Firstly, a HUGE thanks to our Patreon supporters. Your generosity touches me deeply. These supporters have become the single biggest contributing factor to the survival of DVDBeaver. Your assistance has become essential. We are always trying to expand Patron benefits... you get access to the Silent Auctions and over 10,000 unpublished screen captures (in lossless PNG format, if that has appeal for you) listed HERE. Please consider helping with $3 or more each month so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. Thank you so much. We aren't going to exist without another 100 or so patrons.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Terence Fisher
UK 1957

 

Baron Victor Frankenstein was the archetypal aristocrat, well-read, cultured and arrogant. Beyond the sophisticated veneer existed a cruel, utterly unscrupulous man, obsessed with ambition. Determined to realize his greatest dream to create life, he had assembled a creature from organs gathered from various unwilling donors. The creature is successful brought to life but the instability of the brain, damaged during surgery, causes uncontrollable violent spasms that result in indiscriminate murder... and it is the Baron to whom the blame is laid with fatal consequences. The Curse of Frankenstein is a classic 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, based on the novel Frankenstein (1816) by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio's new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and established "Hammer Horror" as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema.

***

Curse of Frankenstein was the "breakthrough" picture for the fabled Hammer Studios. Told in flashback, the story centers around Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), a dangerously arrogant scientist who takes it upon himself to play God. Using portions of dead bodies, Victor fashions a synthetic monster (Christopher Lee) with a bad attitude. In a radical departure from the Frankenstein canon, it is the imperious Victor who orchestrates the film's two murders by "borrowing" the brain of a learned professor, then leaving his next victim at the mercy of the monster. In 1958, the film spawned the sequel Revenge of Frankenstein.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 2nd, 1957

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Lionsgate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Lionsgate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:11.708         1:23:11.027   
Video

1.66:1 / 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,660,424,469 bytes

Feature: 14,389,690,368 bytes X 2

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.66:1 / 1.85:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,255,103,917 bytes

Feature: 24,539,179,008 bytes X 2

Video Bitrate: 33.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Lionsgate (UK) Blu-ray:

Bitrate Warner Archive Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1780 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1780 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1843 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1843 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Lionsgate

 

1.66:1 / 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,660,424,469 bytes

Feature: 14,389,690,368 bytes X 2

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Commentary by Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby
Frankenstein Reborn: The Making of a Hammer Classic (32:53)
Life With Sir (12:05)
Four Sided Triangle (1:17:59)
Tales of Frankenstein (27:26)
The World of Hammer with Roy Skeggs - The Curse of Frankenstein (24:54)
Gallery (2:02)
2 DVD included


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 15th, 2012
Standard UK Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner Archive

 

1.66:1 / 1.85:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,255,103,917 bytes

Feature: 24,539,179,008 bytes X 2

Video Bitrate: 33.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Commentary by Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr for both 1.66 and 1.85 ratios

Blu-ray 2

1.37 "Open Matte" Version (1:23:35)
Subtitles: Off Featurettes - 
The Resurrection Men: Hammer, Frankenstein and the Rebirth of the Horror Film (21:51)
Hideous Progeny: The Curse of Frankenstein and the English Gothic Tradition (22:49)
Torrents of Light: The Art of Jack Asher (15:15)
Diabolus in Musica: James Bernard and the Sound of Hammer Horror (17:06)
Theatrical Trailer (2:19)


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 15th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 36

