Wednesday, 30 November 2016

ACTRESS VALERIE GAUNT DIES AGED 84


VALERIE GAUNT: Terribly sad to hear that actress VALERIE GAUNT (Reddington Valerie) has passed away, aged 84 after a short illness.


VALERIE'S short career on the big screen featured only in two films, and they were along side Peter Cushing. Just two roles, but they left a lasting impact, that would outlast many longer career! Her playing of Justine in 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (1957) and her performance in Hammer films,1958 'Dracula' hold a special place for lovers of fantasy cinema. Born Valerie Shelia Gaunt, on the 9th July 1932 in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England, following an interest in amateur theater, after leaving school embarked on a career as a model, before auditioning for Hammer and landing her first professional role in 1957. Gaunt married her husband Gerald Alfred Reddington on May 17th,1958.


Valerie will be buried today (November 30th ) following a service at St Helen's, Seaview, Isle of Wight, She is survived by her husband, Gerald and their four children.



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: THE GREAT SMELL OF TARKIN


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: You know the Princess Leia line.. 'Governor Tarkin, I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board!!....Well, NOT any more! Would beat socks and any ol aftershave for Christmas, I think?? This artwork comes from Mister Black Graphics and Design . . .

 

#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: Here a RARE pic... There is a Cushing Connection to everyone featured in it! Do you know what the one common connection is????


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY The last Dalek comes out of the workshop ready to it's appearance in Peter Cushing's second Dr Who film in1966, 'Dalek's Invasion Earth 2150AD'.

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ON LAST FRIDAY'S #FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY we had a 'Monster From Hell' theme and shared this gif of Baron Frankenstien (Peter Cushing) examining a new set of eyes from Hammer's Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (1974) This shot of Peter looking through a magnifying glass has been used in many of his films and was even spoofed in Top Secret (1984)


WE FOLLOWED ON with another gif featuring the Baron going to any lengths for his work in this well known and quite gruesome scene from Hammer's Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (1974) This scene was censored during the films original release, recently restored for the blu-ray.



OUR FINAL GIF from Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (1974)… featured the touching moment between Sarah (Madeline Smith) and The Monster (Dave Prowse) before he is destroyed by the inmates of the asylum. Again, this is another of the restored shots that were included in the blu ray release, that had been removed from the US theatrical release of the film back in 1974.


OUR NEW #HAMMERFILMSSATURDAY brought us some interesting posts and comments too! This often requested contact print photograph of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee (below) meeting the press during the making of THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA Hammer films.



SUNDAY'S #GETTHECUSHINGITSCUSHING we also marked the passing of John Carradine, who we sadly lost on this day in 1988. A highly prolific actor who career covered nearly all genres of film from horror to dramas to westerns. He co starred with Peter Cushing in Shockwaves (1977) and House of the Long Shadows (1983)

 
#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHING:This week, our Cushing Clip was a big fav among 'Cushing-Van-Helsing-Fans'.During its final years Hammer was trying different experiments with films in an attempt to find new angles on old stories, one of them was their final vampire film The Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires (1974) a co-production with the Shaw Brothers, was a hybrid of the Kung-Fu and Horror.Christopher Lee did not return as Dracula and instated was played by John Forbes Robinson. However Peter Cushing once again returned as Van Helsing and really gets involved in the action of the film. While the film was not a success at the time, it reputation has grown over the years as it features plenty of memorable scenes including this one, the final battle with The Seven Golden Vampires. What are some of your favourite moments from the film?


#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHING: Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) to the rescue as he stakes the final golden vampire from Hammer's 'The Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires' (1974)



ON MONDAY we remembered the life and career of actor ANDRE MORELL and his passing in 1978.Today we remember Andre Morell, who we sadly lost on this day in 1978. A celebrated actor whose career had more than a few teamings with Peter Cushing and the fantasy genre.In 1938, Morell joined the Old Vic theatre company, and appeared in several of their high-profile productions both at their home theatre and on tour throughout Britain and across the rest of the world, appearing with both Alec Guinness and John Gielgud.'


HE KICK STARTED his association with 'creepy cinema' with Cushing as Sherlock Holmes, and playing Arthur Conan Doyle's character Doctor John H. Watson, in Hammer Film Productions' version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). In 1960. He played Captain Edward Manningham in 'Cone of Silence' in 1960 also starring Cushing, Michael Craig and Bernard Lee. His wonderful portrayal as the 'bounder' Colonel Gore-Hepburn in Hammer's 'Cash on Demand' in 1961 makes very entertaining viewing, as he piles the pressure on Cushing's tormented bank manger, Harry Fordyce and 65 as Haumeid in Hammer's 'She'..with rather odd dubbing.

