Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) is a British film based on the novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore. The film was made by the British film studio Hammer Film Productions and was shot at Bray Studios.

The story is set in 18th Century Spain. A beggar is imprisoned by a cruel marques after making inappropriate comments at the nobleman's wedding. The beggar is forgotten but manages to survive another fifteen years. His only human contact is with the jailer and his beautiful mute daughter (Yvonne Romain). The aging, decrepit Marques makes advances on the jailer's daughter when she is cleaning his room. When she refuses him, the Marques has her thrown into the dungeon with the beggar. The beggar, driven mad by his long confinement, rapes her and then dies. The girl is released the next day and sent back up to "entertain" the Marques. Instead she kills the old man and flees. She is found in the forest by the kindly gentleman-scholar Don Alfredo Corledo (Clifford Evans) who lives alone with his housekeeper, Teresa (Hira Talfrey). The warm and motherly Teresa soon nurses the girl back to health, but she dies after giving birth to a baby on Christmas Day (a fact that Teresa considers "unlucky." since the child was born out of wedlock)

Alfredo and Teresa raise the young boy, whom they name Leon. Leon is cursed both by the evil circumstances of his birth and by being born on Christmas Day. An early hunting incident gives him a taste for blood which he must struggle to overcome. Leon grows into a young man (Oliver Reed) and leaves home to seek work at the Gomez vineyard. Don Fernando Gomez (Ewen Solon) sets Leon to work in the wine cellar with Jose Amadayo (Martin Matthews) with whom he quickly forms a friendship. Leon soon falls in love with Fernando's daughter, Cristina (Catherine Feller), but when he is arrested and jailed on suspicion of murdering Jose, he grows increasingly violent. His wolf nature rising to the surface, he snarls and drools his way through the village by the light of the full moon. Shocked and disgusted by his appearance, the local people summon his scholarly step-father, who has been preparing himself for years to face this moment. Though torn with grief, the wise Alfredo shoots Leon dead and covers his body with a cloak.

-From Wikipedia

91 MIN

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