Wednesday, 31 January 2018

FREE COLOUR DRACULA CONTACT SHEET : CUSHING COLLECTABLE WEDNESDAY!


THIS WEEKS and our FIRST Collectable is a contact sheet of press stills from #hammerfilms Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968) The shots were taken during shooting the 'Dracula's hide out' which were shot on sets at Pinewood Studios. Featured the shots are Christopher Lee appearing in his third Dracula film for the studio. Also actress Barbara Ewing as barmaid Zena and Veronica Carlson as Maria. This scene marks the seducation and 'biting' of Ewing's Zena. The film was directed by Freddie Francis. #dracula #hammerfilms #christopherlee


WHAT ARE MOVIE CONTACT SHEETS? : Back in the ‘classic’ movie  days, still photography went hand-in-hand with film making, to the point that photo negatives were just as important as the reel of the film being produced. Publicity shots made the film and its stars eternally shine. Photographers had to show a keen flattering eye for capturing the stars of the film, as the public’s perception, and success of the film, heavily depended on them. From a sheet containing maybe eight to ten exposures, the press office would choose maybe just one or two, which would be published and exhibited. The rest of the poses and pics would never see the light of day or be unpublished. THAT is what makes contacts rare and valuable. It’s sad to say that many contact sheets were trashed after the movie released or had public run. Most of these contact sheets have survived, because someone dug it out of the trash.


TODAY is the first of our new weekly themed day here at facebook and our PCAS website. #CUSHINGCOLLECTORSWEDNESDAY! Each each week we'll be giving away rare stills, contact sheets from the press offices of the past and other visual goodies for the digital image collectors among you to add to your collections. Not every goody will be Cushing related, some will be, as in this case something from the Hammer or Amicus films archive. But all will be certainly worth having, individually un-watermarked and even if you don't collect...these can be printed off as photographs or large posters.


SO, THIS WEEK we start with TEN colour images still as originally processed by the Hammer films Warner Brothers press office. These images taken by studio stills photographer. They have not been clean or edited. They are in their original state and are YOURS 😉 Feel free to right click, save and copy.

REMEMBER! IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Just click that blue LINK and click LIKE when you get there, and help us . . Keep The Memory Alive!. The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society website, facebook fan page and youtube channel are managed, edited and written by Marcus Brooks, PCAS coordinator since 1979. PCAS is based in the UK and USA  

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

ANOTHER HORROR OF DRACULA CINEMA POSTER READY TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY! For most Hammer fans it's known as THE cinema poster. It's a 30 x 40 inch sheet of vintage paper, that encapsulates every thing that was magical about British Horror films and the studio that not only rebooted the horror film genre in the late 50's, but made Christopher Lee a star and a household name. The studio was Hammer films, the named star was Peter Cushing, the film was Dracula aka Horror of Dracula (1958) The credits rolled, the title appeared, the blood splashed on the stone tomb... and things were never the same again...If you want to own this piece of that story and cinema history, it will set you back somewhere between Five and Seven thousand pounds sterling, at an auction taking place at WHYTE'S Auction House on February 3rd 2018. The last time another Dracula / Horror of Dracula poster was valued, it hit the over the 5000 pound sterling mark. (See Clip Below!) So, got your credit card ready??? Very cool . . .



REMEMBERING : Sir James Carreras, born today in 1909. Son of Enrique Carreras, the co-founder of Hammer Films and the Blue Hall theatre chain... and father of Hammer film producer and director, Michael Carreras. It was JC who hit on the formula of '..design a poster for a potential film, for the backers to actually see!' A simple but very effect method.  It is said that he, '..judged the success of his films not by critical plaudits, but strictly on the basis of box office returns.' Maybe so, but for a long time his approached worked, making very large profits for the backers, giving Hammer films the Queens Award to Industry Award back in 1968 and a loyal fan base that remains to this day. He is remembered each year by Variety: The Children's Charity, with The Sir James Carreras Award. '...This Award honors the name of Sir James Carreras MBE, who served Variety International with great distinction as one of its past International Presidents. It is presented annually to a physician who has demonstrated exceptional dedication and skill in the field of pediatrics'.


STARTING TOMORROW here at the WEBSITE and at the PCASUK FACEBOOK FAN PAGE #CUSHINGCOLLECTORSWEDNESDAY! Every week, a chance to download a piece of British Horror Cinema History. Some weeks rare CONTACT SHEETS, other weeks rare hi res colour transpaencies. Some weeks several items, others rare one off items. But ALL FREE!


AND FINALLY . . . Above this week's TUESDAY TOUGHY . .  ANSWERS FRIDAY!


