Film Veteran Lee Drives Stake Through Dracula Role

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"Someone asked me yesterday if Dracula met Saruman and there was a fight who would win. I just looked at this man. What an idiotic thing to say. I mean, really, it was half-witted." Christopher Lee

LONDON (Reuters)



Domenick Fraumeni's picture
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I believe the writer to whom Mr. Lee referred to was none other then The New York Times' Elvis Michell.

Mr. Mitchell is known for puling such stunts and is, in my opnion, not the most knowledgeable of reviewers.

"Sigh". Over 30 years later, over 250 credits, major parts in 2 of the biggest film projects ever, and even a C.B.E. And yet still, this one horse must be beaten time and time again.



Frederick Bergstrom's picture
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Christopher Lee is so much more that a one trick pony and all his true fans will always know this.Hes done so much since Dracula ...when was the last 73 , 74??. Its not like he hasnt done anything since. Oh well like I said the true fans of his know the score everyone here knows how busy hes been and what hes done...thats all that matters...not critics who still live in the past



cutshaw's picture
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Such a pity that Mr. Lee has to put up with this kind of inane stupidity, but I expect he's (almost) used to it after all these years in the biz!

By the way, just got back from THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS. All I can say is that it was everything I hoped for! And that's saying a great deal. And of course Mr. Lee is wonderful in it!!



Carmen and Greg's picture
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This is what irks me.

I wonder if these critics ever EVER do their homework. It would be nice if just once before opening their mouths, they might actually know something of the background of the individual with whom they are speaking, know about any of his projects in the last 30 years or so.

CRITICS: Do your research and know your subject first! Then MAYBE moronic comments like that one would never be heard. It was a juvenile remark in any case, unworthy of the moment.

Carmen



John Farrell's picture
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Domenick wrote:

"I believe the writer to whom Mr. Lee referred to was none other then The New York Times' Elvis Michell.

Mr. Mitchell is known for pulling such stunts and is, in my opinion, not the most knowledgeable of reviewers."

Is this true?!! Mr. Mitchell was the NY Times critic who wrote a rather snotty review of my first digital feature--Richard the Second, which screened this past summer in New York. For that reason I'm pre-disposed to think rather dimly of his credentials--but this just takes the cake! Half-witted indeed.

Best,

John F

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John Farrell's picture
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I just went to the Times web site, and sure enough, Mitchell's review seems more intent on trying to impress readers with his sense of hip than actually reviewing the film. His snide comment on Mr. Lee is repeated: " Sir Ian's good-humored courtliness goes a long way, especially in his scenes with his former mentor-turned-nemesis, the wizard Saruman; he's played by Christopher Lee as if he were still Dracula rising from the grave. "

Honestly, the laziness behind this kind of writing is astonishing. Mr. Mitchell has shown himself ill-prepared before when it comes to getting the facts straight on the movies he is privileged to review for the US paper of record. One would expect more.

Too bad he doesn't have the integrity and grit to make his email address available.

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Joe Skinnell's picture
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Just read that review? myself. Considering most critics are failed artists in their own right this sort of crappola doesn't surprise me. If I judged whether or not to see a movie by what the critics write I probably would have seen 3 or 4 films in the last 35 years. My good friend Charles sent me a personnal review before posting his more indepth one here at the sight. He closed it by saying "Don't miss this one on the big screen!" I won't. In fact, I'm going to see it at Friday's matinee at the IMAX down the street. To quote a line from one of the few movies that a critic and I did agree on, "I'll be back!" :1devil:



Pam Stockbarger's picture
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Ah, yes, well, it's been that way for decades; I read in the Daily News and LA Times yesterday "horror veteran" and "Dracula turned wizard". Duh....my Mom always says "consider the source", ha. WE know who Christopher is, what he's capable of, what he's accomplished. I don't need some ignorant critic to tell me what films to see, much less a "journalist" telling me what an actor has done...I can take the time to do the research myself, and see the film and decide for myself. If I had my way, journalists would be boiled in their own Christmas pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through their hearts...

bah, humbug...

Pam

:frostyang



Joakim Lundberg's picture
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I saw "The Fellowship of the Ring" yesterday. All I want so is:
Saruman the White is A THOUSAND times BETTER than the count. The count can go to sleep..forever.



Susan Pitcher's picture
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A sad example of how things work in the news media. Not only do they flog dead horses, but they have a line of people waiting to get a stroke in (and, I'm sure, somebody charging admission).

How many poor actors have gone through the same torture of having past roles brought up as if those roles were the alpha and omega of their career. The press should know better, but of course they go for what will sell their multi-page hulk of inky pulp.

As fans, we can admire and wax poetic and even get a little silly about our devotion at times, but we still have a degree of respect and dignity. That so-called reviewer should consider coming out of the fallout shelter and looking at what's going on in 2001. That comment was juvenile, in my opinion.



Wendy Wood's picture
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It seems as if the critics and those conducting interviews and writing articles will never give it up. This all has to be very frustrating for Mr. Lee. It is amazing that he keeps his cool as much as he does when presented with this same "flashback to the distant career past" all the time.



dvxagent1's picture
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im going to see the flim tomorrow, i know im going to be blown away, by a another top notch performance, by legendary actor christopher lee!!



dvxagent1's picture
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well, i have to say, i really enjoyed the movie! mr. lee was simply terrific. i really enjoyed the movie, everyone was great, ian and chris worked very well together!. looking forward to seeing the second one.!



