Frankenstein 1970 (1958)

WARNING! “Frankenstein 1970” is the most blood-freezing horror ever created! This picture may be too dangerous for people with weak hearts! Beware!

I watched this 1958 B&W Allied Artists Pictures Corporation[1] science fiction/horror film, shot in CinemaScope[2], on Svengoolie. Baron von Frankenstein’s grandson (Boris Karloff) rents the family castle to a TV crew to fund his atomic revival of the family monster. Buying an atomic reactor, which he uses to create a living being, modeled after his own likeness before he had been tortured. by the Nazis. When the baron runs out of body parts for his work, he proceeds to kill off members of the crew, and even his faithful butler, for more spare parts.

The film is directed by Howard W. Koch (Andy Hardy Comes Home, TV episode of The Untouchables, Miami Undercover) and produced by Aubrey Schenck (Shock, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Superbeast, Daughters of Satan, Ambush Bay, TV episodes of Miami Undercover).

The Durham Sun – Durham, NC – Monday, July 21, 1958

The screenplay was by Richard Landau (The Quatermass Xperiment, Up Periscope, TV episodes of The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Bonanza, Hawaiian Eye, Rawhide, The Gallant Men, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Green Hornet, The Rat Patrol, Mannix, Mod Squad,

Ironside, Run Joe Run, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk) and George Worthing Yates (Sinbad the Sailor, Them!, Conquest of Space, It Came from Beneath the Sea, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, The Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the Puppet People, Earth vs. the Spider, The Flame Barrier, Space Master X-7, War of the Colossal Beast, Tormented, King Kong vs. Godzilla)

  • Boris Karloff as Baron Victor von Frankenstein – (November 23, 1887 – February 2, 1969) Frankenstein, Behind the Mask, The Mummy, The Ghoul, The Black Cat, Bride of Frankenstein, The Raven, The Black Room, The Raven, The Invisible Ray, Son of Frankenstein, The Man They Could Not Hang, Tower of London, Black Friday, The Ape, The House of Frankenstein, Isle of the Dead, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Boris Karloff, The Black Castle, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Voodoo Island, The Haunted Strangler, Frankenstein 1970, Corridors of Blood, The terror, Black Sabbath, Bikini Beach, Die Monster Die!, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, Mad Monster Party, The Sorcerers, Cauldron of Blood, Curse of the Crimson Altar, Isle of the Snake People, The Incredible Invasion, Fear Chamber, House of Evil
  • Tom Duggan as Mike Shaw – (August 20, 1915 – May 28, 1969) was an NBC and ABC radio and television commentator in Chicago and Los Angeles and a crusader against Chicago mob involvement in boxing and politics, Frankenstein 1970, Andy Hardy Comes Home
  • Jana Lund as Carolyn Hayes – (August 28, 1933 – July 20, 1991) High School Hellcats, Frankenstein 1970, Hot Car Girl, TV episodes of Father Knows Best, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Dragnet, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Sea Hunt, The Red Skelton Hour
  • Donald Barry as Douglas Row – (January 11, 1912 – July 17, 1980) Adventures of Red Ryder, Frankenstein 1970, Andy Hardy Comes Home, Ocean’s 11, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, Dirty Dingus Magee, Rio Lobo
  • Charlotte Austin as Judy Stevens (Born November 2, 1933) – Gorilla at Large, Frankenstein 1970, TV episodes of Steve Canyon, Perry Mason, G.E. True
  • Irwin Berke as Inspector Raab – (May 2, 1912 – October 15, 1980) High School Confidential!, Frankenstein 1970, Sex Kittens Go to College, TV episodes of Peter Gunn, Tales of Wells Fargo
  • Rudolph Anders as Wilhelm Gottfried – (December 17, 1895 – March 27, 1987) – Eagle Squadron, Phantom from Space, King Richard and the Crusaders, A Star Is Born, The Snow Creature, She Demons, Frankenstein 1970
  • Norbert Schiller as Schutter, Frankenstein’s butler –  (November 24, 1899 – January 8, 1988) The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Thing from Another World, The Return of Dracula, Frankenstein 1970, Young Frankenstein, TV episodes of Fireside Theatre, Space Patrol, Gunsmoke, Colt.45, One Step Beyond, Peter Gunn, The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Monkees (Case of the Missing Monkee), Mission: Impossible, Mannix, It Takes a Thief, Hogan Heroes, The Odd Couple, Kojak, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
  • John Dennis as Morgan Haley – (May 3, 1925 – March 20, 2004) Conquest of Space, Jailhouse Rock, Frankenstein 1970, Funny Girl, Head, Airport, Soylent Green, Young Frankenstein, Love at First Bite, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, TV episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show, Father Knows Best, The Man Called X, Colt .45, Mike Hammer, U.S. Marshal, The Untouchables, Bat Masterson, The Deputy, Tales of Wells Fargo, The Lawless Years, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, Death Valley Days, Wagon Train, Hazel, The Fugitive, The Legend of Jesse James, Gomer Pyle: USMC, Batman (Saffron), Dragnet 1967, Get Smart, Marcus Welby, M.D., Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Love, American Style, Mod Squad, Ironside, Emergency!, Kung Fu, The Partridge Family (Maid in San Pueblo), Movin’ On, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Cannon, Adam-12, Police Story, Project U.F.O., The Incredible Hulk, Fantasy Island, CHiPs, Days of Our Lives, B.J. and the Bear, Quincy M.E., Dallas
  • Mike Lane as Hans Himmler / The Monster – (January 6, 1933 – June 1, 2015) – Frankenstein 1970, Valley of the Dragons, Ulysses Against the Son of Hercules, Stryker, TV episodes of Cheyenne, Maverick, Death Valley Days, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Untouchables, The Outer Limits, Daniel Boone, Batman (Daddy Longlegs), The Monkees (Frankenstein in “Monstrous Monkee Mash”), Love, American Style, Get Smart, Mission: Impossible, Adam-12, Gunsmoke, Ironside, Emergency!, The Rockford Files, Kojak, Quincy, M.E., Starsky & Hutch, Knight Rider, Simon & Simon)

