Sunday, 4 November 2007


To mark the 50th anniversary of Hammer Horror, The British Film Institute have provided a restored print of the 1958 classic DRACULA, which is currently playing at selected UK cinemas. While none of the venues are within reasonable travelling distance for me, I'm heartened by this restoration. For many of us, Hammer films, and this film in particular, were a part of our formative movie-watching years and it's good to see the BFI giving this film the treatment it deserves. Early indications are that the film now boasts more vibrant colours and includes an extra 4 seconds of footage originally excised by our old 'friends' at the BBFC. We can all look forward to a DVD of this restoration in the very near future.
While we're on the subject of Dracula, the cloak worn by Christopher Lee in his first appearance as the count has been found at a London fancy dress store. It was discovered during an inventory and had been returned to the store because the film was not expected to be a hit. On one occasion, it was actually hired out for a childrens nativity play, and was used in other films as well as being hired out to members of the public. The cloak has been valued at more than £24,000 (around $50,000 US). An overcoat worn by Peter Cushing has also been discovered and is currently being valued.

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