Friday, 25 September 2015


Ask any Hammer film fan, what would be their favourite top three scenes above all others in the Hammer catalog, and chances are the closing moments of Hammer's 1958, Dracula / Horror of Dracula. The build up to the scene, with Christopher Lee's Dracula being pursued by Cushing Van Helsing, is topped off with a dramatic 'face to face' battle, with Van Helsing finally cornering the Count and pushing him into the deadly sunlight, with an improvised crucifix, made from two crossed candle sticks. A move that wasn't in the script, but suggested by Peter Cushing. Here in Cushing's own words, is the story behind one the most iconic scenes in horror film history and for the first time, we present the scene that inflenced Cushing and how it looked in the Hammer films classic!

"In the original script Van Helsing was sort of like a salesman for crucifixes. He was pulling them out of every pocket. He was giving them to children to protect themselves, and putting them in coffins and so on. At the end of the film, he pulled out another one, so I asked if we couldn't do something exciting instead."

"I remembered seeing a film years ago called Berkeley Square in which Leslie Howard was thought of as being the Devil by this frightened little man who suddenly grabbed two big candlesticks and made a sign of the cross with them. I remembered that this had impressed me enormously. I suggested the run along the refectory table to jump onto the curtains and hit Dracula square in the face with the sunlight."

The scene From Berkeley Square That
Peter Cushing Remembered!

"He would, of course, be trapped. Then I could come along like a hero, grab the two candlesticks and make the cross with them in his face. They agreed. Originally the candelabra they had were the type with four candles on each base. You could tell what I was doing, but it didn't look like a cross, but they changed to the ones you see in the film. At least it wasn't another crucifix coming out of my pockets!"

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