The story was written by Aubrey Schenck and Charles A. Moses. The film’s proposed titles included Frankenstein’s Castle, Frankenstein 1960, and Frankenstein 2000. It was filmed at the Warner Bros. studio, the film’s main set was borrowed from the 1958 movie “Too Much, Too Soon”[3].

The Kansas City Star (Missouri)) July 6, 1958, Sunday

This was Karlof’s fifth Frankenstein movie and the first time he would be a part of the Frankenstein family. The device the Baron used to dispose of body parts was deemed horrific for audiences and replaced with a flushing toilet sound.

The black falcon statuette from The Maltese Falcon (1941) is used as part of the set. I liked the movie, Boris has some very well-delivered lines that really stand out. You can definitely tell that it is 1958, not the future 1970, in the movie but I really had no problems with this. I’ll give this film 3.75 out of 5 stars.

  1. Monogram Pictures Corporation is an American film studio that produced mostly low-budget films between 1931 and 1953 when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Monogram was among the smaller studios in the golden age of Hollywood, generally referred to collectively as Poverty Row. Lacking the financial resources to deliver the lavish sets, production values, and star power of the larger studios, Monogram sought to attract its audiences with the promise of action and adventure.
  2. CinemaScope is an anamorphic lens series used, from 1953 to 1967, and less often later, for shooting widescreen films that, crucially, could be screened in theatres using existing equipment, albeit with a lens adapter. Its creation in 1953 by Spyros P. Skouras,[1] the president of 20th Century Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal 2.55:1, almost twice as wide as the previously common Academy format’s 1.37:1 ratio. Although the technology behind the CinemaScope lens system was made obsolete by later developments, primarily advanced by Panavision, CinemaScope’s anamorphic format has continued to this day. In film-industry jargon, the shortened form, ‘Scope, is still widely used by both filmmakers and projectionists, although today it generally refers to any 2.35:1, 2.39:1, 2.40:1, or 2.55:1 presentation or, sometimes, the use of anamorphic lensing or projection in general. Bausch & Lomb won a 1954 Oscar for its development of the CinemaScope lens.
  3. “Too Much, Too Soon” is a 1958 biographical film about Diana Barrymore starring Dorothy Malone, Errol Flynn, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Ray Danton, Neva Patterson, Murray Hamilton, and Martin Milner.

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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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