The Abominable Snowman (1957)

USA, UK,
85m (USA), 91m (UK)
35mm, black and white, 2.35:1 (Hammerscope)

An American/British science fiction film directed by Val Guest and based on Nigel Kneale's BBC television play Sunday Night Theatre: The Creature (1955a). The original play was destroyed by the BBC leaving this as the only existing version of the story. A remake was announced in the 2010s with Clive Dawson, Matthew Read and Jon Croker adapting the story. It has yet to be made.

Plot Summary

A team of explorers arrive at a remote lamasery in the searching for a rare mountain herb. The arrival of an American explorer leads to the search for the fabled yeti.

Credits

* = uncredited
Crew
Directed by: Val Guest
[copyright not given on screen]
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Hammerscope production
Executive Producer: Michael Carreras
Produced by: Aubrey Baring
Associate Producer: Anthony Nelson-Keys
Production Manager: Don Weeks
Story and Screenplay: Nigel Kneale
Screenplay: Val Guest *
Television Play: The Creature by Nigel Kneale *
Assistant Director: Robert Lynn
2nd Assistant Director: Tom Walls *
3rd Assistant Director: Hugh Harlow *
Continuity: Doreen Soan
Director of Photography: Arthur Grant
Camera Operator: Len Harris
Focus Puller: Harry Oakes *
Second Focus Puller/Loader: Ted Cutlack *
Gaffer: Steve Birtles *
Chief Electrician: Jack Curtis *
Editor: Bill Lenny
[Music] Composed by: Humphrey Searle
Musical Director: John Hollingsworth
Sound Recordist: Jock May
RCA Sound Recording
Dress Designer: Beatrice Dawson
Wardrobe: Molly Arbuthnot
Make-up: Phil Leakey
Hairdressing: Henry Montsash
Matte Paintings: Les Bowie *
Production Designer: Bernard Robinson
Art Director: Ted Marshall
Props: Tommy Money *
Construction Manager: Freddie Ricketts *
Master Plasterer: Arthur Banks *
Casting Liaison: Robert L. Lippert *
Produced at: Bray Studios, England
Locations: La Monge, France; Po Valley, France; French Pyrénées, France *

Cast
Forrest Tucker (Tom Friend)
Peter Cushing (Dr John Rollason)
Maureen Connell (Helen Rollason)
Richard Wattis (Peter Fox)
Robert Brown (Ed Shelley)
Michael Brill ([Andrew] McNee)
Arnold Marle (Lhama)
Wolfe Morris (Kusang)
Anthony Chin (majordomo)
Jock Easton, Joe Powell, Fred Johnson [ – uncredited]
John Rae [yeti eyes – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

L'Abominable homme des neiges – Belgian title
The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas – US title
De Afschuwelijke sneeuwman – Belgian title
Il mostruoso uomo delle nevi – Italian title
The Snow Creature – pre-production title
Yeti, der Schneemensch – German title

Remake of
Sunday-Night Theatre: The Creature (1955a)
Sunday-Night Theatre: The Creature (1955b)

Extracts included in
The World of Horror: Hammer Stars: Peter Cushing (1994)

Press

1957
Daily Sketch 23 August 1957
Scripted by Nigel (“Quatermass”) Kneale and desperately played by Peter Cushing and Forrest tucker, the picture is pretty intelligent until it reveals its first full-face glimpse of the Snowman – a sort of cross between King Kong and Grandma Grove. – from a review by Herbert Kretzmer

Evening Standard 22 August 1957
Tautly written by Nigel Kneale, directed with assurance by Val Guest, it is among the best of the British science-fiction thrillers. […] Cushing is so convincing one almost forgets the phoney studio exteriors. Forrest Tucker makes a suitably surly villain, and Richard Wattis exchanges with aplomb his usual Whitehall role for life as a botanist in the . – from a review by Derek Hill

The Times 26 August 1957
The main impression is of what seems in effect to be Nature's determination that secrets of the Himalayas shall, where the Snowman is concerned, remain secret. Nature, not the Snowman, is the enemy: and the film makes this point moderately successfully though one feels this is not the point it wished to make, if only because actors could be of little help here, and the performances of a cast headed by Mr Forrest Tucker and Mr Peter Cushing were therefore to a large extent wasted.

