Christopher Lee is Count Dracula
Christopher Lee Stars as Dracula
Between 1958 and 1973, Christopher Lee appeared in seven movies as the iconic and dreaded vampire, Dracula.
As a youngster growing up in the UK, these Christopher Lee films were my introduction to the classic bloodsucker. While the character created by Hammer Films was somewhat far removed from the one that appeared in the novel written by Bram Stoker, Lee's interpretation of Dracula is nonetheless truly unforgettable.
The movies themselves have become cult classics over the years and remembered with affection (and ample helpings of fear) by those of a certain age.
For myself, although I never saw the films at the cinema, these Dracula movies became part of my staple television viewing late on Friday or Saturday nights some decades ago. I guess you could say: Fangs for the memory! (Perhaps not!)
Christopher Lee IS Dracula!
With all due respect to Bela Lugosi, and the many other actors who have played the role, for me Christopher Lee was and still is the scariest and most evil Dracula ever.
Lee was perfect casting. His imposing stature, growling voice and piercing eyes were the stuff of nightmares, provoking many a gasp or scream from both cinema and television audiences alike.
Lee's first outing as Dracula came in glorious Technicolor in 1958 and was the template for several more sequels over the years. Simply Dracula in the UK, the film was retitled The Horror of Dracula in the USA. Based on Bram Stoker's novel, there were several detail deviations, but this was inevitable for a movie of eighty minutes. One thing that was not changed was Dracula's talent for hypnotizing pretty young women with his eyes.
Full face fang shots of Dracula's penetrating, red bloodshot eyes would soon become a trademark of Christopher Lee's performances, sending a shudder down the spine of even the most experienced of horror watchers.
The Dracula Movies Starring Christopher Lee: Made By Hammer Films
The first sequel in the series, The Brides of Dracula, did not feature Christopher Lee, nor did the last film made in 1974, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. By this time, Lee was unhappy with the portrayal of his character, quitting the role for good.
- Dracula (1958)
- Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
- Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)
- Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)
- Scars of Dracula (1970)
- Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
- The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
A Video Tribute to Christopher Lee's Dracula
1966: Dracula, Prince of Darkness
The second film starring Christopher Lee is Dracula: Prince of Darkness, in which Lee does not utter a word, having later stated that the dialogue written for him was so dire that he refused to speak any of it.
1968 - 1970
Both Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) are direct sequels to their predecessors, continuing in a direct timeline.
Ingenious methods were created to bring the vampire back to life.
His first resurrection was brought about by the blood of an injured Monsignor touching Dracula's lips in his icy grave, while in the follow-up he returns when his dried blood is mixed with that of a dead man as a cocktail of rebirth.
1970 - 1972
This time our good ole vampire is brought back to life by a bat dropping blood on what was left of him from the previous film. Although a sequel, Scars of Dracula has no connection to its direct predecessor, as it was meant to be the beginning of a new series.
, however, is a completely separate film, bringing the Count into modern day England of the 1970s. This time Dracula breaths again following a black magic ceremony in a deserted and abandoned church. Dracula: AD 1972
1973: The Satanic Rites of Dracula
The American title for the last film in Christopher Lee's run as Dracula became Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride. Who knows why? It had absolutely nothing to do with the content of the movie.
This one continued on from the previous film, with many of the cast from that production included. Christopher Lee, however, would never appear again as the Count, citing the movie as one Hammer Dracula too far.
The Christopher Lee/Dracula Poll - What's Your Opinion?
Which is your favorite Christopher Lee Dracula movie?
In addition to the fictional title of Count in the Dracula movies, Lee became a real life Sir in 2009.
About Your Author
With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some legendary singers such as Dusty Springfield.
For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.
© 2011 Richard