REMEMBERING: Melissa Stribling who was born today November 7th 1927. Stribling appeared in just the one film with Peter Cushing...but boy did she pick the right one! She also got to play in one of Hammer films most iconic scenes in their 1958 'Dracula', where Christopher Lee's Count, in the dead of night, visits her home and..without a word.. seduces her. The scene is so super charged with sexual tension, it almost crackles off the screen and as a result got the scissors treatment from the censors at the time. In 2013, in Hammer's restored print the exorcised footage was replaced, giving us the full picture of what Director Terence Fisher, Stribling and Lee had originally intended and created.
I've read in several reviews of 'Dracula' both from the time of the films' release in 58 and in more recent times, that Stribling was a curious choice for the role of Mina Holmwood, that compared to the likes of Valerie Gaunt and other Hammer actresses, even though she was only in early 30's when she appeared in Dracula, many thought her slightly ordinary and plain. I totally disagree...but if that was the case, I can't help thinking that, director Fisher's choice in Stribling was intentional. That subtext in the story of Arthur Holmwood's wife being frustrated and bored, suddenly being charmed and seduced by the exotic and erotic Count, Stribling was...the perfect choice.
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