Get great deals on eBay! But Dracula outsmarts them, and manages to steal Mina from her room. "Charleston fanatics ready to celebrate 'Revenge'". " Donald F. Glut, a writer and filmmaker who wrote a book about the portrayals of Frankenstein, said the inner warmth of Cushing's off-screen personality was apparent on-screen even despite the horrific elements of Frankenstein, which helped add a layer of likability to the character. link], Peter credits Helen for all the accolades that were suddenly awarded him in droves: “For three years in succession my work received awards, fulfilling Helen’s prediction and her faith in my abilities.  He tried to keep his performance identical to his portrayal of Holmes from The Hound of the Baskervilles. When I was offered the part, I said ‘Well, instead of making me up, I think we’d better play it as myself.’ And they agreed to that.”. He later stated that this had simply been a hysterical response borne out of grief, and that he had not purposely attempted to end his life; a poem left by Helen had implored him not to die until he had lived his life to the full, and he had resolved that to commit suicide would have meant letting her down. During Frankenstein, Lee even thought he lost his vision after acid from the fake blood used in one scene got into his eyes.  Director John Carpenter approached him to appear in the horror film Halloween (1978) as Samuel Loomis, the psychiatrist of murderer Michael Myers, but Cushing turned down the role. Peter Cushing (1913 - 1994) The Black Knight (1954) [Sir Palamides]: Stabbed in the stomach with a dagger by Alan Ladd at the top of the steps outside the castle after attempting to beat Alan with a mace; his body falls down the steps and into the courtyard afterwards. He repeated the role of the man who lost family in other horror films, including Asylum (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), and The Ghoul (1975). Our story begins in Klausenburg, Transylvania. His mother was the daughter of a carpet merchant and considered of a lower class than her husband.  In an interview published in ABC Film Review in November 1964, Cushing stated, "People look at me as if I were some sort of monster, but I can't think why. You may not know the names Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing off the top of … That film marked the first Cushing worked for producer Kevin Francis, who worked in minor jobs at Hammer and had long aspired to work with Cushing, whom he admired deeply.  Cushing saw a promotional poster for The Mummy that showed Lee's character with a large hole in his chest, allowing a beam of light to pass through his body. He played the lead in nearly every school production during his teenage years, including the role of Sir Anthony Absolute in a 1929 staging of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy of manners play, The Rivals. Dracula is Hammer Films’ 1958 classic horror film directed by Terence Fisher and which starred Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing. 'Dracula' - Death Scene with Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing Consistent film work had long been the goal of both Peter and his admirably supportive wife, Helen. Harker plans to gain Dracula’s trust so he can kill him, not an easy task, as killing a vampire requires pounding a stake through its heart…! Jimmy Sangster, who wrote the screenplays for Frankenstein and Dracula, believed that these films remain captivating because of their unique spins on classic stories. , In 1947, when Laurence Olivier sought him out for his film adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Cushing's wife Helen pushed him to pursue a role. Cushing's colleagues of that period commented on his faith and his conviction that his separation from his wife was only temporary.. Unfortunately, Harker’s true identity is discovered by Dracula before he can accomplish his task. Though Cushing undoubtedly would have enjoyed more varied film work, he always viewed his Hammer years with pride. So, what is it that makes these two Hammer horror films—which each generated their own epic series of films through the years—so timeless and compelling? , In 1971, Cushing contacted the Royal National Institute for the Blind and offered to provide voice acting for some of their audiobooks.  Cushing prepared extensively for the role, studying the novel and taking notes in his script.  He was an ardent vegetarian for most of his life who served as a patron with the Vegetarian Society from 1987 until his death. All these you defeated and rose and triumphed to win the heart of the nation.”. Upon further inspection, he discovers Harker lying in a coffin, transformed into a vampire, and kills him.  Picturegoer writer Margaret Hinxman, who was not complimentary of Lee's performance, praised Cushing and wrote of the film: "Although this shocker may not have created much of a monster, it may well have created something more lasting: a star! Christopher Lee reste à ce jour le meilleur interprète de Dracula. Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2020.  The small role involved sword-fighting and, although Cushing had no experience with fencing, he told Whale he was an excellent fencer to ensure he got the part.  He attended the Purley County Grammar School, where he swam and played cricket and rugby.  Cushing felt his first performance was much stronger than the second, but the second production is the only known surviving version.  His performance in Tales from the Crypt won him the Best Male Actor award at the 1971 French Convention of Fantasy Cinema in France. "Horror-film actor Peter Cushing dies at 81, Played variety of roles – From Sherlock Holmes to Baron Frankenstein" (12 August 1994). Dracula Peter Cushing 24X36 Poster Print 1 of 1 Only 1 available See More.  Far from being deterred by Cushing's unsuccessful audition the year before, Olivier remembered the actor well and was happy to cast him, but the only character left unfilled was the relatively small part of the foppish courtier Osric. Cushing gained worldwide fame for his appearances in 22 horror films from the Hammer studio, particularly for his role as Baron Frankenstein in six of their seven Frankenstein films, and Doctor Van Helsing in five Dracula films. He moved to New York City in anticipation of his eventual return home, during which time he voiced a few radio commercials and joined a summer stock theatre company to raise money for his voyage back to England. 5.0 out of 5 stars Good Dracula, Peter Cushing and Interesting Story. During that meeting, Cushing was given a walk-on part as a courier in that night's production of J.B. Priestley's Cornelius. But we soon learn that Harker isn’t a librarian at all: he’s a vampire hunter. Cushing struggled to find work during this period, with some plays he was cast in failing to even make it past rehearsals into theatres. Verified Purchase. And that’s it for Frankenstein, Dracula, and Peter Cushing’s years as a Hammer horror film star.  Along with Alec Guinness, who was ultimately cast as Kenobi, Cushing was among the best known actors at the time to appear in Star Wars, as the rest of the cast were then relatively unknown. It was a friendship that only deepened over time, with each man respecting and appreciating the other’s humor and talent.  In a silent tribute to Helen, a shot of Van Helsing's desk includes a photograph of her. , Several filmmakers and actors have claimed to be influenced by Peter Cushing, including actor Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in the Hellraiser horror films, and John Carpenter, who directed such films as Halloween (1978), Escape from New York (1981) and The Thing (1982).  As a result, while the film did well at the box-office with its target audience, it drew mixed to negative reviews from the critics. But Dracula himself is no longer at the castle, and Van Helsing quickly surmises that Dracula has gone to Karlstadt, where he plans to make Harker’s fiancee, Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh) his new bride.  Also around the same time, he appeared in Magic Fire (also 1955), an autobiographical film about the German composer Richard Wagner. Van Helsing delivers the news to Arthur Holmwood (Michael … As a result, he asked Lucas to film more close-up shots of him from the waist up and, after the director agreed, Cushing wore slippers during the scenes where his feet were not visible.  For that film, he travelled to Spain and filmed scenes on location in the castles of Manzanares el Real and El Escorial. (1973), and The Beast Must Die (1974). He advises Lucy’s brother Arthur (Michael Gough) and his wife Mina (Melissa Stribling) to keep the windows to Lucy’s room closed—so Dracula can’t get in—and to put garlic flowers around the room, a vampire repellent. Peter Cushing is magnificent as always. Peter Cushing Creates Frankenstein, Kills Dracula, and Finds Film Stardom While Christopher Lee Serenades Him with Opera. Peter’s great talent for research, and ability to humanize these horror characters that so many viewed as one-dimensional, not only contributed to the resounding success of Hammer’s horror films, but also made the work rich and fulfilling for Peter. Verified Purchase.  Cushing wrote the books as what he called "a form of therapy to stop me going stark, raving mad" following the loss of his wife. To finish him off, Van Helsing takes two candlesticks from off the top of the table, and, walking towards Dracula, forms a crucifix.  Cushing played a surgeon who attempts to restore the beauty of his wife (played by Sue Lloyd), whose face is horribly scarred in an accident.  In the first, The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), his protagonist is sentenced to death by guillotine, but he flees and hides under the alias Doctor Victor Stein.  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