Saturday, 29 April 2017

GUESTING FOR ERNIE'S LIFE AND THE QUEST FOR THAT CHEQUE!



THIS WEEKEND HERE IN THE UK, it's a Bank Holiday. Which means, traditionally means, The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews will be screened on tv for the 100th time, relatives will visit, over stay and eat you out of house and home, it WILL rain for the entirety of the holiday break, and boredom will reign too! SO, here's a little treat, to be enjoyed and savored, not only here by us Brits, but across the globe, or were ever people need a giggle. 


YOU CAN WATCH MANY OF PETER CUSHING'S APPEARANCES ON THE MORECAMBE AND WISE SHOW, IN OUR SPECIAL PLAYLIST AT OUR PCAS YOU TUBE CHANNEL : HERE!





FOR THE FIRST TIME we present Peter Cushing's appearance as a guest on the This Is Your Life UK show, featuring one half of that great British comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise. Sadly, Eric Morecambe had passed by this point in 1993, but Ernie bravely worked on for several years. Peter Cushing appeared many times as a guest on their show. The first was in 1969, he appeared in a comedy play 'written' by Ernie, where Peter played king Arthur. Throughout the BBC era of the show, he would regularly join Wise and his comic partner, Eric Morecambe. On stage; he would constantly seek payment for his first 1969 appearance, wearily asking "Have you got my five pounds yet?"





THIS RUNNING JOKE continued when the duo left the BBC and moved to Thames Television in 1978. Cushing appeared in their first special for Thames Television on 18 October, still asking to be paid, with the hosts repeatedly trying to get rid of him; at the end of the show, Morecambe placed some money in a wallet wired up to a bomb, in an attempt to blow Cushing up in exaggerated comedic style. In the duo's 1980 Christmas special, Cushing pretended to be the Prime Minister while Morecambe and Wise caroled outside 10 Downing Street; he made the comedians give him money and finally came out to declare "Paid, at last!"




ON FEBRUARY 3rd 1972 and "Live" on television, all glitter and glamour, is the once-a-year event, held in the Albert Hall, when the film and television industry presents awards covering the whole range of the industry . . .. and Peter Cushing is there to present his pals, Morecambe and Wise with their Best Light Entertainment Performance Award, along with their writer, Eddie Braben . . . and no, they didn't bring him his money!



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Friday, 28 April 2017

#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: HUMAN MUNCHIES AT HAMMER

#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: Hammer films first step into their Frankenstein franchise was The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957. This was quickly followed, after it's huge commercial success by The Revenge of Frankenstein the following year. As with Curse, it's success is no small part because of Cushing's stellar return and performance, as the Baron who cheated death. But for me, there has always been more than one act of cheating in this particular return. . . . 



FRANCIS MATTHEWS is terrific and believable as the good doctor's assistant, Hans. Eunice Gayson as Margret, struggles but does well with what she has been given by scriptwriter Jimmy Sangster, who had an annoying habit of giving his female characters a one dimensional, very shallow filed to plough, when it came to any of his written women. And the supporting cast were top too. I love Michael Gwynn's work, but not in this one. This is not because he was weak, like with Gayson's lot. No, Gwynn was working with a very weak concept...a man who turns Cannibal! Sangster went on record as saying, he did struggle with coming up with an angle, a 'thing' ..part of what that latest Frankenstein abomination did, that was above murder and creating chaos. This creation should repulse and make audiences shriek with terror once again. He thought long and hard, and eventually came up with, cannibalism. Well, I don't buy it. I never have, never will. 



YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ON THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN PLUS EYE OUR LOVELY GALLERY OF RARE PICS AT OUR FEATURE : HERE! 


THE WHOLE PREMISE that supports the reason why poor ol Karl has the human munchies, in the framework of this Gothic horror, sticks out as desperate, ill conceived, heavy handed and over the top. I would have been quite happy with another round of, just murder, unhappy monster and leave it at that. The Hammer Frankenstein's were most entertaining when they focused on 'The Baron'.. how bad, how manipulative, cruel and relentless HE could be. It's interesting that the most popular and financially successful films of the series, Curse and Destroyed, had Baron Frankenstein at the center of the story. On the whole, I think the Frankenstein audience went to see Peter Cushing, and were quite informed about how they liked their Gothic horror menu served up...intelligent, imaginative and with some class and taste. To me, if you throw cannibalism into the recipe, it's just too rich, one spice too many. Cannibalism...In other words, just doesn't taste that good... 😉 What do you think? Agree? disagree? - Marcus




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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: EVIDENCE OF A LOST PETER CUSHING FILM UNEARTHED!