THERE WERE OTHER VERY GOOD HORRORS and thrillers too, Hammer's 'Plague of the Zombies' in 66 and the rather limp 'The Mummy's Shroud' again for Hammer in 1967, along with Michael Ripper's Longbarrow, one of the few times where supporting actors are more interesting then the central 'monster'. But, his stand out performance with Cushing, for me has to be in the BBC live televised production of George Orwell's '1984', as the chillingly good O'Brien. It's interesting that Morell played a very good Prof Quatermass in the BBC Quatermass tv series (1958-59) but when offered the role of the Prof in Hammer's 'Quatermass and the Pit' in 1967, turned it down.

MORELL ALWAYS LOOKED very at home in Hammer's early horrors, but inside personally felt a little more than embarrassed by the subject matter of some of the films, and often forbid his family to actually see them at the local cinema. By all accounts, a rather private man, but very generous on screen and made an outstanding contribution to some of Hammer and Cushing's best work.


FINALLY AS IT WAS ALSO #MONSTERMONDAY yesterday, Christopher Lee got the #MONSTERMONDAY treatment: Today our candidate for Monster Monday is Franklyn Marsh a snobbish art critic played by Christopher Lee from Amicus's Dr Terror's House Of Horrors (1965)


PAINTER ERIC LANDOR (Michael Gough) bears the brunt of one of Marsh's tirades, but gets even by humiliating the critic publicly, but when he takes it to far, Marsh gets revenge by running over Landor, casing him to lose his hand, unable to paint again he commits suicide. 

NOW THE QUESTION IS, Franklyn a true monster or just someone who got caught up in a situation that got out of control? You Decide  . . .


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SUNDAY STAR WARS NEWS: MORE HINTS AT CUSHING'S TARKIN IN ROGUE ONE


NEWS: A screen-shot taken from the most recent Star Wars #ROGUEONE trailer, and it looks like someone we might know! It's another piece and peep that hopefully confirms what we have been pushing since our first report back in AUGUST 22ND 2015. Still rumor and speculation is hinting at a return of Grand Moff Tarkin played Peter Cushing in a CGI recreation, in the soon to be released Star Wars spin off, 'ROGUE ONE'  next month.


John Knoll, the executive producer and visual effects supervisor for Rogue One, hinted at some revolutionary CGI use in a recent interview with EW. Knoll said: “I have to tread lightly there because some of the fun bits of innovation are stuff that I’ve been asked not to talk about yet. You know, we want to hold that back.”



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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL GOUGH



The 1958 Hammer films, Dracula , Phantom of the Opera, Dr Terrors House of Horrors and..KONGA! Today marks the birthday of Michael Gough! Gough had quite an interesting film career, some hits and some misses, but all entertaining. Two films which starred Peter Cushing and packed career on stage and screen. Do YOU have a favourite Michael Gough film? Happy Birthday Michael Gough, you are remembered!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: PICTUREGOER GARDENING AND HOUDINI!


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: Peter and Helen Cushing's Garden at Seaway Cottage Whitstable. This walled garden was situated behind Peter and Helen's cottage. It was built on a piece of waste ground that was owned by PC's neighbour. The Cushing's purchased it and transformed it into a beautiful English garden. All stone work, including the wall was built using Kentish Rag stone. The garden, it's layout planned by Helen included, tress, a waterfall, a garage with a thatched roof, roses, shrubs and plants... Pictured here: Helen and Peter Cushing doing a spot of pruning! and Peter with his gardener, Fred Searle.


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: A lovely wink to the fact that Peter Cushing wore carpet slippers during the shooting of his role as Tarkn in Star Wars in 1977 and a very cool portrait of Peter Cushing from artist Tom Hayburn


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: SUCH A TERRIBLE SHAME... Judi Moyens just got that ONE chance to shine. Being chased off onto the moors, the mud  . . . and then being murdered by the evil Sir Hugo Baskerville, she probably thought wasn't her finest moment, but I disagree... Judi's performance kicked off one the most popular cinema adaptions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and she also made it to the much coveted front cover of what was then, the UK's most popular cinema magazine, Picturegoer!





#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: A PAGE from Peter Cushing's contract from the 1976 film, THE GREAT HOUDINI, where Cushing played a guest star role as, ironically Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Of course, Cushing bore no resemblance to Doyle at all, but I can see what they were thinking . . .  


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: A great tie in to yesterday's #MONSTERMONDAY post, from 'Fear In The Night'  . . .  Here is a pretty cool publicity shot from that film, featuring Peter dinning in the 'school canteen'  . . . with a beautiful painting of Michael Carmichael looking over him. It's a very fine portrate, I often wonder what actually happened to it after the production wrapped?


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Monday, 21 November 2016

#MONSTERMONDAY: A KNOTTY PROBLEM!


#MONSTERMONDAY: 'I have always taken a special interest in knots, i find them not only excellent therapy but most rewarding in the study of character formation" . . . As a conversation opener, it takes some beating!! Peter Cushing's Michael Carmichael, is a strange one... and he keeps us, and Judy Geeson's character in Fear In The Night, on edge... he's one of my favourite Cushing roles. Again, Cushing does so much with just a few lines... BUT Carmichael...Victim or Monster? What do YOU think?



 FULL REVIEW AND PICS AT OUR FEATURE : HERE






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