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Christopher Lee Stars as Dracula
Between 1958 and 1973, Christopher Lee appeared in seven movies as the iconic and dreaded vampire, Dracula.
As a youngster growing up in the UK, these Christopher Lee films were my introduction to the classic bloodsucker. While the character created by Hammer Films was somewhat far removed from the one that appeared in the novel written by Bram Stoker, Lee's interpretation of Dracula is nonetheless truly unforgettable.
The movies themselves have become cult classics over the years and remembered with affection (and ample helpings of fear) by those of a certain age.
For myself, although I never saw the films at the cinema, these Dracula movies became part of my staple television viewing late on Friday or Saturday nights some decades ago. I guess you could say: Fangs for the memory! (Perhaps not!)
Christopher Lee IS Dracula!
With all due respect to Bela Lugosi, and the many other actors who have played the role, for me Christopher Lee was and still is the scariest and most evil Dracula ever.
Lee was perfect casting. His imposing stature, growling voice and piercing eyes were the stuff of nightmares, provoking many a gasp or scream from both cinema and television audiences alike.
Lee's first outing as Dracula came in glorious Technicolor in 1958 and was the template for several more sequels over the years. Simply Dracula in the UK, the film was retitled The Horror of Dracula in the USA. Based on Bram Stoker's novel, there were several detail deviations, but this was inevitable for a movie of eighty minutes. One thing that was not changed was Dracula's talent for hypnotizing pretty young women with his eyes.
Full face fang shots of Dracula's penetrating, red bloodshot eyes would soon become a trademark of Christopher Lee's performances, sending a shudder down the spine of even the most experienced of horror watchers.
The Dracula Movies Starring Christopher Lee: Made By Hammer Films
The first sequel in the series, The Brides of Dracula, did not feature Christopher Lee, nor did the last film made in 1974, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. By this time, Lee was unhappy with the portrayal of his character, quitting the role for good.
- Dracula (1958)
- Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
- Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)
- Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)
- Scars of Dracula (1970)
- Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
- The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
A Video Tribute to Christopher Lee's Dracula
1966: Dracula, Prince of Darkness
The second film starring Christopher Lee is Dracula: Prince of Darkness, in which Lee does not utter a word, having later stated that the dialogue written for him was so dire that he refused to speak any of it.
1968 - 1970
Both Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) are direct sequels to their predecessors, continuing in a direct timeline.
Ingenious methods were created to bring the vampire back to life.
His first resurrection was brought about by the blood of an injured Monsignor touching Dracula's lips in his icy grave, while in the follow-up he returns when his dried blood is mixed with that of a dead man as a cocktail of rebirth.
1970 - 1972
This time our good ole vampire is brought back to life by a bat dropping blood on what was left of him from the previous film. Although a sequel, Scars of Dracula has no connection to its direct predecessor, as it was meant to be the beginning of a new series.
Dracula: AD 1972, however, is a completely separate film, bringing the Count into modern day England of the 1970s. This time Dracula breaths again following a black magic ceremony in a deserted and abandoned church.
1973: The Satanic Rites of Dracula
The American title for the last film in Christopher Lee's run as Dracula became Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride. Who knows why? It had absolutely nothing to do with the content of the movie.
This one continued on from the previous film, with many of the cast from that production included. Christopher Lee, however, would never appear again as the Count, citing the movie as one Hammer Dracula too far.
The Christopher Lee/Dracula Poll - What's Your Opinion?
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© 2011 Richard
Is Dracula Your Favorite Horror Character?
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on June 11, 2015:
Always sad to see an accomplished, well-liked actor pass away.
queenblanche1st on June 12, 2014:
Christopher Lee and Frank Langella are tied for first place the way I see it.
Danny Gibson from Northampton on February 21, 2014:
I hated this man when I was a kid. You're correct... Friday night was Hammer House of Horror night, and the one and only night I was allowed to stay up late. No internet/video games in those days. If I wanted to stay up (which of course I always did) then I'd have to sit on the sofa, be seen and not heard, and watch on TV whatever my mother watched, which was always these damn Drac movies :-(
Peter Cushing, by the way, a grossly underrated actor, in my opinion.
anonymous on June 07, 2013:
Yes,Dracula is my favorite, Christoper Lee is my favorite horror actor,I am 61 years old have seen all of MR.Lee"s Dracula movies and his other films,To me Mr.Lee is the best,and will always be.Truly a great and wonderful man!.
anonymous on June 07, 2013:
Yes Dracula is my favorite character,and has been most of my life. As i am 61 years old and have seen,all Christoper Lee"s Dracula movies and his other films,To me MR.Lee is the best,and will always be my favorite Horror actor .Truly a Great Man!
halloweenfuntime on October 26, 2012:
He was the Don of Vampires RIP
Kim from Yonkers, NY on October 14, 2012:
Dracula is my fave Vampire.. & vampires are my fave 'horror' character.
I've added this to my upcoming (being Published this saturday on the 20th) Dracula Day lens
GeoDitton on October 10, 2012:
Love Christopher Lee as Dracula, it's one of those British cultural things growing up, where by even before I'd seen any of his films, I knew he WAS Dracula. Just like despite growing in the wilderness years of Dr Who, and being 14 before it returned to TV I still always somehow knew about Daleks and the TARDIS despite never seeing the show and my parents not being fans. It's just somehow there and imprinted on the psyche.
Christopher Lee also made a Dracula cameo in the Peter Sellers/Ringo Starr comedy 'The Magic Christian', probably my favourite scene of the whole movie, it gets me every time, brilliant.
anonymous on August 31, 2012:
Christopher Lee was great as Dracula - vulnerable and scary and the same time.