#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: VERY INTERESTING evidence has come to light of a film that Peter Cushing appeared in the 1940's. THE NEW SCHOOL, in pre production titles, The New Teacher, was made in the UK by the UK government's CROWN FILM UNIT and mostly shot in Yorkshire and at the Homerton Collage, Cambridge . There are several pieces evidence, that appear to indicate that this was a public information film, popular at the time, and before the advent of mass broadcasting television in the UK. For the first time, we are presenting here a cover from the shooting script, a photograph of the crew on location at Homerton Collage, along with it's Crown copyright reverse side. We are working alongside a partner interest in finding out more about this 'unknown' addition to the Cushing filmography, and will keep you up to date, with any further developments and finds. Many thanks to S. Paterson for their keen eye and assistance. - Marcus



IT MIGHT BE YOU (1946) IS ANOTHER example of a film which Peter Cushing made with the CROWN FILM UNIT (above) In it, Peter Cushing plays a doctor, in a what is basically a film about driving and road safety. His diction is very much standard BBC, clipped and perfect! ... Peter Cushing appears for the duration after 1.45 mins into the short. Look out also for actor Peter Madden who would later work with Cushing in Hammer films, 'Frankenstein Created Woman' (1967) as the Chief of Police and before that, in Amicus films, 'Dr Terrors House of Horrors' in 1965. Enjoy!





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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive!

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: REMEMBER ROGUE WAS NOT THE FIRST!


#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: Remember when the younger Tarkin played by Wayne Pygram appeared in Star Wars Revenge Of The Sith. Just like the recent CGI Tarkin in #ROGUEONE, the balloon went up, and the cries of disapproval went out!


TRIVIA: This make up work was carried out by Oscar winner Dave Elsey, who many years ago, was a fully paid up, corresponding member of PCAS back in the 1970's and 80s! Elsey has worked on a number of famous projects such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Candyman, Alien 3 and many more, eventually winning an Oscar with Rick Baker for The Wolfman in 2010.




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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY: SIX GREAT GIFS REQUESTED BY YOU!


#SILENTBUTDEADLY: Breaking into the first of our SIX REQUESTED GIFS is Kharis (Christopher Lee) dispatching Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) as the speechless Isoblel Banning (Yvonne Furneaux) looks on in horror in Hammer filmsThe Mummy (1959). This is one of those occasions where the soundtrack is as good as the visuals. A sickening crack and crunch, comes courtesy of the Hammer special effects dept, making this one of those golden but gut turning classic Hammer clips. Thanks to Colin Bond who requested this and our NEXT GIF today...   #hammerfilms #petercushing #christopherlee #themummy


YOU CAN REQUEST ANY GIF FROM A PETER CUSHING FILM FOR NEXT WEEK'S GALLERY, BY SIMPLY EMAIL US AT THE EMAIL BELOW OR COMING INTO OUR FACEBOOK Peter Cushing APPRECIATION Society Fan Page AND SEND US A MESSAGE USING THE 'MESSAGE / CONTACT US BUTTON!


#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY: Paul Beresford (Peter Cushing) looking very pleased with himself, as a Cybernaut delivers one of the scientists that will help him avenge his brothers death, from The Avengers episode "Return of the Cybernauts" . . . #petercushing #carolinemunro #dougmcclure


#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY: For Jenny Price. Dr. Abner Perry (Peter Cushing) getting 'mesmerized despite him being British!' from At The Earths Core (1976). A truly fun film, with all the cast, on top form and the rubber monsters just add to its charm! #petercushing #dougmcclure #carolinemunro #amicusfilms #attheearthscore


#SILENTBUTDEADLY: Silent, but just as effective, with the audio track. Peter Cushing as Osric from Laurence Olivier's 'HAMLET'. Cushing's foppish dandy makes an exit that's hard to forget! Thanks to Karl 'The Mangle' Broadshaw for this one!. 