Old Soul's picture
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Hmmm,

It does seem like Dracula is your Albatross, doesn



Gena's picture
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Well Said, Old Soul, Well Said
Gena



Alfonso Casal's picture
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Here we go again. The "Draculators" would be annoying, if it weren't for the fact that they're -- above all else -- just plain boring. Besides, everyone knows the really important question is what would happen if Fu Manchu got in a fight with Scaramanga.

I can see it now, Scaramanga calls on Bailey the gunsmith to design a new weapon for him. . . Meanwhile the Nazi U-Boat commander and Skull join up with Fu. . . and then. . .:1devil:



Admin's picture
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It was not Elvis Michell from The New York Times who asked the question, it was a Danish reporter called Anders Lange.

The translated article can be seen in the most recent news.



Domenick Fraumeni's picture
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Oops. My apologies, then. Based on what I read I was under the impression that Mr. Mitchell asked the question. :uhoh:



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Domenick,

Don't worry. I thought it was someone closer to home, good thing I didn't say anything.

I was there staring through a glass window while Mr Lee was being interviewed on the day of the Premiere by, who is perhaps, the most hated and idiotic person on British TV. Well nearly, because there is an American turned snob, called Lloyd Grossman who is difficult to beat. But saying that, Mr Grossman is intelligent as opposed to the one I'm talking about and he doesn't do interviews. This is not slander because there are polls that prove this to be a fact.

I don't think Mr Lee ever saw one of his programs before, otherwise I am sure he would have refused to speak with him.

The interview did not last very long. After this man opened his mouth, I could see Mr Lee had a big grin on his face. That grin usually denotes he is talking with what you Americans call "A smart ass". While Mr Lee was talking, he kept that gin throughout while the interviewer had the expression of someone who wanted the slaughter to end. This scene could be compared to the sarcasm used by Lord Summerisle while making fun of Howie, only he had Jesus to defend him.

Needless to say that I was not surprise that when the program was broadcast, Mr Lee's interview did not feature. I also noticed that the interviews conducted after Mr Lee's had a sudden change in style. More like, I need to visit the bathroom sort of style and certainly no more laughing and jokes.

Won't mention his name but "Lord of the Rings" has two "R" too many and Dracula would be a word he could simply just not pronounce.



John Farrell's picture
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Juan,
Thanks for the details. Of course, NYTImes Mitchell still stands as an example of lazy writing. In his review, he can't even get the cast correct (I mean how much work does it take to read the press kit?). He refers to Legolas as being played by Armando Bloom--it was Orlando Bloom. And then the tired conceit of reading rock groups hair styles into the cast is just puerile. Obviously critics like Mitchell--and no doubt the "smart ass" who interviewed Mr. Lee are more interested in how they come across in print than in the actual subject matter they are being paid to write.

Best,

John F
(and happy new year to all!)

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Colin Bushby's picture
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Lol Juan,
I was wondewing where the interview was with Mr. Lee, he interviewed just about everybody else, and I stayed up just to catch the interview...
...and don't forget who he replaced.

Cheers
Colin:1devil:



Maria Silbermann's picture
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How exactly does our favorite actor become less "Christopher Lee-ish"? Some of the same inborn characteristics that made Lee- the-Younger great have only become more wonderful in Lee-the-Elder! By the way, I loved Saruman's hair. Another example of how evil can appear to be beautiful. They just don't know what to make of him, so they compare his new performances to his previous work. A backwards compliment? Saruman gets excited when his evil creatures spring to life. Should we compare him to Frankenstein next?
MariaS



Alfonso Casal's picture
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Quote:

Saruman gets excited when his evil creatures spring to life. Should we compare him to Frankenstein next?  
MariaS

Nope, they'll start going on and on about Dr. Catheter.Wink

guest


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Have to agree with old soul, I was hooked by Taste the Blood of Dracula (of all films) at the tender age of 6, but have since moved on to many other performances. I agree it is a bit of an albatross but it's only the same as Alan Rickman gets with the sheriff of nottingham, or Sean Connery with James Bond....



Amrah's picture
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Being somewhat of a journalist myself, I find these types of discussions pretty darn amusing. But that's of course because I'm coming from the background of someone who is a fan first and a journalist second. So I agree with all of you on how irritating it is to see terrible interviews and write ups of our favorite performers.

The worst thing I have to deal with when I sit down to interview someone is the prejudice a lot of artists have against journalists because they meet so many who not only can't write to save their lives, but also don't do their homework or try to come up with even remotely interesting questions. It really disturbs me when I see the same questions asked of someone over and over and over again in every publication and broadcast. It's maddening when I hear of these kind of interviews such as the one Mr. Lee went through because I know anyone one of us is way more qualified than this joker. It does make you appreciate people who do actually know how to conduct an interview, but unfortunately actual journalistic skills are not part of the hiring process of most publications and broadcasters who would prefer gossip to thought provoking content.

On the other side of the coin though, I have to come to most journalist's defense on one subject, that of editing. In my experience whatever ends up printed in publication of question is about as close to what the writer turned in as a chicken is to a Chicken McNugget. Its really scary when you think about it because it's hard to point the finger at bad editing when your name is stuck to the piece. For example, I once had an editor change the name of a Mexican wrestler I interviewed because they thought the Spanish moniker was a typo. You can not imagine my shame! The horror! Because now, it appeared to the general public who read my magazine that I didn't even know the name of the guy I just interviewed! And that's just one, in a long, depressing series of editing fiascos I could rely to you.

So, as fans, its up to us to try to read between the lines of bad editing and bad journalism to learn about our favorite subjects. Just think how difficult it would be to keep track of Mr. Lee's career if he didn't have this wonderful website to tell us what was BS and what is true...

www.christopherleeweb.com

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