Hammer Films the Home of Horror
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Hammer Films the Home of Horror

Hammer Films the home of Horror from its early days to the glory gory days of Hammer Horror

William "Will" Hinds (1887 – 1957), stage name Will Hammer was a jeweller from London who, with his brother Frank, owned and ran Hinds Jewellers which has over 100 branches across England & Wales and is still owned and managed by the Hinds family.

Early in the 1930 hinds became involved in music halls and the theatre he owned a number of seaside theatres including the West Cliff Theatre in Clacton where he performed as a comedian his stage name “Hammer” comes from Hammersmith, where he lived.

Hinds's oldest son continued as a jeweller, His widow eventually sold his remaining shop in Worthing, Sussex to the other half of the family.

As well as barber shops and bicycle shops his other interest was in films and in November 1934 William Hinds, registered his own film company – Hammer Productions Ltd.

The company's films included.....

  • The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (1936) featuring Bela Lugosi
  • Song of Freedom (1936) featuring Paul Robeson
  • The Bank Messenger Mystery (1936)
  • and
  • Sporting Love (1937)

Following a slump in the British film industry Hammer was forced into bankruptcy,

Hammer was a subsidiary of “Exclusive Media Group”, Exclusive survived and on 20 July 1937 purchased the leasehold on 113-117 Wardour Street, and continued to distribute films made by other companies.

During the 1950s and 1960s Hammer films became one of the best horror films makers with some of the memorable Hammer Horror films such as...

  • The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
  • The Camp on Blood Island (1958)
  • Dracula / The Horror of Dracula (1958)
  • The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
  • The Mummy (1959)
  • The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)
  • The Brides of Dracula (1960)
  • The Stranglers of Bombay (1960)
  • The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll / House of Fright (1960)
  • The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  • The Full Treatment / Stop Me Before I Kill (1961)
  • Shadow of the Cat (1961)
  • Taste of Fear / Scream of Fear (1961)
  • The Terror of the Tongs (1961)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1962)
  • Pirates of Blood River (1962)
  • The Damned / These Are the Damned (1963)
  • The Kiss of the Vampire / Kiss of Evil (1963)
  • The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964)
  • The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)
  • The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
  • Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
  • Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
  • There were many follow up films including the Frankenstein series
  • The Revenge of Frankenstein (1959)
  • The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
  • Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
  • Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
  • The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)
  • Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

All starred Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein, except The Horror of Frankenstein he also starred in the first three of the Dracula series with Christopher Lee taken over in the remaining six

  • The Brides of Dracula (1960)
  • Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
  • Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
  • Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)
  • Scars of Dracula (1970)
  • Dracula AD 1972 (1972)
  • The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
  • The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Hammer didn’t always make horror films although most of them were.

some of its other films included...

  • The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (1957)
  • The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), a version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde
  • Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960), starring Patrick Allen and Felix Aylmer
  • The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Oliver Reed's first starring role
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1962), starring Herbert Lom
  • The Gorgon (1964) ,
  • She (1965), based on the novel of the same name by Rider Haggard
  • The Witches (1966)
  • Quatermass and the Pit (1967); US title "Five Million Years to Earth" (1968)
  • The Anniversary (1968), with Bette Davis
  • The Lost Continent (1968) starring Eric Porter

On 29 May 1968, Hammer was awarded the Queen's Award to Industry in recognition of their contribution to the British economy

and still continues to make films, in 2009 it was announced it was to produce a remake of “The Woman in Black” scheduled for a 2011 release was on the books

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Comments (7)

interesting article

GREAT one Johnny, i really missed those Frankenstein and Dracula movies, but i'm surely be waiting for the 'Woman in Black" thank you.

Excellent work. Great discussion of a central force in the British film industry. It's interesting to see how Hammer films differed from the old Universal movies.

Never heard of Hammer Films. Learned something new this morning. Liked. Tweeted. Buzzed Up

Jerry you really MUST see at least one Hammer horror film, I would suggest "Dracula: Prince of Darkness" if anyone has a better reccommendation For jerry lets hear it..

suziqzxxx

Again Johnny, You have succeeded to capture the mind of one who don't read, Mine! 'A Very good put together' on Hammer. I had no idea, what a piece of lost legend you found to write very well about too. An continues yet in 2009. Thanks For Sharing This With Me Johnny. Don't ever stop!!! Great work.

Voted up. Excellent

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