Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

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Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
Theatrical release poster by Tom Chantrell
Directed byTerence Fisher
Produced byAnthony Nelson Keys
Written byBert Batt
StarringPeter Cushing
Freddie Jones
Simon Ward
Veronica Carlson
Music byJames Bernard
CinematographyArthur Grant
Edited byGordon Hales
Distributed byWarner Bros.-Seven Arts
Release date
  • 22 May 1969 (1969-05-22)

  • 11 February 1970 (1970-02-11)
Running time
98 min/USA: 101 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office586,439 admissions (France)[1]

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a 1969 British horror film directed by Terence Fisher for Hammer Film Productions, starring Peter Cushing, Freddie Jones, Veronica Carlson and Simon Ward.[2] The film is the fifth in a series of Hammer films focusing on Baron Frankenstein, who, in this entry, terrorises those around him in a bid to uncover the secrets of a former associate confined to a lunatic asylum.


While illegally procuring a brain for his next experiment, Baron Victor Frankenstein is surprised by a thief when he returns to his lab. The Baron destroys most of the evidence and moves on, with a haughty police inspector on his trail. He obtains a room at a boarding house run by Anna, whose fiance Karl is a doctor at the local insane asylum where a former scientific collaborator of the Baron's, who has lost his mind, now resides.

After discovering that Anna's fiance has been stealing narcotics in order to support her ailing mother, Frankenstein blackmails them into helping him kidnap the now insane Dr. Brandt so he can operate on his brain and cure him, thereby allowing the Baron to obtain his knowledge of brain transplantation. Unfortunately Dr. Brandt suffers a heart attack during the escape, necessitating a transfer of his brain into another body. The Baron and Karl then kidnap the asylum's director Professor Richter and transplants Brandt's brain into the Professor's body.

They bury Brandt's now worthless body in the garden, but a water main break almost gives up the game. The police also start searching every house in the area as well. Unfortunately Brandt's wife recognises the Baron on the street, but he is able to convince her to give him time to heal her husband completely. After she leaves, Frankenstein forces Karl and Anna to help him escape with the Brandt/Richter "creature."

While the creature recovers, Frankenstein and the lovers relocate to a deserted manor house as the police begin to close in. The creature awakens and is horrified by his appearance. He scares Anna who stabs him with a scalpel, and then he escapes. Finding the creature gone, Frankenstein kills Anna in a rage. The creature makes it to his former home, but his wife refuses to accept him as her husband. Wanting revenge on Frankenstein, and knowing the Baron will eventually track him there, he allows his wife to go free and pours paraffin around the house.

Frankenstein soon arrives, followed by Karl, and they fight while the creature sets the house alight, at one point stating: "You must choose between the flames and the police, Frankenstein." The fight between Karl and Frankenstein continues, until the creature knocks out Karl and carries a screaming Frankenstein into the burning house, which quickly explodes into a raging inferno.



The scene where Frankenstein rapes Anna was filmed over the objections of both Peter Cushing and Veronica Carlson, and director Terence Fisher, who halted it when he felt enough was enough.[3] It was not in the original script but the scene was added at the insistence of Hammer executive James Carreras, who was under pressure to keep American distributors happy.[3] This explains why there is no mention of the rape subsequently by Anna or Frankenstein.

The scenes featuring Thorley Walters as Inspector Frisch were also late additions to the original script; they have been described as unnecessary, adding an unwelcome element of comedy into the suspenseful story and also making the film too long.[4][5][6]

Welsh version[edit]

In 1978, the Welsh television station HTV Cymru/Wales broadcast a version dubbed into the Welsh language called Rhaid Dinistrio Frankenstein, a more-or-less literal translation of the English title. This was one of three films that were dubbed into Welsh, another being Shane, with Alan Ladd. Both these were rebroadcast on the new Welsh language channel S4C on its launch in 1982.[7]


Variety called the film "a good-enough example of its low-key type, with artwork rather better than usual (less obvious backcloths, etc.) a minimum of artless dialogue, good lensing by Arthur Grant and a solid all round cast."[8] The Monthly Film Bulletin called it "the most spirited Hammer horror in some time. The crudities still remain, of course, but the talk of transplants and drugs seem to have injected new life into the continuing story of Baron Frankenstein."[9]

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed currently holds an average 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Box office information for Terence Fisher films in France at Box office Story
  2. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed | BFI | BFI". Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  3. ^ a b Hallenbeck, Bruce G. (2013). The Hammer Frankenstein: British Cult Cinema. Midnight Marquee Press. pp. 167, 170. ISBN 978-1936168330.
  4. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed - Terence Fisher, Peter Cushing, Hammer Studios 1969". Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  5. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) - Trivia". Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  6. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 1969 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Frankenstein Film Dubbed In Welsh". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. September 14, 1978. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". Variety: 40. June 11, 1969.
  9. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 36 (426): 146. July 1969.
  10. ^ "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-04-10.

External links[edit]