Saturday, 17 February 2018

CHRISTOPHER LEE TALKS BAND ON THE RUN PHOTO SESSION AND DARK PLACES FULL MOVIE!



#CHRISTOPHERLEESATURDAY! A short video of Christopher Lee talking about the shooting of the iconic photograph that appears on the cover of the WINGS album, BAND ON THE RUN with footage from the photo session . . .





#CHRISTOPHERLEESATURDAYS! There is MORE than death, waiting for you in DARK PLACES . . so the promo strap line said . . .If this is a new title to you or you have never watched it before, do yourself a favor ...and DON'T go looking for details before you watch it! DARK PLACES was one of the last 1970's Christopher Lee fantasy genre titles to make it to the domestic market. With a great Brit cast, old dark house, one of Hammer film directors and yet made somewhat, in the Amicus style . . so, avoid the spoilers and give-away pics scattered over the net, and settle back to watch, a bit of a treat!




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


 #petercushing #christopherlee #bandontherun #hammerfilms

Friday, 16 February 2018

FRIDAY FEMME FATLES: THE HAMMER FILM ACTRESS WHO MARRIED A VICAR, MOVED TO AN ISLAND AND WAS FRIENDS WITH LIZA MINNELLI : IT'S ALL VERY VALERIE!


"THE WOMAN WHO WILL BE REMEMBERED as the first Hammer horror vampire to bare her fangs on screen, Valerie Sheila Reddington, died at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, on November 27, aged 84 . . . . ' These were the first three lines, that appeared in actress Valerie Gaunt's obituary, printed in the County Press Newspaper in 2016, the daily news of the Isle of Wight, Gaunt's place of residence for almost the last twenty years of her life. 



ABOVE AND BELOW: OF THE TWO TELEVISION DRAMAS, that GAUNT appeared in, Only The Father In Law, survives, as her earliest work. Sadly, the ITV Playhouse drama ' A Chance Meeting' from 1956, which was the play, in which Fisher heard, that scream . .  is thought lost.


IT'S INTERESTING THAT Valerie Gaunt’s film career actually amounted to just two supporting roles in two Hammer films, and two small roles in a pair of TV dramas! And yet, she exerted an enduring fascination for horror fans who mourned her early retirement in 1958.  Just like that. Not unlike the poorly credited 'Vampire Woman', a role without a name, in Hammer films, 1958 'Dracula' she vanished into the night . . .



FOR GAUNT, her association with Hammer films began when she caught the attention of, a soon to be Hammer films, go to director Terry Fisher. While watching the tv one night, Fisher had the chance in a million of hearing Valerie deliver her spine-tingling scream, in the unfolding drama. He immediately sent her a telegram, pleading with her to get in touch, with him, as soon as possible. Right there, Hammer history was hatched and Gaunt was to be forever associated with her two roles for the company.





AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT,  those two roles were key in two of Hammer Films most iconic productions. In 1957 she played Justine, the naughty maid to — and secret lover of — one #PeterCushing Baron Frankenstein, in 'The Curse of Frankenstein'. Cushing was fresh from the broadcast of several major BBC TV drama productions. He had been award a BAFTA just sixteen months before, the camera turned on 'The Curse of Frankenstein', in November 1956. Given the few scenes where Gaunt appears in the film, she managed to deliver a full-blooded and nuanced character. Thanks to her jealousy, Justine falls foul of her paramour and ends up suffering an unseen, but implied grisly fate at the hands of his monstrous creation . . .an unknown actor at the time, called Christopher Lee.








BEFORE THIS FIRST screen appearance, Gaunt studied theatre at RADA, London. From 1951, she busily appeared in.... 'this week we perform play 'A', while learning and rehearsing next week's play 'B'...repertory theatre. Another life changing event happened in 1957, the same year that 'The Curse of Frankenstein' was released. Gaunt met her husband to be Gerald, a stockbroker and non-stipendiary priest, later to become a vicar! The happy couple, tied the knot at All Saints’ Church, Margaret Street, West London, on May 17 the following year.


NOW MRS REDDINGTON, she kept the embers of her first role on film glowing, until  almost a year to the day, when she wrapped on Frankenstein, she began work on the film, that would change the fortunes of one Christopher Lee, and sadly snuff out any desires she may have had to continue as an actress. This second role was no less significant. Clad in a just demure nightgown, she pleads with a naive Jonathan Harker, to save her from the evil clutches of the Count, before sinking her fangs into his neck






HUSBAND GERALD, was also a friend of Christopher Lee. On invitation to the set, he watched his wife, shooting her iconic scenes for 'Dracula' at Hammer Studios, Bray. What he made of all the demonic hissing and horror, to say nothing of the feral  fanged fight between his friend Lee and his new bride, we shall never know. But aficionados of  English Gothic cinema, exemplified by the two films in which Gaunt appeared now argue that, Gaunt provided the template, for what would later became known as “Hammer glamour”. 