REMEMBER! IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Just click that blue LINK and click LIKE when you get there, and help us . . Keep The Memory Alive!. The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society website, facebook fan page and youtube channel are managed, edited and written by Marcus Brooks, PCAS coordinator since 1979. PCAS is based in the UK and USA  

Monday, 29 January 2018

MOMENT OF TERROR MONDAY! CUSHING IN 'THE SKULL' CLIP



THIS WEEK'S #MOMENTSOFTERRORMONDAY! comes from Amicus films, 'THE SKULL' (1965) starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee . .and here, Peter Woodthrope, who some of you may recognise from his portrayal of Zoltan the hypnotist, Hammer films, 'The Evil of Frankenstein' also with Peter Cushing from the same year. The floating SKULL of the The Skull of the "Marquis de Sade" was a true device of terror, and a concept devised by author and screenplay writer, Robert Bloch. Bloch worked on a few Amicus films, The Skull probably being the best of the bunch.



PETER CUSHING plays the tormented Christopher MAITLAND . . .a surname that is a death sentence in an Amicus film, as script writer and producer has used the surname so many times in his films! This is great clip. I LOVE the way that Woodthrope's ,Bert Travers falls through no one, but TWO glass skylights...and if you listen carefully, it sounds as he went through another too . .. . A TRUE Moment of TERROR! BEST print on the market, would have to be the EUREKA BLU RAY. GReat visual quality and sound...and a load of extra features too PLUS It's REGION ZERO! ENJOY! - Marcus


MORE ON THE SKULL IN OUR FEATURE AND GALLERY : HERE!





REMEMBER! IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Just click that blue LINK and click LIKE when you get there, and help us . . Keep The Memory Alive!. The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society website, facebook fan page and youtube channel are managed, edited and written by Marcus Brooks, PCAS coordinator since 1979. PCAS is based in the UK and USA

Sunday, 28 January 2018

CRACKING THE TOP FIVE NON HORROR MOVIES OF PETER CUSHING FOR OUR BEST OF LIST!


THESE DAYS IT CAN quite often appear to ‘Joe Public’ that the name Peter Cushing is tied to three things; Star Wars, some quirky Doctor Who off shoots and a number of Gothic Horror pictures from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Of course as fans we know this not to be true, though even then it appears that most of the aficionados of his work tend to admire his horror performances most. That’s unsurprising and personally I’m as guilty of this as anybody else, particularly as I am a horror fan first and foremost. That said, I thought I’d break away from the spooky and the space age this week and instead compile a handy list of the ‘best of the rest’ as it were. Some of the performances listed here are some of the finest throughout Cushing’s entire career and I’ve compiled this as a hand starting point for anyone thinking to check out his work, away from crypts and castles. As with my other lists this is unashamedly personal and is in no order. BY THE WAY, some of the films I have chosen for my list, can also be watched in their ENTIRETY on the PLAY LISTS at our  Peter Cushing Appreciation Society YOU TUBE Channel!


Cash on Demand (1961)
A tense two-hander between Cushing and another Hammer regular, Andre Morell, the film is a clever re-working of the Scrooge story within a ‘thriller’ context. Set in a bank, Cushing plays the tough and austere Manager who undergoes rigorous psychological torment by Morell’s Colonel Gore-Hepburn. 


HEPBURN ARRIVES AT THE BANK and announces to Cushing that he intends to rob him and has his wife and child hostage. Should he not comply, Hepburn will be forced to send the signal that will lead to their termination. Cushing’s portrayal of a man undergoing unbelievable stress and torment manages to be one of the most horrifying things the actor has ever produced. 



CONTRASTING THIS is Morell’s performance as the sadistic but undeniably charming Hepburn who manages to remain calm, whilst breaking PC down piece by piece. Set mostly within the one room the film can be incredibly uncomfortable at times, with Morell’s calmness bouncing well off of Cushing’s hysteria.


1984 (1954)
Ok so an obvious one and one that some may consider science-fiction, though I would wholeheartedly disagree. Similar to the above, this performance showcases the softer side of Cushing and again features Morell as his tormenter, giving the two an odd similarity. 

HOWEVER WHEREAS Cash on Demand still has elements of a moral superiority in its message, inherent in any Scrooge adaptation, the message of Orwell’s novel is far darker and depressing. Again Cushing astounds as a man put through unspeakable psychological tortures but this time the result proves far more terrifying than before. Lacking a proper DVD release, it’s a real shame that such a classic of British TV has yet to be given even this simple treatment. 



Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death (1984)
Ok, ok this is certainly an odd one I would never deny that. Cushing’s role as ‘the great detective’ is one that spans a number of portrayals but most notably Hammer’s Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) and the BBC series in 1968. 



