The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this horror movie, Baron von Frankenstein is up to his old tricks. This time, the doctor takes an alias and gets a job at a hospital where he can continue his experiments in peace. Once again, the basically well meaning scientist creates a creature, and again something goes horribly wrong. This time the monster becomes a cannibal and must be destroyed. The special effects in this film are especially stomach churning.
Classics , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Entertainment

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Peter Cushing
as Dr. Victor Stein
Francis Matthews
as Dr. Hans Kleve
Eunice Gayson
as Margaret
John Welsh
as Bergman
Oscar Quitak
as Karl Dwarf
Richard Wordsworth
as Up Patient
John Stuart
as Inspector
Margery Cresley
as Countess Barscynska
Anna Walmsley
as Vera Barscynska
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Critic Reviews for The Revenge of Frankenstein

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

This is a high grade horror film.

Full Review… | July 21, 2008
Top Critic

In one of his best performances, Cushing plays on the ambiguity of the central character, so that the Baron becomes a kind of Wildean martyr, alternating between noble defiance and detached cruelty.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Expertly executed example of a golden time in British cinema - one to savour.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013
Empire Magazine

Cushing's cool demeanour and grace were ideally suited to his role as the quietly manic Baron and he gives a chillingly subtle performance.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013

Surpassed in its shocking effects perhaps only by Warhol's version.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013
TV Guide

One of the most sophisticated and intelligent follow-ups to a horror classic that has ever been put to film.

Full Review… | October 24, 2010
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for The Revenge of Frankenstein

the second and one of the best of the frankenstein series. it's a shame cushing is mostly remembered in the states for playing grand moff tarkin of star wars after all the wonderful work he did for hammer. the monster here is truly heartbreaking

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

The Revenge Of Frankenstein is the second instalment in Hammer studio's Frankenstein series. The first film, The Curse Of Frankenstein, was the company's debut horror feature and a commercial success. It paved the way for a plethora of horror films and made 'stars' of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Lee is absent from Revenge. but Cushing returns in the titular role along with director Terence Fisher and writer Jimmy Sangster. Having narrowly escaped the guillotine, Dr./Baron Frankenstein retreats to a new town to pledge his trade. Adopting the 'cunning' pseudonym 'Dr. Stein', he opens two medical practices. One serves the wealthy, financing the second which treats the poor and needy. This humanitarian/philanthropist set-up masks the fact that both practices support, in terms of money and body parts respectively, the good doctor's true interests. He has a secret laboratory in a disused wine cellar where he continues his infamous experiments. After three years in the new town his practice is such a success that the local medical council is becoming redundant. The members hold an emergency meeting to discuss the problem of Dr. Stein. Terence Fisher's Frankenstein series concentrates on the doctor (and in turn science) as the source of 'evil'. Frankenstein's blind ambition and lack of moral code is the real source of horror. This premise is strikingly different from earlier Frankenstein stories. In the Mary Shelley original, both the doctor and the 'monster' are portrayed as victims of science. In James Whale's celebrated duet the doctor is the misguided hero. In both cases the doctor is misled by scientific ambition but retains a strong moral code throughout. The sinister Dr. Pretorius in Bride Of Frankenstein could be seen as a better prototype for Fisher's doctor. In Revenge. rather than retreading the familiar experiment of the previous film(s), a spin has been put on events. Here Frankenstein's construction of the 'monster' has reached its zenith and is given short shrift. Instead the problem and focus of the film is that of the brain. A living brain is required so transplants are in order. Cue a bloodied brain slopping into a specimen jar. Loopy proceedings include a priceless hand-eye co-ordination experiment (every lab should have one) and a cannibalistic chimp with the brain of an orang-utan. The brain transplantation theme is taken the logical step further in Frankenstein Created Woman, which involves the transfer of the soul. Although it evokes some viewer sympathy, the 'monster' is not as innocent as the creations in earlier films and in a way deserves its fate. Its appearance is not that impressive either, when it goes on the rampage the facial expression and make-up reminded me of Michael Palin. The fact that the 'monster' starts to regress back to his half paralytic state suggests that the condition stemmed from the brain, Frankenstein's diagnosis was wrong. This is the only error Frankenstein makes. His assistant, Dr. Kleve, and workers (the cleaner is an 'expert' on zoology) make them for him. Thus the experiment ends in disaster. If Dr Kleve had not helped Frankenstein with the final transplantation, he could be considered to have been a 'plant' from the medical council. The final creation is of course ludicrous. How could the body be a perfect likeness? Still, it paved the way for further sequels.

David Ladd
David Ladd

Super Reviewer


A fun Hammer horror outing.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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