Terence Fisher was born in London, England in 1904. He was in the Merchant Marine for five years, and had several non-film related jobs before he first got involved in the movie industry at the age of 29. He started at the bottom, and worked his way up to film editor in three years, but it took him 12 more long years to work his way up to being a director. In the next five years, he directed 14 movies and some TV episodes. In 1953, he signed with Hammer Studios, and he directed Four Sided Triangle (which he co-wrote) which was a science fiction (sci-fi) movie with the intriguing plot of two scientists who develop a "duplicating machine" (with the help of a beautiful assistant, and when she marries one of them, the other uses the machine to duplicate her, so he can have her too!). He directed around a dozen not very memorable movies and TV shows between 1953 and 1957, when Hammer signed him to direct The Curse of Frankenstein. Starring Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the "Creature", it was the first Frankenstein movie in color, and it focused more on the mad doctor than on the monster, and it was a huge hit. The following year Fisher directed Dracula (released in the U.S. as Horror of Dracula) with Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing and Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, and it was an even bigger hit, and most people consider it Fisher's (and Hammer's) best movie. He followed with remakes of other classic monster movies (plus Frankenstein and Dracula sequels), and all did well until The Phantom of the Opera in 1962, which did poorly. Fisher continued directing horror movies until 1974, when he entered a forced retirement, due to his advanced alcoholism, and he passed away in 1980. Fisher's greatest achievement is that his horror movies were in no sense re-makes of the earlier versions, but were instead complete re-imaginings of each movie, injecting "fresh blood" into each. If only modern filmmakers could do the same even half as well as Fisher did! He passed away in 1980 at the age of 76.
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