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Warner Archive Blu-ray (January 2021): Warner Archive have transferred, the Hammer horror founding gem, Terence Fisher's The Curse of Frankenstein to Blu-ray. We have compared it to the 2012 UK Blu-ray and it is a significant improvement. The film has always had a thick look but by direct comparison the Lionsgate is out of ratio and colors are much more drab. The Warner Archive also offers two ratios on their (first of two) Blu-ray - 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 where the UK offered 1.37:1 and 1.66:1. The Warner Archive has over 50% higher bitrate for their 1080P presentations. Warner likewise include the 'open matte' 1.37:1 presentation on a second Blu-ray - that also houses the video extras. It is prefaced with "For decades after the theatrical distribution of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, the film was subsequently enjoyed by generations of fans on television and later on home video where it was shown in an "open matte" 1.37 aspect ratio, which reveals more information at the top and bottom of the screen. While not representative of how the creators intended it to be seen theatrically, this iteration is included here as it is so familiar to the film's legion of dedicated fans." All three Warner Archive HD presentations have similarly high bitrates and support the same colors scheme. Aside from the distorted ratio of the Lionsgate, the Warner flesh tones are warmer and other colors (DoP Jack Asher's trademark vibrancy) more intense - notable reds and greens. The rise in the detail and contrast is most evident in the compared captures of Frankenstein's (Christopher Lee) 'initial unveiling' below. It's really no contest in terms of video superiority.

NOTE: We have added 46 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Warner Archive use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement over the 16-bit transferred Lionsgate audio rendering. I noticed this improved depth in the chilling full-orchestra score by frequent Hammer composer, James Bernard (X the Unknown, The Devil Rides Out, The Plague of the Zombies, Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge, The Terror of the Tongs) sounding a bit deeper. Dialogue is clearer and more consistent. Warner Archive offer optional English (SDH) subtitles but their Blu-ray discs are Region FREE.

The Warner Archive Blu-ray offer a new commentary. Constantine Nasr starts with detailing an introduction, from about 15-years ago, to the reclusive Producer Anthony Hinds through Jimmy Sangster about the possibility of a book about his life. This lead him to University of Southern California Jack Warner's personal collection of studio files warehouse. He was looking for records on The Curse of Frankenstein. After months of looking with archivist Brett Service - 1958 film Frankenstein 1970 (with Boris Karloff.) There was a box with Jimmy Sangster's second revised screenplay as well as Milton Subotsky's final rejected draft of Frankenstein. Those two scripts serve as the basis for the commentary - what was removed, the character of Baron Victor Frankenstein represented as a sociopath stridently different from Mary Shelley's classic novel, missing scenes, Bernard Robinson's set design etc.. Nasr is joined by Steve Haberman and its a fascinatingly detailed commentary from both - that is offered on both 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 aspect ratio versions - located on the first Blu-ray.

The second Blu-ray is also dual-layered and houses the 1.37:1 version and about 1.5 hours of featurettes including the 22-minute The Resurrection Men: Hammer, Frankenstein and the Rebirth of the Horror Film which focuses on how The Curse of Frankenstein initiated a new era of Gothic Hammer horrors. There is another 23-minute piece entitled Hideous Progeny: The Curse of Frankenstein and the English Gothic Tradition, a third running 1/4 hour - Torrents of Light: The Art of Jack Asher. He was the director of photography on Curse as well as several other Hammer horror films including Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Mummy (1959) and The Brides of Dracula (1960.) the last featurettes - Diabolus in Musica: James Bernard and the Sound of Hammer Horror and details the work of the composer of Curse and many other Hammer efforts. There is also a trailer for the film.    

The Curse of Frankenstein was Hammer's first color horror film, and the first of their 'Frankenstein' series that produced many sequels helping establish "Hammer Horror's beloved brand of Gothic cinema. It's very satisfying to have this in such a complete Warner Archive Blu-ray form - a great cover (utilizing the Belgian poster), the essential commentary and featurettes, and easily the best presentation in 1080P. Hammer fans don't require my encouragement. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Lionsgate (UK) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Lionsgate (UK) (1.37) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner Archive (1.37) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lionsgate (UK) (1.66) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner Archive (1.66) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Warner Archive (1.85) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


1) Lionsgate (UK) (1.37) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner Archive (1.37) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lionsgate (UK) (1.66) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner Archive (1.66) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Warner Archive (1.85) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


1) Lionsgate (UK) (1.37) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner Archive (1.37) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lionsgate (UK) (1.66) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner Archive (1.66) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Warner Archive (1.85) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Lionsgate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!