#SILENTBUTDEADLY: This classic moment from ITC'S 'THE MUPPET SHOW' and Vincent Price's guest appearance. Much to Vinnie's horror, Kermit goes for the jugular. Many thanks to Ebony Hamilton, for reminding us about this moment. It's a great shame that neither Peter OR Christopher Lee go an invite to appear on the show, but Vincent Price, was a natural choice and a real hoot! 
#vincentprice #themuppets


#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY: AND FINALLY.. Mary Nichols from New York as requested the above GIF, explaining she had an idea that we had posted this GIF previously, but thought that it would have been long deleted. Well, here's the good news, here is the GIF you mentioned Mary, reposted for you. BUT, the original post WILL BE STILL UP here at this website. We NEVER delete past posts, photographs or features. You'll see we have a SEARCH BOX at the top right of this site, and all you have to do is enter in the KEY WORDS 'Peter Cushing From Beyond The Grave'..and this and many other posts will be loaded up onto your screen. So, easy to find, and you truly will never miss a thing we have posted over the last SEVEN YEARS! Thanks Mary! MORE REQUESTED GIFS, NEXT WEDNESDAY! #petercushing #frombeyondthegrave #amicusfilms


JOIN US FRIDAY FOR OUR WEEKLY FRIDAY THEMED POST DAY: #FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY! EVERYTHING IT SAYS ON THE BANNER. NOW IN IT'S SIXTH YEAR!


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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive! 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: VINCENT PRICE PETER CUSHING : THE MAN WHO HATED SCENES


#MONSTERMONDAY: 'The Price of Fear' was a horror come mystery radio serial, that was produced by BBC Radio during the 1970s. The host and star of the show was Vincent Price. This episode, The Man Who Hated Scenes, stars Vincent Price and Peter Cushing who relate a chilling tale of a meek millionaire taking subtle revenge on his cheating wife. The script was dramatized  by William Ingram, produced by John Diaz (based on the story by Robert Arthur) a Dianna Olson, and Steve Preston also starred.



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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive! 

Monday, 24 April 2017

#MONSTERMONDAY: PAUL BERESFORD AND HIS CYBERNAUGT REVENGE!


#MonsterMonday: What a REAL smoothy this character was. Cushing's Paul Beresford, was the brother of Clement Armstrong, (see 'The Cybernauts' episode 1966) played by Michael Gough, the creator of the Cybernauts. He blames Steed and Mrs. Peel for his brother's death at the cold hands of his own creation. Aided by Armstrong's assistant Benson, he abducts several scientists who are blackmailed into producing a new batch of Cybernauts. Whilst he is the perfect gentleman towards Mrs. Peel, his aim is to turn her and Steed into human robots. It's a firm fan favourite, Cushing is at the top of his game in this performance, Beresford is a clever and manipulative genius, but is he also a madman and this week's MONSTER? You decide!



HE'S GOT MRS PEEL UNDER HIS SPELL AND UNDER THE CONTROL OF HIS LITTLE BOX! WILL BERESFORD SUCCEED IN HIS EVIL PLAN??


PAUL BERESFORD, TO QUOTE ANOTHER FINE CUSHING
 CHARACTER, 'CHARMING, TO THE LAST...' WHAT A ROGUE!




SEEMS IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE MAYBE
IRONED OUT THOSE HI TECH BUGS, BEFORE THROWING THE SWITCH ON THIS KILLING MACHINE? 


MORE ON THIS EPISODE IN OUR FEATURE! JUST CLICK  HERE!



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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive!   

#MONSTERMONDAY: THE MAKING OF THE HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS PART ONE


IN THE SPRING OF 1982, Michael Armstrong and director Pete Walker approached Cannon Films, with Armstrong's supernatural thriller, Deliver Us From Evil


With his love of star packages, however, the head of Cannon, Menaham Golan was far more interested in them developing a package for cinema's horror legends: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and John Carradine, who had never throughout their long careers, actually appeared on screen together as a foursome. Golan felt this would be a last opportunity to create cinema history.


WALKER AND ARMSTRONG knew that the current trend of teen slasher movies were not only unsuitable, but would fail to attract the stars in question. There had been several attempts to put them together in one film over the years, but each had failed because of the subject matter and the screenplay. Both Lee and Cushing, in particular, had often stated their dislike of the latest horror trends. Walker, therefore, suggested the remaking of an old classic, The Old Dark House, but was unable to secure the rights from Universal. Aware that if they failed to get back to Cannon quickly, they may lose the offer, Walker suggested another classic title from the same era,  Seven Keys To Baldpate.


SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE, had started life as a novel by the creator of Charlie Chan, E. Digger Biggs and then been dramatised for the stage by George M. Cohen. It became a long running hit on Broadway, before being made into a silent movie back in 1917, directed by Hugh Ford, with George M. Cohen as George Washington Magee! Hedda Hopper starred opposite him. In 1925, yet another silent version was made of the story directed by Fred C. Newmeyer. The first sound version was produced in 1929 by Reginald Barker, starring Richard Dix as William Magee. 

 

1935 rolled out another version, directed by William Hamilton. The final version was made in 1947 with Lew Landers directing, starring Phillip Terry as the renamed Kenneth Magee and Jaqueline White as the also renamed Mary Jordan.


WALKER LAID ON SCREENINGS of several versions at his flat for writer Armstrong and Jenny Craven, a friend of Armstrong and Golan, who would eventually act as associate producer on The House of Long Shadows. Armstrong recalls: 'We ignored a 1916 version made in Australia and a television version 1946, neither of which seemed relevant or connected with the book or the play, and watched - I can't remember maybe two or three, including the last one made in 1947- What we hoped would be a Gothic mystery thriller, along the lines of The Old Dark House, turned out to be an extremely dated crime thriller and nothing remotely suitable for the cast we had in mind. Over dinner we decided the only thing we could do was take the basic premise and the end twist and create a completely new storyline to suit our needs.''As I was going to be writing specifically for our four stars, it seemed logical to pay homage to the movies with which they had all been associated and create a tongue in cheek pastiche of the Gothic movies incorporating as many genre movies references as possible. Certain that our cast would be drawn to the idea of parodying their own classic images, we became very excited, ordered some more wine and set about creating a long list of everything we could think of from that era-thunder storms, to cats jumping out, to the inevitable 'monster locked behind the door', forever screaming heroines and menacing dialogues of  'things better not spoken of...'


TO ADD A FURTHER FRISSON of excitement to their discussion, Walker suggested they create a part for the original Bride Of Frankenstein, Elsa Lanchester. Because of the urgency to cement the deal, Armstrong returned home that night and within twenty four hours had produced a detailed twenty page treatment, so Walker could fly off to LA and quickly secure their stars. A few days later, Armstrong received a late night phone call from Walker, telling him the stars liked the treatment and were interested, subject to the screenplay - which he had told them was on the point of completion and would be available for them to read within two weeks. 'I've never been a slow writer, but to complete a screenplay within two weeks and be sufficiently polished to hook star names? It was quite ironic really. The film was about a writer taking on a bet to write a Gothic novel within twenty four hours! And here was I agreeing to write a Gothic screenplay within two weeks! So, I locked myself away with my typewriter, reams of paper, an ample supply of whiskey and enough cartons of cigarettes to open a tobacconists shop - in those days I was smoking 120 cigarettes a day! - and with Verdi's La Forza (Guiseppe Verdi's opera, La Forza Del Destino - The Force of Destiny) drowning out any distracting noises from the outside world, I sat down and went to work!'


AS REQUIRED, Armstrong delivered a completed draft of the screenplay on time! It was just hours before Walker had to leave to get to the airport! 'It was like some crazy suspense thriller' Armstrong now remembers, 'I finished the final page of the script around five, grabbed a cab to Morton's where Pete was waiting for me, before catching his flight to LA. I go there, literally minutes before he had to leave to get to the airport. I'd been working around the clock, on whiskey and cigarettes, had no sleep for two nights, staggered into Morton's more dead than alive, thrust the pages of typed manuscript into his hands- the only copy that existed- Pete asked me if I wanted a drink, I told him I just wanted to go home and collapse, he said he'd call me then called a cab- and that was it. He read the script on the plane and called me to say he liked it. A week later he called me to say that the script had gone down well with the actors and that they had all agreed to do it - except Lanchester, who unfortunately was too fragile to travel.' The part that Armstrong had written for her was that of a woman forever haunted by her past as a jilted bride. The role, instead, went to a Pete Walker favourite, Shelia Keith, who produced a wonderfully comic performance.