ALTHOUGH GAUNT enjoyed her stint as a scream queen, Gaunt’s husband, Gerald Reddington, recalled that after the premier of Dracula she came home, kicked her shoes off, sat on the bed and said: “Well thank goodness that is over, I’m never working again!” And really, who could blame her? Gaunt was clearly a woman of character, she knew what she wanted from life. It seems she always did . . .


AND SO, although Gaunt, Mrs Reddington never acted professionally again, she was a dynamic behind-the-scenes force, directing two plays at the prep school attended by her oldest son, Marcus, and later spent five years bringing her talents to teaching drama students, at the Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts, East Grinstead, West Sussex, she also read books for the blind for the Calibre Audio Library. . . . . .


VALERIE GAUNT was born on June 26, 1932, in West Bromwich, the only daughter of a Birmingham industrialist. At the age of 26, having been to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and worked in repertory theatre in Birmingham for four years, she relocated to London. Gaunt moved into a house bought from the stepmother of the man who would become her husband. Having met Valerie, she phoned Reddington and said: “I’ve just sold Queen Anne Street to a very rich man with an only daughter, and you must meet her.” By coincidence, Gaunt’s mother had met Reddington at the same time and invited him for a drink — to meet her daughter.


ALTHOUGH BROUGHT together initially by the gentle meddling of family members, the couple were united by their shared faith. According to Victoria Jol, the couple’s youngest daughter: “The young couple were invited to stay at his family’s country house. However, he was on duty as a server at All Saints church, Margaret Street, so instead my mother went to church with my father — and they never really left.” The church became an integral part of the lives and faith of Valerie and Gerald, who, after a career as a stockbroker, became an ordained minister. They married at All Saints; their four children were baptised in the church; their daughter Benedicta was married there and the memorial for their son Adam, who died when he was just nine years of age, was held there.


AT THE TIME OF HER sad passing on November 27th, 2016 Gaunt was survived by her husband and three of her children. Marcus Reddington, who, like his father, started out as a stockbroker, eventually found his way into the theatre, and is a showman and puppeteer working on the West End production of Wicked. Benedicta Green is a psychotherapeutic counsellor. Victoria Jol worked at the Wiley academic publisher in Australia and the UK and until her Mother's passing, was a full-time carer for her parents.


VALERIE'S TIME IN THE GLOW of the studio ark light was brief, but she certainly made an impression. She decided being an actress was not for her. Maybe also, Hammer studios way of retaining an almost repertory band of crew and actors, could have become a clash of personal sensibilities. She had already appeared in a pair of box office smashers. What if they were to call on her again? Understandably, the church and the glamorous, materialistic and shallow world of entertainment and . . .  horror films, could never be the best of friends. BUT, Valerie was a friend of Judy Garland who moved in such glamorous circles. Gaunt was an unlikely vicar’s wife. Although she once crisply informed a church volunteer that buttering scones was not part of her purview — “Oh no, I’m not into catering” — she flung herself into other duties with gusto: writing stories, painting watercolour portraits of children, putting on musicals and editing the parish newspaper. . . which was very much part of her purview, and Very Much Valerie . . .. 


Valerie Reddington's funeral was held at St Peter’s Church, Isle of Wight on December 2nd 2016. Mrs Reddington, is survived by her husband Gerald, son Marcus, daughters Benedicta Green and Victoria Jol, and three grandchildren. 



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

#petercushing 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

UNBOXING TARKIN : WHY CINEFICCION IS THE MAGAZINE FOR CUSHING LOVERS : PETER AND THE WOLF AND MUCH MORE



HERE IS AN EXTRACT from Optibotimus Reviews : Hot Toys Star Wars GRAND MOFF TARKIN upload. He does a great job of showing us the Peter Cushing Grand Moff Tarkin figure in HIS FULL upload, so you can see what you'll be getting for your hard earned bucks! It's a BEAUTIFUL figure. More in his upload which you can find HERE!





A HEADS UP on a great feature that appears in ISSUE SEVEN of CINEFICCION magazine. For the past year or so, editor Dario Lavia been generously sending us issues of the magazine. Back in the day, when I avidly collected magazines and books that featured Peter Cushing, it didn't matter then, or now that the written material was in another tongue, other than my own 'primitive English'. CINE FICCION is published in Spanish, and knowing that both here and at the facebook fan page, there many, many for who the language would not be an issue, I invite you to look the great little magazine up! When I was just ten, probably the best books I owned on Hammer films and Peter Cushing also came from a Spanish publisher. It's pages are very well thumbed! While you are browsing the back issues, also take a look at a series of SPECIALS, called TITANS OF HORROR that Dario edited on Karloff, Lugosi, Price, Chaney Snr and Peter Cushing!


