THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF
Director - Terence Fisher; Screenplay - John Elder [Anthony Hinds], Based
on the Novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore; Producer - Anthony Hinds;
Photography - Arthur Grant; Music - Benjamin Frankel; Special Effects -
Les Bowie; Makeup - Roy Ashton; Production Design - Bernard Robinson.
Production Company - Hammer/Hotspur. 1961.
Cast: Oliver Reed (Leon), Clifford Evans (Don Alfredo Carido), Catherine
Feller (Christina), Richard Wordsworth (Beggar), Yvonne Romain (Jailerís
daughter), Antony Dawson (Marquis Siniestro), Hira Talfrey (Teresa),
Warren Mitchell (Pepe Valiente), Josephine Llewellyn (The Marquesa),
Justin Walters (Young Leon)
In a small Spanish farming town towards the end of the 18th Century,
a beggar is an uninvited wedding feast guest at the castle of the
Marques Siniestro. He is given wine but made to beg for food like a dog.
The Marques has the beggar chained in the dungeon and treated like an
animal, which he gradually becomes during his years of imprisonment
and neglect. Ten years later, the now elderly Marques, infuriated by
the rebuff of a servant girl, has the young and beautiful deaf-mute
locked up with the degenerated creature who savagely molests her and
perishes, a victim of his own beastiality. The ravished girl escapes
and gains her vengeance by murdering the evil Marques. Desperate, she
runs away, plunges into a lake, and is saved from drowning by a kindly
Professor, Alfredo Carido.
Alfredo's housekeeper, Teresa, looks after the girl until the birth of
her child on Christmas Eve, when the unfortunate mother dies. The baby
is christened Leon, and is adopted by Alfredo and Teresa. Six years later,
when the local shepherds report losses among their flocks, Pepe, the
local night watchman, shoots one of the maurading wolves in the fields.
Leon falls ill on that full-moon night and Pepe's bullets are found in
him, whereupon the Priest proclaims young Leon to be a werewolf....
half-human, half-beast. Under the tender care of his foster parents
Leon develops into a muscular youth and leaves home to work in the wine
factory of a neighboring town. Here he falls deeply in love with Cristina,
the vineyard owner's daughter.
On a night when the moon is full, he accompanies a fellow worker, Jose,
to a local tavern, where, becoming ill, he reverts to an animal state
and murders a woman and then kills Jose. A subsequent victim of his
wolf-like behavior is a helpless shepherd. Aware of the awful truth
about himself, Leon begs for help from Alfredo, who desperately
suggests he go to a monastery where he will have to be chained day
and night. He refuses to do this, saying he would rather die.
The terrible change starts to come over him again as the moon is
full and, realizing he endangers Cristina's life, he tries to run away.
Injured in a fall, he is nursed by the compassionate Cristina who
promises to marry him, but before they can elope, the unfortunate
young man is imprisoned by the police. That night, as the full moon
shines into his cell, Leon gradually changes into his animal state,
slays a fellow prisoner and the jail guard, breaks out of his imprisonment
and scrambles to the rooftops of the village. In the crowds below, Alfredo
has loaded his gun with a special bullet....a silver pellet made from a
blessed crucifix and the only known destroyer of a werewolf. Alfredo's
gunfire kills the half-man, half-wolf to end the hideous curse of an