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Hammer's version of the Mary Shelley novel turned out to be the first of a series of films after this one caught the attention of many in the public. In this color version, we meet Baron Frankenstein when he's still a teen; his parents are dead, so he's inherited the estate. He hires on Paul (Robert Urquhart) as a special tutor because he wants learned wisdom beyond that offered in conventional schools. This teacher-tutor relationship continues after Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) reaches adulthood, when it is now a partnership of equals. Soon, however, Frankenstein's goals begin to differ from his partner's, as Paul notices some disturbingly unnatural obsessions in his former pupil's behavior, as well as a cold callousness.
This was a low budget film, but the sets, the color photography, the actors and the suggestion of opulence lent it the illusion of something grand and impressive, setting the tone for most of Hammer's output from then on. The intriguing aspect to this version, however, was the subtle suggestion by the end that Frankenstein's creation was only a delusion of his; also, two supposed victims of the creature - an old blind man and a boy - are never verified. Frankenstein appeared to meet his fate at the guillotine at the end but we would see differently in the sequel, Revenge of Frankenstein (1958). BoG's Score: 7 out of 10
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