Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
|Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed|
Theatrical release poster by Tom Chantrell
|Directed by||Terence Fisher|
|Produced by||Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Screenplay by||Bert Batt|
|Story by||Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Music by||James Bernard|
|Edited by||Gordon Hales|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.-Seven Arts|
|98 min/USA: 101 min.|
|Box office||586,439 admissions (France)|
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a 1969 British horror film directed by Terence Fisher for Hammer Film Productions, starring Peter Cushing, Freddie Jones, Veronica Carlson and Simon Ward. The film is the fifth in a series of Hammer films focusing on Baron Frankenstein, who, in this entry, terrorises those around him in a bid to uncover the secrets of a former associate confined to a lunatic asylum.
While illegally procuring a brain for his next experiment, Baron Victor Frankenstein is surprised by a thief when he returns to his lab. The Baron destroys most of the evidence and moves on, with a haughty police inspector on his trail. He obtains a room at a boarding house run by Anna, whose fiance Karl is a doctor at the local insane asylum where a former scientific collaborator of the Baron's, Dr. Brandt, who has lost his mind, now resides.
After discovering that Anna's fiance has been stealing narcotics in order to support her ailing mother, Frankenstein blackmails them into helping him to obtain surgical supplies and kidnap Dr. Brandt so he can operate on his brain and cure him, thereby allowing the Baron to obtain his discovery of successful brain transplantation. Unfortunately Dr. Brandt suffers a heart attack during the escape, necessitating a transfer of his brain into another body. The Baron and Karl then kidnap the asylum's director Professor Richter and transplants Brandt's brain into the Professor's body.
They bury Brandt's now worthless body in the garden, but a water main break almost gives up the game. The police start searching every house in the area in their search for the missing men. Brandt's wife recognises the Baron on the street, but he is able to convince her to give him time to cure her husband. After she leaves, Frankenstein forces Karl and Anna to help him escape with the Brandt/Richter "creature."
While the creature recovers, Frankenstein and the lovers relocate to a deserted manor house as the police begin to close in. The creature awakens and is horrified by his appearance. He scares Anna who stabs him with a scalpel, and then he escapes. Finding the creature gone, Frankenstein kills Anna in a rage. The creature makes it to his former home, but his wife refuses to accept him as her husband. Wanting revenge on Frankenstein, and knowing the Baron will eventually track him there, he allows his wife to go free and pours paraffin around the house.
Frankenstein soon arrives, with Karl following, and the creature makes Frankenstein search for his notes on his discovery while he sets fires around the house to trap him. Karl arrives outside: mistaking the sound of the carriage for the police, the creature says: "You must choose between the flames and the police, Frankenstein." Frankenstein seizes the notes and flees the house but encounters Karl and they fight. The creature emerges and carries a screaming Frankenstein into the burning house.
- Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein
- Veronica Carlson as Anna Spengler
- George Pravda as Dr. Frederick Brandt
- Freddie Jones as Professor Richter
- Simon Ward as Dr. Karl Holst
- Thorley Walters as Inspector Frisch
- Windsor Davies as Police Sergeant
- Allan Surtees as Police Sergeant
- Maxine Audley as Ella Brandt
- Geoffrey Bayldon as Police Doctor
- Colette O'Neil as Madwoman
- Frank Middlemass as Guest - Plumber
- Norman Shelley as Guest - Smoking pipe
- Michael Gover as Guest - Reading newspaper
- Peter Copley as Principal
The scene where Frankenstein rapes Anna was filmed over the objections of both Peter Cushing and Veronica Carlson, and director Terence Fisher, who halted it when he felt enough was enough. It was not in the original script but the scene was added at the insistence of Hammer executive James Carreras, who was under pressure to keep American distributors happy. This explains why there is no mention of the rape subsequently by Anna or Frankenstein.
The scenes featuring Thorley Walters as Inspector Frisch were also late additions to the original script; they have been described as unnecessary, adding an unwelcome element of comedy into the suspenseful story and also making the film too long.
In 1978, the Welsh television station HTV Cymru/Wales broadcast a version dubbed into the Welsh language called Rhaid Dinistrio Frankenstein, a more-or-less literal translation of the English title. This was one of three films that were dubbed into Welsh, another being Shane, with Alan Ladd. Both these were rebroadcast on the new Welsh language channel S4C on its launch in 1982.
Variety called the film "a good-enough example of its low-key type, with artwork rather better than usual (less obvious backcloths, etc.) a minimum of artless dialogue, good lensing by Arthur Grant and a solid all round cast." The Monthly Film Bulletin called it "the most spirited Hammer horror in some time. The crudities still remain, of course, but the talk of transplants and drugs seem to have injected new life into the continuing story of Baron Frankenstein."
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed currently holds an average 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Box office information for Terence Fisher films in France at Box office Story
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- Hallenbeck, Bruce G. (2013). The Hammer Frankenstein: British Cult Cinema. Midnight Marquee Press. pp. 167, 170. ISBN 978-1936168330.
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed - Terence Fisher, Peter Cushing, Hammer Studios 1969". Members.aon.at. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) - Trivia". TCM.com. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 1969 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- "Frankenstein Film Dubbed In Welsh". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 14 September 1978. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". Variety: 40. 11 June 1969.
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 36 (426): 146. July 1969.
- "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
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