However, recent research suggests that the issue of who exactly funded Dracula is still not entirely clear (see Barnett, ‘Hammering out a Deal: The Contractual and Commercial Contexts of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958)’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, published online 19 November 2013). Hammer made its first color horror film in 1957, and the color was blood red. Hammer Horror Christopher Lee's career is synonymous with the horror genre. Universal was not interested, and the search for money eventually brought Hammer back to a.a.p. It found success on the European continent also, where Italian directors and audiences were particularly receptive. The series was first aired on ABC from September 26, 1968 to January 30, 1969, prior to broadcast in the UK on ITV during 1969. Although an agreement was drawn up, it is alleged that the deal was never realised and funding for Dracula eventually came from the National Film Finance Council (£33,000) and the rest from Universal in return for worldwide distribution rights. Fortunately, Hammer Films frequently featured Peter Cushing, a powerhouse actor known for Star Wars. length as their previous series, but it was decided to expand them to feature-length to market them as 'movies of the week' in the US. The Invisible Man was never produced. Hammer Horror film series (1958–1974) The original series of films consisted of nine … The leaves fall, and the light shines golden and clear; compared with the well-lit contemporary look of the "angry young men" films, Hammer's mournful sumptuousness must have been even more striking. The company eventually ceased production in the mid-1980s. The Brides of Dracula did not include Dracula but is still considered part of the series since Peter Cushing reprises his role as Dr. J. ", Further revisions were made to the script, and a working title of Frankenstein and the Monster was chosen. The project was handed to Tony Hinds, who was less impressed with the script than Michael Carreras, and whose vision for the film was a simple black-and-white 'quickie' made in three weeks. Now set in a new Dracula timeline, Peter Cushing appeared in both films, playing Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing, as well as his own grandfather (Lawrence Van Helsing) in the prologue of the first of the two films. A second television anthology series, Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, was produced in 1984 and ran for 13 episodes. They featured a cast as diverse as Peter Cushing, Brian Cox, David Carradine, Stephanie Beacham, Diana Dors and even Pierce Brosnan. These latter films were not successful and drew fire not only from critics but from Christopher Lee himself, who refused to appear in any more Dracula films after these. (1974's Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, for example, features a scene where the Baron treads on a discarded human brain.). Questions of guilt circulate in these films, where the virtuous can be transformed into vampires through one moment of sexual weakness..., This was a fantasy, science fiction and supernatural anthology series which dealt with normal people in everyday situations that found themselves having to experience something out of the ordinary. With the agreement in place, Hammer's executives had their pick of Universal International's horror icons and chose to remake The Invisible Man, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Mummy's Hand. Hammer Film: Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970) The following year, Linda bared all in the non-Hammer horror flick Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), then continued the trend of disrobing in a series of raunchy British comedies: Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) and the subtly titled Let’s Get Laid (1978).. 4. The Resident, a thriller directed and co-written by Finnish filmmaker Antti Jokinen and starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Christopher Lee.  Critics who specialise in cult films, like Kim Newman, have praised Hammer Horror more fully, enjoying their atmosphere, craftsmanship and occasional camp appeal. It was released on 10 April 2014 in the UK and 25 April in the US. They eventually entered talks with Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.) Meanwhile, George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) had set a new standard for graphic violence in horror films. Rosenberg would often claim he 'produced' The Curse of Frankenstein, an exaggeration repeated in his obituary. Shelley was best known for appearing in Hammer horror movies.  