Why Sir Christopher Lee's Dracula was as good as Stoker's.

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Darren Pearce's picture
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Most fans of Sir Christopher Lee,like myself,have probably wished that he had got the chance to play Dracula 'by the book'.How fantastic he would have been in an authentic Whitby setting,or terrorizing the crew of  the ship,or crawling along the castle wall!  But it's only now ,years after I studied the novel with The Open University, that I realize just how much Christopher Lee's Dracula breathed new life into the Count.His elegant ,yet feral,majestic, yet depraved Dracula literally blew away the cobwebs of parodies of Bela Lugosi  and helped scholars take Stoker a little more seriously.I no longer wish the novel could have been filmed and instead thank Mr Lee for inspiring my need to plunder the late victorian text  for it's enigmatic  imagery and subtext.The novel's undercurrent of often macabre 'baby' and 'parent' themes  that play out in Transylvania,Whitby,Hampstead ,and in the closing statement are among the subtextual obstacles for truly filming Dracula [the late 70's BBC tv version  'Count Dracula' with Louis Jordan came closest to the book].But  who would have cared to read it but for Christopher Lee's performances always transcending the movies?The action sequence before the opening titles of Dracula AD 1972  and the 1958 Dracula's climax are as memorable to me as anything Stoker wrote about the Count.In the novel the women shine most with Lucy's vampiric sexual liberation,Mina's goodness, and the three vampire women's evil.I would never forget any of the women of Hammer, but none upstaged the star.Sir Christopher Lee never quite played it a' la Stoker ,but gave Dracula greater immortality,and I dont think an actor can do better than that.


 


 

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Darren Pearce



Mirella Giurco's picture
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Re: Why Sir Christopher Lee's Dracula was as good as Stoker's.

Dear Darren,


I do completely agree with you, in what you say, and in fact, in that "extra" I was talking to you in my message, Christopher Lee, Himself, says that He refused to play the Dracula role again, but, that He would certainly have played it again if He had had the chance to play Dracula as it is portrayed in the Stoker's book.

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mirella giurco

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