hammer film sketches

madeline-smithdracula

A couple of colour sketches of Hammer films iconic actors Christopher Lee and Madeline Smith. Unusually I have used a rough cartridge paper instead of my preferred Bristol board for a little bit of surface textured used topic markers for tonal values.

Lee’s first film for Hammer was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), in which he played Frankenstein’s monster, with Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein.

Lee returned to the role of Dracula in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness in 1965. Lee’s performance is notable in that he has no lines, merely hissing his way through the film. Stories vary as to the reason for this: Lee states he refused to speak the poor dialogue he was given, but screenwriter Jimmy Sangster claims that the script did not contain any lines for the character. This film set the standard for most of the Dracula sequels in the sense that half the film’s running time was spent on telling the story of Dracula’s resurrection and the character’s appearances were brief. Lee has gone on record to state that he was virtually “blackmailed” by Hammer into starring in the subsequent films; unable or unwilling to pay him his going rate, they would resort to reminding him of how many people he would put out of work if he did not take part.

Smith first worked for Hammer Film Productions in Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), billed as ‘Maddy Smith’ and playing an East End prostitute. Among her other film appearances, she played opposite Ava Gardner in Tam-Lin, Peter Cushing in The Vampire Lovers and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Diana Dors in The Amazing Mr Blunden, Frankie Howerd in Up Pompeii and Up the Front, and Vincent Price in Theatre of Blood. In 1973 she played the Bond girl Miss Caruso in the post-titles sequence of Live and Let Die.

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