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The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Approved | | Horror | 7 June 1961 (USA)
In 18th Century Spain, an adopted boy becomes a werewolf and terrorizes the inhabitants of his town.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder), Guy Endore (novel)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clifford Evans ... Alfredo
Oliver Reed ... Leon
Yvonne Romain ... Servant Girl
Catherine Feller ... Cristina
Anthony Dawson ... The Marques Siniestro
Josephine Llewellyn Josephine Llewellyn ... The Marquesa
Richard Wordsworth ... The Beggar
Hira Talfrey ... Teresa
Justin Walters Justin Walters ... Young Leon
John Gabriel John Gabriel ... The Priest
Warren Mitchell ... Pepe Valiente
Anne Blake ... Rosa Valiente
George Woodbridge ... Dominique
Michael Ripper ... Old Soak
Ewen Solon ... Don Fernando
Learn more

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Storyline

In the Eighteenth Century, in Spain, a beggar comes to the castle of a cruel marquee on his wedding day to beg for food, and the marque locks him in his dungeon, where he is forgotten. The mute daughter of the gaoler feeds him along the years. When she grows-up, the widower marquee unsuccessfully tries to shag her and locks the servant in the dungeons with the beggar that rapes her. When she is released, she kills the marquee and flees to the forest. She is found living like an animal in the woods by Don Alfredo and he brings her home. Soon his servant Teresa finds that she is pregnant. When she gives birth to a boy on Christmas, she dies and the boy Leon is raised by Don Alfredo and Teresa. A few years later they learn the curse that the boy carries with him, and the local priest advises that he must be raised with love. What will happen to Leon? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Half-man... Half-wolf See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Makeup-artist Roy Ashton based his makeup for this film on Jack P. Pierce's makeup for The Wolf Man (1941). See more »

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. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Original video releases blot out the Technicolor credit line with a black bar. The credit is visible on the DVD version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in People in Luck (1963) See more »

User Reviews

 
Over-the-top horror film directed by the master of Hammer Production , Terence Fisher
5 February 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Curse of the Werewolf See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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