The company announced plans to begin making films again after this, but none were produced. Barbara Shelley, best known for her roles in Hammer horror films and Doctor Who, passed away at the age of 88 after contracting coronavirus (COVID-19). " Since then, it has produced several films, including Let Me In (2010), The Resident (2011), The Woman in Black (2012) and The Quiet Ones (2014). Hammer moved into the Exclusive offices in 113-117 Wardour Street, and the building was rechristened "Hammer House".. Establishing the fanged vampire in popular culture, Lee also introduced a dark, brooding sexuality to the character. The first spin-off made was Hammer's biggest domestic earner of the 1970s and was popular enough to produce two sequels, Mutiny on the Buses (1972) and Holiday on the Buses (1973), seeing Hammer return to their pre-horror practice of adapting television properties for the cinema as they had once done with PC 49 and Dick Barton. During this period, two young American filmmakers, Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky, who later established Hammer's rival Amicus, submitted to a.a.p.  In 1953 the first of Hammer's science fiction films, Four Sided Triangle and Spaceways, were released. Hammer began looking for alternatives, and with the success of The Curse of Frankenstein signed with Columbia Pictures to distribute The Revenge of Frankenstein and two films from the defaulted a.a.p. The number of set-ups scripted is quite out of proportion to the length of the screenplay, and we suggest that your rewrites are done in master scene form.  In the meantime, Hammer produced another Quatermass -style horror film, X the Unknown, originally intended as part of the series until Kneale denied them permission to use his characters (the writer is known to have disliked Donlevy's performance as Quatermass).  Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers, film noir and comedies, as well as, in later years, television series. Until The Curse of Frankenstein, horror films had not shown blood in a graphic way, or when they did, it was concealed by monochrome photography. This success was, in part, due to its distribution partnerships with American companies United Artists, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, American International Pictures and Seven Arts Productions. ", "Reborn Hammer Films to Remake Let the Right One In", "Hammer Films Acquires Black List Writer's 'Wake, "Woman in Black film sequel announced by Hammer", https://deadline.com/2019/09/studiocanal-inks-library-deal-with-classic-horror-brand-hammer-films-1202747967, "The devil's work: gothic films at the BFI", "A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss - Q&A with Mark Gatiss", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hammer_Film_Productions&oldid=997126276, Film production companies of the United Kingdom, Articles needing additional references from November 2019, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2019, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Seasons of the BBC science fiction series, Much of the dark humour of the BBC comedy series, In 2010, Mark Gatiss devoted a large part of the second episode of his, The British radio dramatist Marty Ross acknowledged a debt to Hammer with regard to his two serials for, In an interview for the new Blu-ray release of, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 03:19. Series Directed by. In 1950, Hammer moved again to Gilston Park, a country club in Harlow Essex, which hosted The Black Widow, The Rossiter Case, To Have and to Hold and The Dark Light (all 1950). Notable examples were: Hammer made a number of swashbucklers, including: Hammer had some success with films set in the British Empire, such as: On 29 May 1968, Hammer was awarded the Queen's Award to Industry in recognition of their contribution to the British economy. Born on 13 February 1932, the popular actress was at her busiest in the late 1950s (Blood of the Vampire) and 1960s when she became Hammer Horror’s number-one female star, with The Gorgon (1964), Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966), Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966), and Quatermass and the Pit (1967) among her credits. Director:Terence Fisher|Stars:Peter Cushing, … A decision was made to remodel Down Place into a substantial, custom-fitted studio complex that became known as Bray Studios. For the song by Kate Bush, see, For a complete list of films by Hammer Film Productions, see. Hammer films had always sold, in part, on their violent and sexual content. The Horror of Hammer cast members have done many other films so be sure to check out the filmographies and individual pages of the stars of The Horror of Hammer. Did you know Christopher Lee was knighted? In September 2019, Hammer signed a worldwide distribution deal with StudioCanal for its catalogue. , Hammer also produced a half-hour pilot titled Tales of Frankenstein (1958) that was intended to premiere on American television; it was never picked up, but is now available on DVD. Barbara was popular for her roles in classic horror films which were produced by London-based Hammer Film Productions, including The Gorgon, The Pit and Quatermass. A good chunk of those movies were