CLAS­SIC MO­MENTS

FIVE OF CHRISTO­PHER LEE’S MOST MEM­O­RABLE SCENES

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Christopher Lee -

GET ON UP

The Curse Of Franken­stein

Invit­ing his friend Paul into his lab, Franken­stein proudly shows off the re­sults of his latest brain surgery. When the Baron snaps his fin­gers, the Crea­ture awk­wardly rises and stag­gers for­ward, hands hang­ing limp, drag­ging its feet, un­com­pre­hend­ingly glanc­ing around. Then, on com­mand, it drops to the floor, like a trained dog. A mas­ter­piece of mime by Lee, it’s steeped in pathos.

VI­O­LENCE IN THE LI­BRARY

Drac­ula

Lee could show­case his hu­man­ity as Drac­ula, but this scene shows the flip side of the coin. As a vam­pire woman tries to feed on his new li­brar­ian, Drac­ula bursts through a door, eyes blaz­ing, fangs bared and bloody. Then he leaps over a ta­ble, hurls her to the floor and car­ries her off. Lee could do suave, but he could also pro­ject feral phys­i­cal power.

LORD­ING IT OVER

The Wicker Man

The first meet­ing be­tween Ed­ward Wood­ward’s Sergeant Howie and Lee’s Sum­merisle is a per­fect les­son in de­liv­er­ing ex­po­si­tion, but it’s the ver­bal fenc­ing that de­lights, as the amused pa­gan Lord flashes a full- beam smile at the god- fear­ing cop­per and de­scribes Je­sus as “son of a vir­gin, im­preg­nated, I be­lieve, by a ghost”. But­toned- up plod is hope­lessly out- matched.

HOS­TILE TAKEOVER

The Man With The Golden Gun

Play­ing an as­sas­sin whose weapon slots to­gether from a cig­a­rette case, lighter, pen and cuf­flink was a chal­lenge for Lee but he nailed it for this scene. As Scara­manga’s boss Hai Fat lec­tures him about interfering, the as­sas­sin ca­su­ally sits in his chair, as­sem­bles his gun, shoots him, and ex­its with a quip: “Mr Fat has just re­signed.” It’s ev­ery­thing you want from a Bond vil­lain.

TALK­ING THE ORC

The Lord Of The Rings

Lee’s defin­ing mo­ment as Saru­man comes in The Two Tow­ers. Af­ter as­sem­bling the big­gest bomb the world of men has ever seen, the white wiz­ard glides out onto his bal­cony, where an army of Orcs wait on his ev­ery word. The im­agery echoes Nurem­berg, but it’s Lee’s sonorous de­liv­ery that truly chills. “There will be no dawn for men,” he de­clares. And you be­lieve him.

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