'PETE AND I intended that one of the fun levels of the film to be it's density of movie literary allusions, sometimes double edged, like Vinnies death: on one hand echoing his demise in Witchfinder General, whilst, on the other, being a parody of Mickey Mouse chopping up the broomsticks in 'Fantasia'. Armstrong explains, 'Unfortunately, quite a few filmic references for film buffs got lost along the way. There were also some that weren't followed through. For instance, the juve leads were written as a kind of Dick Powell and Fay Wray exchanging those sparring quick banter dialogues of the period. The young married couple were written as a parody of their British counterparts, epitomized by Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence in 'Private Lives'. But, these with other references got lost, partly because of the subtle campery required in the playing didn't really suit the actors cast the those roles.'

FOR ONCE, Armstrong was not around for the casting. Jenny Craven, the associate producer, was elevated into overseeing the film from the moment it went into pre production. 'Everything happened so quickly.' Armstrong recalls, 'Pete Walker had barely arrived back from LA before the film was in pre-production with a shooting date only a few weeks away. To my concern, what I'd dashed off in those two weeks was the script they were working from. Admittedly my first drafts are usually as tight as most people's final drafts but, even so, I still desperately wanted, at the very least, to sit down and clean it up and tidy it- especially around the final confrontation scene between the Grisbane brothers- but it proved impossible. Pete had been swept up into the throes of production with Jenny Craven, which meant that he and I couldn't find a free moment to get together and talk., even. Whenever I tried to say anything, everyone seemed perfectly happy with the script as it was, then I finally gave up pressing the point and assumed it was just me being insecure and finicky and that they'd come back to me if something wasn't working'


WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK of shooting a call came from the set, asking Armstrong to go down and fix the final dialogue scene between Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. 'I was so relieved,' Armstrong confesses, 'When I got on set, I found Christopher's concern was that he felt the final confrontation between he and Vinnie wasn't correctly balanced. Vinnie had more dialogue and had the last line. He was quite right, of course- except about wanting to have the last line. I sat down and tightened the whole scene, which I'd been dying to do. It automatically balanced their dialogue and resolved Christopher's worries and Vinnie still kept his last line, much to his amusement. From that point on, I decided it might be better if I remained on the set for the rest of the shooting- although, as it turned out, there was nothing else that needed fixing.' 







'THE SHOOT went smoothly.' Armstrong recalls. The stars, in particular, enjoyed working together and relished the camp theatricality of the dialogue and the lampooning the Gothic melodramas of the past. By the end of shooting, there was a general feeling on the set that the end product would be a lot of fun and prove popular with audiences'.


LEAVING WALKER to editing and post production, Armstrong became embroiled in Cannon's plans for publicity, part of which involved him writing and recording a series of jokey radio ads with Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. Elaborate plans were now in progress for releasing the film. Head of Distribution, Trevor Green and the publicity department came up with the idea of a starry, camp 30's style premiere to reflect the mood of the film. Craven, however, now overseeing the films publicity machine, as well as the film, opposed the concept, preferring the idea of a simple dignified press reception instead. Shortly afterwards, Trevor Green left and joined his brother to build one of Britain's biggest current distributors, Entertainment.


AS ENTHUSIASM for a fun launch of the film waned and a more serious approach to it's marketing was adopted, a similar sobriety seemed to be affecting the whole film during it's post production. 'Early in the cutting, Pete invited me into the edit suite to see his cut of the music scene with Vinnie and it was wonderful. Vinnie was very funny reveling in the moroseness of explaining the Grisbane's doom-ridden destiny to an accompaniment of Shelia Keith's wailing Verdi aria and the whole scene had a fabulous rhythm and stylish wit about it. Pete was so enthusiastic and clearly happy with the way the film was shaping up. I don't know what happened between then and later, when I saw the scene in the finished film, it had been re-cut and a good half of the scene was missing.....mostly Vinnie' dialogue. There were other strange cuts and trims too, a serious reduction  of comic pacing by dragging out Desi Arnaz Jr's early scenes and those with Julie Peasgood. Someone told me it was Cannon's attempt to tone down the films humour and turn it into a more serious horror film. How true that is I really don't know, but somewhere along the way, I sensed Pete's usual buoyant spirit had been eroded by something. I didn't know what. I didn't know why.....'



PART TWO OF THE MAKING OF
THE HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS HERE!  NEXT MONDAY!


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 reach our 30K following total for Peter Cushing BIRTHDAY on MAY 26th 2017 AND Help Keep The Memory Alive!   
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