RECENTLY 'THE PROPS GALLERY' has started sharing a scan of Peter Cushing's contact for Hammer films, 'THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA back in 1973. Cushing's was playing one of his most iconic roles as vampire hunter, Van Helsing for the third time for Hammer films, starring alongside Christopher Lee as Count Dracula. After the sad passing of his wife, Helen Cushing in 1971, a period of his long and acute grief with a intense course of work. Cushing signed up and appeared in almost a dozen films in just over a twelve month period. Not all were staring or man roles, but each required commitment and provided work to keep the griving Peter Cushing occupied. Companies like Amicus films, whoose practice of applying as many star names as possible to the film's bill and cast role, were able to offer Cushing quite a few opportunites. Even though Amicus were known for their tight budgets, it was according their producer, Milton Subotsky, never a problem to negotiate a contact and deal with John Redway Cushing's agent for many years.
FROM THE BEGINNING of the 1970's Cushing daily rate was between £250 to £350 a day. Sometimes this would be adjusted, depending on what Cushing was expected to actually do on the day. During one of our Subotsky interviews in the 1980's, Milton with a smile told us that, 'It was never an issue with Peter. You could always find a way. He never out priced himself.' Today a total sum of £6,000 for a second billing actor for five weeks of work, may seem a little slim! But at this time, this was indeed a respectable sum. In 1971, £100 UK pounds by today's value was worth roughly £1,386. 76p!! So not a sum to snif at 😉