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Author: Peter Hutchings

This book is about the British film director Terence Fisher. It begins by setting the context by detailing Fisher's directorial debut to Hammer's horror production and the importance of the Hammer horror to Fisher's career. Hammer's horror production represents one of the striking developments in post-war British cinema. The book explains some professional and industrial contexts in which Fisher operated and shows how these relate both to the films he made and the way in which these films have been judged and valued. It presents a detailed account of The Astonished Heart, Fisher's sixth film as director, highlighting the benefits and some of the problems involved in thinking about Fisher's career generally in its pre-horror phase. The successful Hammer film, The Curse of Frankenstein, both inaugurated the British horror boom and established Fisher as a film-maker whose name was known to critics as someone who specialised in the despised horror genre. After The Curse of Frankenstein, Fisher became primarily a horror director. The book presents an account of the highs and lows Fisher faced in his directorial career, highlighting his significant achievements and his box-office failures. It also shows Fisher as a director dependent on and at ease with the industrial and collaborative nature of film-making. In a fundamental sense, what value there is in Terence Fisher's work exists because of the British film industry and the opportunities it afforded Fisher, not despite the industry.

Peter Hutchings

definitely are such elements) should be measured against and not prioritised over all the differences and discontinuities. The sort of approach this implies is best illustrated through a specific example, and the example I have chosen is The Astonished Heart (1949), Fisher’s sixth film as director. Admittedly this is a rather perverse starting point: it is not a film for which any Fisher-auteurist has ever made any substantial

in Terence Fisher
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Peter Hutchings

Me! (1949), the Noel Coward vehicle The Astonished Heart (1949) and the costume drama So Long at the Fair (1950) – the last two co-directed with Antony Darnborough. Gainsborough ceased operation in the early 1950s and Fisher – whose work up until this point had not achieved much success, commercial or critical – found himself cast out into the low-budget sector of the film industry which throughout the 1950s and early

in Terence Fisher
Peter Hutchings

from The Astonished Heart has already pointed out some of the difficulties involved in assigning a particular feature of a film to any individual in the absence of reliable and detailed information about the film’s production. Having said this, there is a lot more information available about the production set-up at Hammer than there is material relating to Fisher’s earlier work, and it is therefore possible to gain a

in Terence Fisher
Peter Hutchings

Necklace (1962), which was filmed in Germany, repeated the indignity of the co-directorial credits for The Astonished Heart and So Long at the Fair by crediting Fisher as co-director with Frank Winterstein (although, as with the earlier Antony Damborough collaborations, the extent of Winterstein’s involvement with the Sherlock Holmes film remains unclear). In addition to this, when Fisher did return to Hammer, he returned

in Terence Fisher
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Brian McFarlane and Anthony Slide

INCLUDE : The Astonished Heart (1950), Hell Is Sold Out (1951), Cosh Boy, Albert RN (1953), The Young Lovers (1954), Dracula, The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Mummy, Follow a Star (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Secret of Blood Island (1964), The Early Bird (1965). Asher, Jane ( b London, 1946). Actress. First seen as a deaf child in Mandy (1952) and other films of the 50s, Asher gained another kind of fame in the 60s as Paul M C C ARTNEY ’s girlfriend. On stage and TV as a child, she has pursued

in The Encyclopedia of British Film