Fantastic Voyages from Texas on August 30, 2012:
It has been a long time since I've seen any of these Dracula movies, but I remembered they terrified me as a child!
anonymous on July 25, 2012:
A very enjoyable look at the Hammer Dracula series. Christopher Lee is a screen legend and a true gentleman (I had the honour of meeting him in 2003).I was also a fan of the Hammer Frankenstein series too and have just written a lens taking a look at Curse of Frankenstein.
Michey LM on May 18, 2012:
Thank you for this lens, I'll feature in my lens "Romanian Heritage Middle Age"... as one of the pieces is Bran Castle...
FreakyV from Canada on April 07, 2012:
Not my favorite but definitely in the top five. Great lens!
Lemming13 on February 25, 2012:
I love Dracula, though I think my favourite character in horror is Herbert West the re-animator (I just love his optimism). Great lens, blessing it.
Jules Corriere from Jonesborough TN on January 09, 2012:
Happy New Year! Congratulations on your lens being chosen as a top 100 Community Favorite for 2011! Christopher Lee is scary, but I think the old Bela Lugosi film scared me the most.
Malu Couttolenc on January 04, 2012:
Christopher Lee's Dracula movies are the ones that scared me the most, he is the best Dracula!
Auntiekatkat on December 31, 2011:
Congrats on being nominated for Community Favorite Lenses of 2011. A wonderful lens. Fortunately we both share one thing it was easier to vote than for most as mine was my "why-I-am a- vegetarian was nominated as well. A proud moment for all of us. Good luck in the voting.
JoyfulReviewer on December 31, 2011:
I'm not into horror movies, but Christopher Lee as Dracula seems to be a real classic. Congratulations on being one of the final 100 favorite Squidoo lenses of 2011!
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on December 30, 2011:
I was always afraid to Dracula but enjoyed reading about Christopher Lee. Congrats on being in the top 100 Community Favorites
dvdmoviereviews on December 07, 2011:
the only dracula
Lisa Marie Gabriel from United Kingdom on November 27, 2011:
Still loving Christopher lee as Dracula :) Returned to bless this lens now I am allowed to roam :D
C A Chancellor from US/TN on November 19, 2011:
Wow -- I had no idea Christopher Lee played Dracula! I only know him from the Lord of the Rings films. I'm not sure I have a favorite Dracula... I love the character but I can't think of any films where I was really satisfied with him. Maybe I should watch the ones with Christopher Lee? :-)
christopherwell on October 14, 2011:
Great lens! I don't know if Dracula is my "favorite," but all the core Universal (and, then, Hammer) monsters are great.
DamicoLand on September 30, 2011:
This lens is toooo cool. I agree with andreaberrios. Christopher Lee was the best Dracula.
andreaberrios lm on September 28, 2011:
Excellent lens.. Christopher Lee was the best Dracula!! thanks for sharing.
yayas on September 25, 2011:
No; sorry, but I really prefer the milder horror of Donald Duck. However, if I were into horror movies, I do think Dracula would be first choice. I did enjoy reading about Dracula, though. Definitely worth the award of that awesome Purple Star. Congratulations!
grannysage on September 22, 2011:
Christopher Lee is scary in almost every role he has. I see he is going to be in Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp. That will be fantastic to watch. Congrats on the purple star, well deserved.
Paul from Liverpool, England on September 22, 2011:
Nicely done, I'm a great fan of Hammer and its Dracula set.
Carolan Ross from St. Louis, MO on September 22, 2011:
You really sunk your teeth into this Christopher Lee Dracula gig, well DONE!
AlleyCatLane on September 22, 2011:
Congratulations on the Purple Star.
jlshernandez on September 22, 2011:
I always liked Christopher Lee and was always amused by his antics.
termit_bronx on September 22, 2011:
I've already visited this lens, but came back to congrats you on Purple Star award. Great job!
plrsource on September 16, 2011:
yayas on September 10, 2011:
Noooooo; I'm afraid that I'm just not the scary movie type. Loved the work you obviously put into this page, though.
lasertek lm on September 07, 2011:
Dracula is one of my favorites.
anonymous on September 07, 2011:
Best Dracula ever!
KimGiancaterino on September 07, 2011:
I like Bela Lugosi too, but Christopher Lee was exceptional as the Count. Nicely done!
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on September 06, 2011:
Christopher Lee IS Dracula, I will never be convinced otherwise
whiteskyline lm on September 06, 2011:
I have yet to see any of these. I am going to go out on a limb here and presume that this is the measuring stick in which all the latter Dracula movies are measured, for to me, I measure Dracula movies against the latter versions, so I suppose I have got it a bit backwards hehe. You gotta love the classics though, I'm sure I would enjoy these :)
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on September 06, 2011:
I couldn't vote in the Christopher Lee/Dracula Poll because I have NO favorite Dracula movies. Afraid I can't watch 'horror' movies.... oooo, scary! But this is a really interesting review of Christopher Lee's Dracula career, including the fact that he quit the role for good when he became unhappy with the way his 'character' was being portrayed.
Looks like 'Dracula' will never completely die -- so many ways have been found to bring him "back to life!" Let me know when the next 'rebirth' occurs so I can go 'hide'! :}. Gives me shivers!
Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on September 06, 2011:
He is one scary looking dracula!
clouda9 lm on September 06, 2011:
Love Dracula movies...Christopher Lee is the best!