PICTURE OF THE DAY: THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) – Behind the Scenes Look
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look from the Hammer Films classic, THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957).
This is from the lab set, shot on a Hammer sound stage, and is from the scene immediately following the creation sequence. After the Creature (Christopher Lee) had attacked Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), it was knocked unconscious by Victor’s assistant Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart), and in this scene the unconscious Creature is strapped to a table while Victor Frankenstein examines it, all the while Paul tries to convince him to destroy the murderous Creature, to no avail, of course.
Here we see what looks to be the make-up man touching up Peter Cushing’s make-up, or perhaps adjusting him for lighting. Actually upon closer examination it looks like the man is adjusting Cushing’s collar, perhaps loosening it properly since this followed the scene where Cushing’s Victor Frankenstein had been strangled by the Creature.
Robert Urquhart, who played Victor’s cantankerous former tutor-turned-assistant, still seems to be in character, ready to scold Victor for creating a monster and begging him to destroy it.
“You madman!” He seems to be preparing to say.
It looks like they’re touching up Christopher Lee’s make-up as well. Lee has joked in interviews that when making this film, people used to avoid him on the set because he looked so disgusting in his Creature make-up. Lee has also told stories of how on those few occasions he was on the set without his make-up, no one knew who he was. “Oh, you’re the guy playing the Creature? Didn’t recognize you without your monster face on.”
That guy standing over Lee sure looks like he’s holding a cell phone/smartphone which he’s using to take a picture of the future film star. Hmm. Maybe he’s a time traveler from the future gone back in time to visit the set. That’s a neat idea, and it’s something I would do if I had a time machine. I would visit the sets of my favorite movies.
Back to that guy standing over Lee— what is he really doing, anyway? What’s that he’s holding in his left hand? A camera? A light? A mirror?
I like all the lab equipment in the background. That’s always been one of my favorite parts about THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. I love the way they made the lab look. It’s especially impressive in color. Director Terence Fisher utilized all sorts of different colors in the lab, as you’ll see an array of greens, reds, and purples interspersed throughout.
This image comes from the web site Virtual History, located at http://www.virtual-history.com/movie/image/27551.