Christopher Lee was an actor whose career transcends the limitations of a single life. Truly a first class professional, his iconic roles include Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Bond villain Scaramanga and Saruman. And that’s just the creme de la creme.
The (Finnish) National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) has set up a series in Orion, showcasing Lee’s enormous talent. The series covers a 20 year sequence of his career, from the beginning of 60’s until the end of 70’s.
Beats, gold and Sherlock’s nose
In the Christopher Lee series, there are a few movies that are of special interest to me. The series starts on Wednesday, 20th of January, with Beat Girl, a movie about late fifties youth-rebellion and the beatnik scene in London. I’ve read lots about the original beats in the US: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs and such, but I’m very much unfamiliar with London around that period.
The Man with the Golden Gun has a special meaning for me. As a six year old, in 1989, I got to travel with my family to the Thai Islands, where the film was shot, which was an unforgettable experience. Especially the Ko Tapu, the “spike” island is burned in my memory. Another memorable piece about the classic Bond-movie is the amazingly designed Golden Gun. The custom-built weapon was assembled from four seemingly innocuous everyday objects: a pen (the barrel), a Colibri Molectric 88 gas lighter (bullet chamber), a cigarette case (the handle) and a golden cufflink (the trigger).
Another interesting piece is the West German-French-Italian produced Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes. Lee is obviously playing Holmes himself, donned with a false nose, and something tells me there might be some pretty comedic elements to this movie for a contemporary viewer.
All the movies in the Christopher Lee series, in order of production year:
- Beat Girl (1960) – Tickets
- Taste of Fear (1961) – Tickets
- Ercole al centro della terra (Mario Bava, 1961) – Tickets
- Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes (1962) – Tickets
- Dracula Prince of Darkness (Terence Fisher, 1966) – Tickets
- Rasputin the Mad Monk (Don Sharp, 1965) – Tickets
- The Blood of Fu Manchu (Jesús Franco, 1968) – Tickets
- The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973) – Tickets
- The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester, 1973) – Tickets
- The Four Musketeers (Richard Lester, 1974) – Tickets
- The Man with the Golden Gun (Guy Hamilton, 1974) – Tickets
- To the Devil a Daughter (Peter Sykes, 1975) – Tickets
- 1941 (Steven Spielberg, 1979) – Tickets