Monday, July 21, 2008

Hammer Time

Did you know that Peter Cushing played Darcy in a 1952 BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice? Well now you do.

As a teenager I was a big fan of Peter Cushing, whom I had seen in various Hammer flicks and of course in Star Wars as Grand Moff Tarkin, who really was so much grander than all those other, regular, moffs. I was probably the only teenager in Australia who owned a copy of Cushing's charming, sad autobiography. I say sad because Cushing lived out the final decades of his life mourning his wife Helen, who died in 1971, and from what I can remember the autobiography is permeated by a strong sense of loss. I don't think Cushing mentions this in his book, but apparently on the night his wife died he tried to commit suicide using the somewhat unorthodox method of running up and down a flight of stairs in order to bring on a heart attack. It didn't work.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to direct your attention to Shadowplay's excellent series of posts on Hammer's Frankenstein movies, in which Cushing played the eponymous Baron.

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