Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography
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The film's director, Val Guest, said that "having no money just means you have to use your head, that's all. An even bigger step up was 's The Curse of Frankenstein, the first in a string of now-classic extravaganzas that met the highest standards for direction, acting, production design, music, and especially color cinematography.
Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography
Even better was The Horror of Dracula the following year, which made household names of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and led to many more pictures in the same, er, vein. These books were primarily targeted at libraries and collectors. In addition, Hammer, House of Horror is arguably the best designed book of the group, featuring 20 full-color and 57 black-and-white photographs on high-quality paper.
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Among the intriguing photographs, you'll find Peter Cushing collecting a severed head in The Curse of Frankenstein a shot deleted from the final print of the movie and Yutte Stensgaard with fangs showing and blood running over her nearly-nude chest a famous publicity still with no corresponding camera shot in the movie in Lust for a Vampire. Hammer, House of Horror is a handsome and professionally-designed book that contains a wealth of valuable information and photographs.
However, when the text addresses the movies themselves, the book disappoints. Peter Cushing tinkers with a severed head in The Curse of Frankenstein.
Hammer Films: A Life In Pictures book review
Author Howard Maxford attempts to tackle the entire history of Hammer, from the studio's early genesis in the '30s through its "last gasps" in the late '70s. However, he rarely provides many insights into the filmmaking.
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His descriptions of director Terence Fisher's contributions, for example, are usually contained to "directorial flourishes abound," "perfectly visualized," and "keeps the action moving. As a result, someone can read this entire book without really finding out anything about Fisher's directorial style.
The writing is workmanlike and occasionally repetitive as the authors strive to provide a thorough description of each film. But this is a labor of love, honest and earnest and more fun for it. Hammer began turning out movies in , and, except for a pause for World War II, did not stop until the studio folded in Over the decades they made comedies, dramas, war dramas, and thrillers.
Hammer is probably best known for reviving the Universal monsters—Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Wolfman—and turning Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing into international stars.