Hammer Horror. In 2000, the studio was bought by a consortium including advertising executive and art collector Charles Saatchi and publishing millionaires Neil Mendoza and William Sieghart. On 10 May 2007, it was announced that Dutch producer John De Mol had purchased the Hammer Films rights via his private equity firm Cyrte Investments. The actress, born Barbara Kowin, was 88 years old. Also in 2012, Hammer and Alliance Films announced two more films going into production during 2012, entitled The Quiet Ones and Gaslight. They must take it away and prune. It was given a limited UK/Ireland theatrical release in March 2011. His most recognizable role for the studio was as Count Dracula, but he also portrayed Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy. She has been featured in more than 100 films and TV series. deal, The Camp on Blood Island and The Snorkel. In America, eight episodes from the series were broadcast as four made-for-television films consisting of twinned episodes along with new segment introduction footage provided by actors Patrick McGoohan, Sebastian Cabot and Joan Crawford serving as hosts. On 20 August 1958, the Daily Cinema reported: "Because of the fantastic business done world-wide by Hammer's Technicolor version of Dracula, Universal-International, its distributors, have made over to Jimmy Carreras' organisation, the remake rights to their entire library of classic films.".  Peter Cushing again had top-billing, this time as Doctor Van Helsing, whilst Christopher Lee starred as Count Dracula, with direction by Terence Fisher and a set design by Bernard Robinson that was radically different from the Universal adaptation; it was so radical, in fact, that Hammer executives considered paying him off and finding another designer.. Shelley as she appeared in 1964 TV series Rupert of Hentzau. Regarding the script of X the Unknown, one reader/examiner (Audrey Field) commented on 24 November: "Well, no one can say the customers won't have had their money's worth by now. The film was directed by Terence Fisher, with a look that belied its modest budget. This wiki covers all the Hammer Horror films as well as the characters in their films, the actors and the writers, producers and hammer studios history in general. Hammer Horror Edit.  At the time, Hammer voluntarily submitted scripts to the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) for comment before production. (The Encyclopedia of British Film characterized the remake as "about as witless and charmless as could be conceived".). The huge box office success of The Curse of Frankenstein led to the inevitable desire for a sequel in The Revenge of Frankenstein, and an attempt to give the Hammer treatment to another horror icon. THE ACTORS OF HAMMER FILMS.  Hammer produced four films distributed by Exclusive: A slump in the British film industry forced Hammer into bankruptcy and the company went into liquidation in 1937. Christopher Lee returned as Dracula for the following six films, which employed ingenuity in finding new ways to resurrect the Count. With a budget of £65,000 and a cast and crew that would become the backbone of later films, Hammer's first Gothic horror went into production. In A History of Horror, Mark Gatiss remarked that Hammer's earlier films were taken seriously at the time, in comparison to the trademark camp appeal of their later works. It's not a comedy, but it's got a comic title. Hammer House of Horror, contained tales of genuine horror laced with a twinkle of dark humour. The running time varied from 69 to 73 minutes. ... (3 episodes, 1980) Tom Clegg. In fact, someone will almost certainly have been sick. This list of who was in The Horror of Hammer can be sorted by any column, but is currently alphabetical and includes photos of who starred in The Horror of Hammer when available. Hammer Film Productions Ltd. is a British film production company based in London. Founded in 1934, the company is best known for a series of Gothic horror films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. Principal photography for The Mummy began on 23 February 1959 and lasted until 16 April 1959.  The Quiet Ones tells the story of an unorthodox professor (Jared Harris) who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist. As a consequence of the contract with Robert Lippert, American actor Brian Donlevy was imported for the lead role and the title was changed to The Quatermass Xperiment to cash in on the new X certificate for horror films. This series was Hammer's final production of the 20th century, and the studio went into semi-permanent hiatus. While the studio remained true to previous period settings in their 1971 release Vampire Circus, Dracula AD 1972 and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), for example, abandoned period settings in pursuit of a modern-day setting and a "swinging London" feel. Barbara Shelley's movies. The presentation ceremony took place on the steps of the Castle Dracula set at Pinewood Studios, during the filming of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave.. Tributes have been paid to the Hammer Horror film star and Doctor Who actress Barbara Shelley, who has died aged 88 after contracting Covid-19. Hammer Film: Blood of the Mummy’s Tomb (1971) Concerned that Subotsky and Rosenberg's script had too many similarities to the Universal films, Hinds commissioned Jimmy Sangster to rewrite it as The Curse of Frankenstein. • Michael Carreras, a.k.a.  