Here is our regular readers’ opinions of the top eleven best Peter Cushing films. This issue’s picks were done by Lee Sargeant. Lee has started up a new Hammer Films Society which I highly recommend. The site can be found at the web address http://www.btinternet.com/~ljsarg. Well, here we go!
Trying to pick 11 of `Sir`s` greatest films is a difficult task as he gave such fine performances in every film he made. I have decided to try and pick some of my favourites - Lee
1) CAPTAIN CLEGG: Their Oath Terror! Their Cry Blood! Throughout Peter plays the sneaker smuggler and clergy Dr. Bliss alongside great stars such as Michael Ripper and Oliver Reed. Such a sad ending when it is revealed that he is Captain Clegg and dies alongside the mulatto he once left to die.
2) DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS: Being a fan of Dr. Who, who better to play the role than our dear Sir. One of his finest non-horror films as the great doctor who saves us yet again from those nasty Daleks.
3) POETIC JUSTICE (EXCERPT FROM TALES FROM THE CRYPT): The first time I saw Peter as Grimsdyke he reminded me of what he was like in real life. One of the kindest men alive. A most moving piece of film work which brought almost tears to my eyes when he received those nasty valentines cards and the way he reacted. What a moment when he came back for his revenge!
4) THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN : Immediately when I was asked to write this, the great Baron sprung to mind. This must be everyone`s top eleven as it was what gave Peter his first time to shine for Hammer Films. Being the first film I saw of Sir and Hammer it will always remain one of my favourites.
5) CASH ON DEMAND: A different sort of film which most probably made Sir look to be the villain in many cases in the way Andre Morell made him feel guilty after his phone call to his wife and child. Hammer’s mix of suspense and drama is certain to keep you on the edge of your seat for 66 minutes!
6) FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE: Another brilliant Amicus anthology, but this time as the creepy antiques shop owner who has some very unusual stock! What an ending when Peter spoke his memorable line, "Oh, and a big novelty surprise goes with every purchase. Do come in… any time… I`m always open." A surprise did indeed go with every purchase.
7) FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED: After the shock of the Baron lopping the guys head off in the first few minutes, the film has you fixed. I think Peter gives one of his most memorable performances in this Hammer shocker not to mention, when co-star Veronica Carlson does a spot of gardening!
8) DRACULA: This has to be one of Sir`s best films. His acting throughout is outstanding and unforgettable right until he destroys Christopher Lee for the first and many times to come. I could watch this week upon week and never get bored. A true classic!
9) THE MASKS OF DEATH: It has to be said that Peter was excellent as Sherlock Holmes. This is just one example of his wit and understanding as the brilliant detective. Cast alongside Sir John Mills as the doctor they together solve the rather unusual case.
10) THE SILENT SCREAM (HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR TV SERIES): Mr. Blueck the nice friendly pet shop owner? An excellent episode in which Peter plays the pet shop owner with his collection of wild animals. An unusual twist at the end when Peter is locked up in a cage where no-one can hear him scream.
11) THE SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST: Finally one of my all time favourites. The Sheriff of Nottingham is played by Peter, a ruthless man who will do anything to get what he wants. Although Peter is killed before the ending, when on screen he always provides a good sword or bow & arrow fight which will keep you entertained!
© 2000 Lee Sargeant