truth, they find her already murdering Johann. Upon holding the severed head of Hans, she tells Christina she's avenged his death; though before either one can talk to her, she runs to the edge where there's a waterfall. Despite the doctor's pleas, Christina's made up her mind. She has no one left to live for and then drowns herself again.

Critical reactionEdit

Frankenstein Created Woman is one of the most critically acclaimed Hammer films, with some commentators appreciating its fairy tale atmosphere and revenge plot. Martin Scorsese picked the movie as part of a 1987 National Film Theatre season of his favourite films, saying "If I single this one out it's because here they actually isolate the soul... The implied metaphysics are close to something sublime."[1]

CastEdit

Selected readingEdit

  • Rigby, Jonathan, (2000). English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 1-903111-01-3. 

ReferencesEdit

  1. Cited in M. Hearn & A. Barnes, The Hammer Story, Titan Books, 1997, ISBN 1-85286-876-7, p.111

External linksEdit

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