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Studying Hammer Horror$
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Victoria Walden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733322

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733322.001.0001

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Terence Fisher Through the Auteur Lens

Terence Fisher Through the Auteur Lens

(p.49) Chapter 4: Terence Fisher Through the Auteur Lens
Studying Hammer Horror

Victoria Grace Walden

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Terence Fisher, Hammer Films' most celebrated director. Fisher directed twenty-eight Hammer films between 1952 and 1974 and vehemently refused to be considered an auteur for his work at the studio. Despite his distaste for the idea, and the disputed relevance of auteur theory, auteurism offers a useful framework for interrogating the impact of this particular director within a studio which was renowned for its collaborative family-like team. The foregrounding of moral ambiguity and the human condition, and panache for suspenseful editing distinguish Fisher's work from that of many of Hammer's other directors. While some of his techniques were adopted in later films, Fisher was much responsible for creating this specific, colourful style of Gothic film-making. While Fisher worked as part of a close-knit collaborative, his style was clearly recognised by Anthony Hinds as appropriate for the Hammer brand and his involvement with the studio identifies him as one of the most important directors in the history of British horror.

Keywords:   Terence Fisher, Hammer Films, auteur, auteur theory, auteurism, Gothic film-making, British horror

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