Horror film, released in 1961 by Hammer Films. Directed by Terence Fisher and written by Anthony Hinds, based (loosely) on "The Werewolf of Paris" by Guy Endore. Set in 18th century Spain and filmed in the lush fashion of all the Hammer pictures, the film starred Oliver Reed as Leon, born on Christmas Day to a mute servant girl raped by a mad beggar, and thus fated to become a werewolf. Leon is adopted into the home of a sympathetic professor, who is told by the village priest that love is the only way to stave off the boy's lycanthropic attacks. Under the professor's care, Leon grows up completely unaware of his condition. When he falls in love with a local girl, it looks like his lycanthropy is done for...but when a friend takes Leon out to a cheap dance hall, the sordid surroundings provoke his bestial instincts and awaken...The Curse of the Werewolf! (Dum dum DUMMM!)*

This film is considered one of the more intelligent of the early werewolf films. Hammer had a reputation of approaching its horror movies with lots of lurid sex and violence that was absent from the classic Universal pictures, but the nature of the horror genre suggests that a more adult view can be taken to fully understand both the monster and our own views of the monster...

* Couldn't resist. Sorry.

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