Remaking classic movies has been commonplace for some time now, but it is not as recent a trend as some may think.
In the late 1950s, Hammer Studios of Great Britain decided to do a color remake of Frankenstein (1931). Unlike other remakes, though, the end result would not only become a classic in its own right, it would also ensure that Hammer would become a major studio for over the next decade, with its most famous output being in the horror genre.
Unlike its classic predecessor, this film is slightly closer to the 1818 Mary Shelley novel. Indeed, the monster (played by Christopher Lee) is not even seen until the film is half over. The focus here is more on Dr. Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), who becomes obsessed with creating a living human being after he succeeds in bringing a dog back to life. This obsession drives him to perform horrific acts in order to achieve his goal, to the horror of both his beloved Elizabeth (Hazel Court) and his colleague Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart). As a result, the doctor himself is the real monster of this movie.
This focus on Frankenstein would continue though this film’s sequels, each of which would have a different monster.
The movie also has beautiful photography and art direction. The direction by Terence Fisher is also first-rate. Fittingly, he would go on to direct many other great Hammer films.