UNFORTUNATELY THIS MEANS that Masks of Death is more often than not, overlooked. Admittedly it suffers from a somewhat plodding script and perhaps fails to get any attention at all, due to its unavailability on DVD or Blu-Ray. What really makes this odd little TV-movie however, is Cushing’s portrayal of a much older Holmes builds on his earlier performances but manages to provide something…softer, gentler. John Mills plays his Watson this time and the two work wonders together, making one wish for a mini-series or something of the sort. The plot attempts to root itself firmly in history, though the details are a little shaky…to say the least but it’s an interesting little film and a fun example of Cushing’s Holmes work.


The Violent Playground (1958)
Another somewhat bleak film, Peter Cushing provides a memorable turn as a Priest attempting to heal the social ill’s surrounding a Liverpool street gang led by David McCallum. 



THE HIGHLIGHTS are doubtless the sequences in which Cushing attempts to reason with McCallum who appears to have some sort of a bond with the Priest. This builds to a superb climax in which McCallum takes a number of school children hostage with a machine gun and Cushing attempts to talk him down. Brutal, gritty and uncomfortable the least said about this one before watching the better.


Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) 
Considering that (bar the one entry) this list has so far been made up mostly of quite depressing drama fare, it seemed right to end it on a good old fashioned swashbuckler. In Sword of Sherwood Forest, Cushing takes on the role of the Sherriff of Nottingham and clearly has a whale of a time. 

WHILST I WOULD HATE to describe any of Cushing’s performances as ‘Pantomime’ that’s the word that comes to mind here, but not through insult, through the sheer amount of fun he is clearly having. The biggest disappointment is admittedly Cushing’s death scene, which whilst firmly cementing his as the secondary villain is particularly lacklustre and seems an unfair dispatch for the character. Sharing the screen with such celebrated actors as Richard Greene, Oliver Reed, Nigel Green and Niall MacGinnis the film may not be wholly successful but is the perfect Saturday afternoon entertainment.  
 


WELL I HOPE you enjoyed my list.Of course the great shame with much of PC's early non-horror work is that a great deal of it was for the BBC, who either wren't in the habit of recording or later decided it would be fun to burn the few recordings they had. Although pieces like this won't make the list for obvious reasons, I sure would have loved to have seen his Pride and Prejudice. It may be an odd choice from these lost days but I'd give my left arm to see the 1953 adaptation of Number Three. As for my list here, I am sure there are a couple you may disagree with! Over at the facebook fan page, many are sharing THEIR TOP FIVES. It's lively! Maybe you'd like to join the thread? That's it for this week, more next week, I hope you join me!  Callum McKelvie



REMEMBER! IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Just click that blue LINK and click LIKE when you get there, and help us . . Keep The Memory Alive!. The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society website, facebook fan page and youtube channel are managed, edited and written by Marcus Brooks, PCAS coordinator since 1979. PCAS is based in the UK and USA 

Saturday, 27 January 2018

FREE HAMMER CONTACT SHEETS : BATES AND LEE TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA AND A BIRTHDAY!

 

#CHRISTOPHERLEESATURDAY! It's a great shame, that Ralph Bates lost his opportunity to play DRACULA. How do you think he would have played it??? #dracula #casting #hammerfilms #pulltheplug #vampires





FREE CONTACT SHEETS FROM HAMMER FILMS : HAMMER FILMS TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA : FEATURING LINDA HAYDEN, ANTHONY HIGGINS  . . . .









'I’VE SEEN THE LIKES TONIGHT that mortal eyes shouldn’t look at!’… say that line of dialogue and any Hammer film fan worth his or her salt, quick as a flash will reply, ‘Michael Ripper, as the poacher in 'The Mummy!’.. And it is Michael Ripper who we remember today on the day his birth, 27th January 1913. Ripper appeared in many productions for Hammer, seven with Peter Cushing, nine with Christopher Lee.  . . .


INN KEEPERS, coachmen, police officers, Ripper an accomplished stage and film actor it could be argued is as much part of the Hammer family as Cushing, Lee, Fisher and Francis. Christopher Lee once announced to a packed convention in Baltimore, with Ripper standing at his side.. 'This man IS Hammer!’ And for many of us, he always will be . . .


IF SOMETHING INTERESTING comes my way, I love to be able to share with you! Such is the case of this rarely seen candid photograph of Christopher Lee and Michael Ripper at a signing. The little I have leaned about this occasion, has come from the owner of this photograph, James Murray. 


JAMES WAS WORKING 'on the door' this day at a book shop in London and remembers it well. It was a book signing, attended by Christopher Lee, signing copies of his book, 'Tall, Dark and Gruesome' the Midnight Marquee edition. Being an admirer of Christopher Lee, he brought along his camera and posed for a pic...and managed to capture Michael too! . . .MORE ON THIS STORY: HERE!



REMEMBER! IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Just click that blue LINK and click LIKE when you get there, and help us . . Keep The Memory Alive!. The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society website, facebook fan page and youtube channel are managed, edited and written by Marcus Brooks, PCAS coordinator since 1979. PCAS is based in the UK and USA  
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