Photo credit: Hammer Films
Today in horror movie history: Dracula makes his debut in Hammer Horror films.
"Dracula" (1958) was later titled "Horror of Dracula" to avoid confusing it with Universal's "Dracula" (1931). It was released on May 8, 1958. This was the first time actor Christopher Lee portrayed the Prince of Darkness set against Peter Cushing's Van Helsing.
"Well, people have this impression that I don't want anything to do with the Hammer period, that I don't even want to admit that I ever played Dracula," said actor Christopher Lee in an interview with Total Film. "Totally wrong. In 1956, the success of the Hammer films kick-started my career."
"That immediately gave me a name and a face to go with it," Lee continued. "I will always be grateful to Hammer for that. But it's all so long ago it barely seems relevant any more. That's what I said."
Hammer Horror made a total of nine films in their Dracula series, and the cape worn by Lee in the movie has an estimated value of $50,000. Also, Lee does not appear in the sequel "The Brides of Dracula" (1960), and the Count is only mentioned twice in the whole film.
Here is a list of all nine Hammer Dracula films:
Horror of Dracula (1958)
The Brides of Dracula (1960)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Scars of Dracula (1970)
Dracula AD 1972 (1972)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
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