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PETER CUSHING IN HAMMER'S 'THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN'

The Revenge of Frankenstein Year: 1959 Rating: ***1/2

The first and best sequel of the Hammer/Peter Cushing FRANKENSTEIN franchise is also the most faithful to Mary Shelley's novel as the monster isn't initially monstrous... but is simply a tall, vulnerable, formerly living male who speaks with intelligence, and for a reason... 

Beginning with Peter Cushing's "Dr. Stein" working in a town where, despite avoiding a conceited doctors union, has the most patients and respect, and, hiding in plain sight his secret operations remain intact as this movie's "Igor" wants to rid his mangled body for a new one... 

Added to the cast is a young distinguished doctor played by Francis Matthews as Hans, who figures out Stein's real identity, and is more of an equal than an enslaved assistant, ridding REVENGE of some timeworn horror clich├ęs that, while lacking the colorfully Gothic vibe of other Hammer entries, only falters once the New Creature turns into the inevitable murderous beast in a contrived, rushed fashion... or several, actually. Meanwhile, the ingenue isn't altogether necessary: an unrequited romance sparked when she met the original mangled assistant turned reanimated man comes to nothing in a lackluster final that still remains edgy, and does have Cushing getting more desperate, and with more to lose. He's often best that way. 

Peter Cushing & patient (cameo) Anna Walmsley in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Francis Matthews in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Francis Matthews in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN with Peter Cushing
Francis Matthews in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN with Eunice Gayson
Oscar Quitak in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Francis Matthews in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN with Peter Cushing & Michael Gwynn
THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN with Michael Gwynn

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