Hammer Studios

ClassyCo

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I think most movie fans would agree that the films produced by Hammer Studios have a style and personality that are distinctive to them. The films are sometimes garish and heavy on razzmatazz, but typically offer an enjoyable piece of entertainment, even if the finished product isn't always artistically exceptional.

Hammer Studios flourished from the late 1950s into the early 1970s, offering a host of horror offerings -- which is perhaps their most enduring legacy. The studio managed to purchase the rights to Universal Studios' horror catalog, thus resulting in color reimaginings of DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, and THE MUMMY. There were also remakes of THE OLD DARK HOUSE and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. These films produced horror icons out of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

While horror may have been their biggest cash cow, Hammer had a broader scope in its film output. They explored spy films, adventure films, and social dramas that touched the pulse of the time period.

When Hammer was privileged to have a good script, a sturdy group of actors, and a dependable director, they could conjure up a film far beyond the resources they were allotted during production.

Do we have any Hammer fans out there?

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Do we have any Hammer fans out there?

I hate for the first (textual) reply to be in the negative, but not I. I think the Hammer films are more interesting to read about than actually watch. I've never been able to finish watching a Hammer horror film; I get bored, annoyed, or both. The early films in the cycle are competently made, but they're so dull: stodgy, stuffy and stagey in that 'Masterpiece Theater' kind of way. The later films have a kind of lunacy to them, but they're so slipshod. The worst of the Universal horror films are better than the best of Hammer's.

Now, the relatively contemporaneous AIP film with Vincent Price? Those are terrific.
 

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I hate for the first (textual) reply to be in the negative, but not I. I think the Hammer films are more interesting to read about than actually watch. I've never been able to finish watching a Hammer horror film; I get bored, annoyed, or both. The early films in the cycle are competently made, but they're so dull: stodgy, stuffy and stagey in that 'Masterpiece Theater' kind of way. The later films have a kind of lunacy to them, but they're so slipshod. The worst of the Universal horror films are better than the best of Hammer's.

Now, the relatively contemporaneous AIP film with Vincent Price? Those are terrific.

Well, THE NANNY was terrific IMHO. Bette Davis even said Seth Holt was the most intimidating director she'd ever worked with since William Wyler -- high praise from Davis, who equated that with talent.

 

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Fair point. When I think of Hammer, I mostly think of their main franchise films -- Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, etc. I wasn't thinking of, or referring to, some of their other movies.

Yeah, the only Dracula film they did that I like is (THE HORROR OF) DRACULA in 1958. Bombastic, yes, but tight and concise.
 

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Well, THE NANNY was terrific IMHO. Bette Davis even said Seth Holt was the most intimidating director she'd ever worked with since William Wyler -- high praise from Davis, who equated that with talent.

THE NANNY is a very good movie, and hands down one of Davis' best roles. But I always forget it's a Hammer film.
 
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