He convinced Anthony Hinds to rejoin the company, and a revived Hammer Film Productions set to work on Death in High Heels, The Dark Road, and Crime Reporter. Hammer's first significant experiment with horror came in a 1955 adaptation of Nigel Kneale's BBC Television science fiction serial The Quatermass Experiment, directed by Val Guest. Hammer's horror films featured many actors who appeared repeatedly in a number of movies, forming an informal "Hammer repertory company". Barbara Shelley — the Hammer icon known as "the first leading lady of British horror" — has died. Hammer Films struggled on throughout the 1970s before going into liquidation in 1979. In addition, Guy East and Nigel Sinclair of L.A.-based Spitfire Pictures are on board to produce two to three horror films or thrillers a year for the U.K.-based studio. “When I first started doing Hammer, all the so-called classic actors looked down on the horror film. Accordingly, comments on the script from Hammer's Michael Carreras (who had joined his father James as producer in the early 1950s) were less than complimentary: "The script is badly presented. I can think of twenty adjectives — fatuous, pointless, absurd. The series featured a different kind of horror each week, including witches, werewolves, ghosts, devil worship and voodoo, but also included non-supernatural horror themes such as cannibalism, confinement and serial killers.  The use of colour encouraged a previously unseen level of gore. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), a co-production with Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers which attempted to combine Hammer's brand of horror with the martial arts film, and To the Devil a Daughter (1976), their third adaptation of a Dennis Wheatley novel, were both quite successful at the U.K. box office, but Hammer were unable to capitalise on them as most of the profits went to other financial backers. 17 episodes of approximately 50 minutes each were produced by Hammer Film Productions and 20th Century Fox Television. Hammer is synonymous with horror, after defining the genre in Britain with classics such as Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy, which spawned numerous sequels. a script for an adaptation of the novel Frankenstein. https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/13-greatest-hammer-horror-monsters Towards the end of 1951, the one-year lease on Down Place expired and with its growing success Hammer looked towards more conventional studio-based productions. The actress - who starred in 1950s and 1960s Hammer Horror films - acted with other icons including Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Not able to afford top stars, Hammer acquired the film rights to BBC radio series such as The Adventures of PC 49 and Dick Barton: Special Agent (an adaptation of the successful Dick Barton radio show).  Hammer's last production, in 1979, was a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 thriller The Lady Vanishes, starring Elliott Gould and Cybill Shepherd. A surprising experience. The Horror of Hammer cast members have done many other films so be sure to check out the filmographies and individual pages of the stars of The Horror of Hammer. The contract meant that Lippert Pictures and Exclusive effectively exchanged products for distribution on their respective sides of the Atlantic – beginning in 1951 with The Last Page and ending with 1955's Women Without Men (a.k.a. The scores for many Hammer horror films, including The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, were composed by James Bernard. Michael Carreras' letter to Max Rosenberg, quoted in Kinsey, p51. Barbara Shelley, best known for her numerous appearances in Hammer Horror titles across the 1950s and 1960s, has died. Tributes have been paid to the Hammer Horror film star and Doctor Who actress Barbara Shelley, who has died aged 88 after contracting Covid-19. This castmember list includes all major roles and many bit parts for actors in this movie. Each subsequent movie in the series contains elements that do not relate to (or flatly contradict) the events of the movie that went before, whilst the characteristics of Cushing's Baron vary wildly from film to film, resulting in a series that does not progress as a self-contained narrative cycle. The film is titled Wake Wood and was scheduled for release in the United Kingdom in the Autumn of 2009. Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby was a successful example of psychological horror, while Bonnie and Clyde and The Wild Bunch exposed mainstream audiences to more explicit gore, and were more expertly staged than Hammer films. These low-budget suspense thrillers, often in black-and-white, were made in the mould of Les Diaboliques (1955), although more often compared to the later Psycho. Neither did I. Lee has been in 266 films since 1948: that’s impressive. The Mummy went into general release on 23 October 1959 and broke the box-office records set by Dracula the previous year, both in Great Britain and the U.S. when it was released there in December.. Tributes have been paid to the Hammer Horror film star and Doctor Who actress Barbara Shelley, … In April 2012, the company announced it was to make a sequel to The Woman in Black titled The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. "Altogether this is a horrific film and sometimes a crude film, but by no means an unimpressive piece of melodramatic storytelling" wrote one critic of Dracula in The Times in 1958. Certainly strong cautions will be necessary on shots of blood. ", Regardless of the BBFC's stern warnings, Hinds supervised the shooting of an unchanged script.. The next two were not period pieces like their predecessors, but had a contemporary 1970s London setting.  During this time Hinds met Spanish émigré Enrique Carreras, a former cinema owner, and on 10 May 1935 they formed the film distribution company Exclusive Films, operating from an office at 60-66 National House, Wardour Street. Hammer produced three other mummy films between 1964 and 1971: These mummy movies had stories and characters unrelated to the 1959 film and all three were relegated to second feature status, as by the mid-1960s, Hammer's films were often intended for double features. This fact-based cast roster includes any The Horror of Hammer actresses and all other actors from the film. 's Eliot Hyman, through another of his companies, Seven Arts (which later merged with Warner Bros., now the successor-in-interest to a.a.p.).  It was released in the US and UK in March 2011. Exclusive survived and on 20 July 1937 purchased the leasehold on 113-117 Wardour Street, and continued to distribute films made by other companies. Sangster submitted his script to the BBFC for examination. During its most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. I am afraid we can give no assurance that we should be able to pass a film based on the present script and a revised script should be sent us for our comments, in which the overall unpleasantness should be mitigated. Not only did the script contain horror and graphic violence, but it would be portrayed in vivid colour.. Hammer Film Productions is celebrated for a series of Gothic horror films made in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Anton Diffring took over Cushing's role of Baron Frankenstein.. I think it is fatuous. All the other things I did, nobody remembers those. With a handful of tools – iconic actors, small budgets, simple sets, beautiful heroines, and charismatic heroes – Hammer consistently nailed it, delivering one memorable horror film … At a time when "classic actors" looked down on the horror genre, Shelley was thrilled to have the chance to star in Hammer horror films because they brought her recognition. In the late 1960s, with the release of Hollywood films like Bonnie and Clyde, Rosemary's Baby, and The Wild Bunch, the studio struggled to maintain its place in the market. and Hammer had broken down when money promised by a.a.p. He was also concerned about typecasting, and after filming The Satanic Rites of Dracula he finally quit the series. Audrey Field reported on 10 October 1956: "We are concerned about the flavour of this script, which, in its preoccupation with horror and gruesome detail, goes far beyond what we are accustomed to allow even for the 'X' category. Peter Sasdy. The series was made in association with 20th Century Fox (who broadcast films as Fox Mystery Theater) and as such, the sex and violence seen in the earlier series was toned down considerably for US television. The brand is still alive but no one has invested in it for a long time. She was uncredited in the film and did return for the 1972 sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again. See Kinsey (2005) p.86, Universal itself was having financial difficulties at the time. The same novel served as the basis for the 1980 Charlton Heston film The Awakening and a later direct-to-video feature, Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy, starring Lou Gossett Jr. Other horror films produced by Hammer included: In addition to their Dracula series, Hammer produced a number of other horror movies on the vampire theme, including: Hammer also made a loose trilogy of films based on Sheridan Le Fanu's early vampire novella Carmilla, written by newcomer Tudor Gates.