I WAS HONORED TO BE  INVITED to write the  prologue for the Peter Cushing book, and went on a trip down memory lane, when I recalled the first time I saw Peter in a movie at the age of six! This isn't the first time, PCAS has appeared in the pages of a CINEFICCION publication. Some of you have kindly messaged over the years suggesting that, many images and features would look quite smart in a book! Well, back last year I opened up our pages, features and posts to Dario and CINEFICCION, and gave them full access to ANY of the features, past and present, plus all photographs within, for monthly publication in the CINEFICCION magazine. So thanks to Dario, PCAS has a platform in PRINT too. They do a VERY good job of presenting the material too! And yes, before you ask.  He does check for any of my grammatical errors and typos, before the presses role.....!


CINEFICCION is THE magazine of classic horror & science fiction movies. Written in Spanish, is edited in Argentina and reaches the whole world. Our last issue devoted to Universal Horrors. Price per issue: USD 8 (+ shipping cost)


WHEN THE PCAS PODCAST hits the net later this year, CINEFICCION will EXCLUSIVELY be the only magazine to carry the full, unpublished  and unedited interviews in print!
 


YOU CAN FIND CINEFICCION at it's WEBSITE. On FACEBOOK FAN PAGE and ON Facebook GROUPS. MANY of the portraits and artwork on the covers are the beautifully work of Gabriela Rodas. Here is her FACEBOOK PAGE, where you'll find other examples of her work.



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 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

FREE COLOUR HAMMER FILMS DRACULA CONTACT SHEET : HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY AND COLLECTORS WEDNESDAY


WELL THERE COULD only be one face here today, for certain! Have a Happy Valentine, Everyone - Peter Cushing as Arthur Grimsdyke, resurrected in Tales From The Crypt (1972) in the VALENTINE story, Poetic Justice. Peter Cushing was awarded The Licorne d’Or Award at the French Convention of Fantasy Cinema, for his role of Arthur Grimsdyke . .






THE RARE COLOUR contact sheet BELOW features FOUR images that were never used in  publicity for the film, and probably not published as a contact sheet before today, on the net. Even though these are posted here at as hiigh a resolution as blogger will handle, these images are still very LARGE and taken to a print shop, after a little cleaning with picasa  . . . .or photoshop, if you are really particular . . they would print of as great 10 x 8 stills or even large full colour posters! Have FUN! - Marcus.


NEXT WEEKS CUSHING COLLECTORS POST: PETER CUSHING


CHRISTOPHRE LEE WRITES: "Unfortunately, I am also to be opened up--on June 7th I have open heart surgery that day (no lilies, please) to replace a mitral valve. At least it will prove that I do have a heart--and if anything goes wrong, nobody will believe it. Peter [Cushing] has very kindly offered to act as consultant; I have slight reservations on this one, having once been the result of his genius . . . . I think this all started on HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS. What with my heart, John [Carradine]'s hands, Peter's [unreadable] and your legs, we should be able to put together some sort of composite immortal which would keep Landis, Cronenberg and Carpenter in funds for many years."



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, 13 February 2018

#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: TWO HAMMER ICON BIRTHDAYS AND THE TUESDAY TOUGHIE




TODAY WE REMEMBER Robert Oliver Reed, born today February 13th 1938. The 'Cushing Connection' spreads over three films, 'Captain Clegg /Night Creatures' in 1962, 'Sword of Sherwood Forest' in 60, both for Hammer films and a car crash of a film entitled 'A Touch of the Sun' in 1979... a film produced in Africa, and never found a distributor outside of it! A larger than life character both on and off the screen..who was always happy to acknowledge his 'Hammer film roots.... 'The Curse of the Werewolf in 1961 and 'These Are The Damned' in 1963. Happy Birthday Oliver!



ABOVE: OLIVER REED DURING SHOOTING OF 'PARANOIAC' (1963) WITH DIRECTOR, FREDDIE FRANCIS AND MAURICE DENHAM.


ABOVE : SHOOTING NIGHT CREATURES WITH PETER CUSHING AND YVONNE ROMAIN (1962) AND BELOW A PUBLICITY STILL FOR 'CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961)





PLEASE JOIN US in wishing actress BARBARA SHELLEY a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today . . Shelley was kept pretty busy by Hammer films back in the 1960's. Dracula Prince of Darkness, Rasputin, Camp on Blood Island, Quatermass and the Pit and The Gorgon with Peter Cushing, Shadow of the Cat too . ..well maybe. The jury is still out on that one. WHICH is your favorite Barbara Shelley film??






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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