References

Periodicals

  • Castle of Frankenstein no.6 p.4
  • Daily Film Renter no.7440 (9 August 1957) p.3 – review
  • Fangoria no.186 (September 1999) p.37 – illustrated video review
  • Halls of Horror vol.2 no.7 (April 1978) pp.35, 39 – credits
  • Halls of Horror no.30 p.12 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.147 no.9 (28 October 1957) p.3 – credits, review
  • The House That Hammer Built no.2 (April 1997) pp.59-62 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Infinity no.37 (2021) pp.18-23 – illustrated interview with Val Guest (Guest appearance by Richard Hollis)
  • Kine Weekly no.2609 (15 August 1957) p.18 – review
  • Little Shop of Horrors no.12 p.36 – note
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.24 no.284 (September 1957) p.112 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Radio Times 21-27 June 1980 p.7 – review (Films by Sheridan Morley)
  • Shivers no.61 (January 1999) pp.18-21 – illustrated article
  • Sight & Sound vol.13 no.10 October 2003 p.74 – DVD review (Home Movies: Reviews by Geoffrey Macnab)
  • Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) p.31 – note (Round the cinema's zoo of horrors with Supernaturalist)
  • Today's Cinema vol.89 no.7835 (9 August 1957) p.6 – review
  • TV Times 18-24 March 1989 p.39 – review

Newspapers

  • The Daily Mail 6 August 1957 – short article (Look Out For the Dreaded Snowman)
  • Daily Mirror 23 August 1957 – review (by Reg Whiteley)
  • Daily Sketch 23 August 1957 – review (by Herbert Kretzmer)
  • Evening Standard 22 August 1957 – review (by Derek Hill)
  • The Times 26 August 1957 – review

Books

  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed). p.165 – illustrated credits, review
  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.275 – credits, synopsis
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strike Again by John Stanley p.10 – review, credits
  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video p.2 – credits, review, UK video data
  • The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film p.2 – credits, review
  • English Gothic: Classic Horror Cinema 1897-2015 by Jonathan Rigby p.54
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.75
  • Fantastic Cinema Subject Guide by Bryan Senn and John Johnson pp.1-2 – credits, note
  • Ghastly Beyond Belief by Neil Gaiman and Kim Newman p.173 – quotes
  • Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.5-7 – credits, synopsis, notes
  • Hammer House of Horror p.158 – review
  • The Hammer Story by Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes pp.26-27, 176 – credits, synopsis, review, production notes
  • The Hammer Vault by Marcus Hearn pp.16-17 – illustrated note
  • A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer (Revised Edition) by Denis Meikle pp.36, 45, 46, 47, 63, 67, 233 – notes, review
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.15 – review, credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.15 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.1 – credits
  • Horror Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.12 – review, credits
  • Introduction to Japanese Horror Film by Colette Balmain p.51
  • It Came from 1957 by Rob Craig pp.190-192 – illustrated credits, review
  • Keep Watching the Skies: The 21st Century Edition by Bill Warren pp.27-30 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film by Sonja Fritsche (ed.) pp.89-103 – article (Invaders, Launchpads, and Hybrids: The Importance of Transmediality in British Science Fiction Film in the 1950s by Derek Johnston)
  • Peter Cushing: The Gentle Man of Horror and His 91 Films by Deborah Del Vecchio and Tom Johnson pp.82-88 – illustrated creditsm, review
  • by Walt Lee p.2 – credits
  • Science Fiction Film Source Book p.20 – credits, review
  • Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film and Television Credits Volume II p.732 – credits
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.29-30
  • We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale by Neil Snowdon (ed.) pp. 223-241 – interview with Joe Dante (A conversation with Joe Dante by Neil Snowdon)