mercredi 22 avril 2009

Brides of Dracula / second part

Martita Hunt
and me

( lire la version française)
I shared my first important dialog scenes with Martita Hunt, who played Baroness Meinster. That remarkable actress, with an already impressive career on the stage and in the movies (1), sometimes was a little shy with me. That made her very endearing.

She and Terence Fisher had a very close understanding. Quite often, at tea time, one could see both of them enjoy a break with a few drops of sherry on top, and go on shooting a little more relaxed.

BRIDES OF DRACULA was an opportunity to make happy encounters. I got along wonderfully with David Peel, the vampire baron. His voice and perfect elocution were quite impressive.

David Peel and Peter Cushing were exemplary partners. They lived their part so fully that they gave you talent.

David was not a very famous movie actor, but he had a lot of experience on the stage. He also had done some radio. Broadcast plays, some of which were published on records (2).

He was an esthete.
He had a passion for architecture, fine arts and antiques. He very much admired the fantastic set pieces created by Bernard Robinson for the interior of the castle. (3)

David Peel was quite reserved a man, but we finally developed an enjoyable friendship.

Lunchtime at the commissary was an occasion for the whole film crew to relax from the pressures of shooting.

I was not last to resort to some childish pranks to amuse my co-workers. I particularly remember those English green peas, as big as ping-pong balls, that I had fun throwing in David’s plate to surprise him. Baron Meinster then left his aura of mystery at the door to take part in this pea battle !

Peter Cushing, as I’ve often said in interviews, was every bit a gentleman, faithful to his reputation. Very professional and very warm.

I especially recall my first scene of dialog with him, in the coach, after he find me unconscious in the woods. The conviction and strength of his impersonation made you want to give your very best.
At that moment, I thought : I found my character ! I am Marianne, and this man will save me !
(more to come)

The great Peter Cushing joking with me between two takes.

(1) Amongst her most famous movie parts, she was an impressive Miss Havisham in the David Lean classic adapted from Dickens : THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS. The French audience also remarked her in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s LES ESPIONS (THE SPIES).

(2) He is known for a phonographic version of Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece : THE PORTRAIT OF DORIAN GRAY.

(3) He retired from the movies shortly afterwards to become an antique dealer.

6 commentaires:

Unknown a dit…

Loved you in these filmee from Hammer! :) I have seen the 50 times!

Unknown a dit…

Loved your work in these Hammer Films! eso Brides of Dracula! :)

Unknown a dit…

Sorry to write so many comments--- I was having trouble with the language
thank you

Unknown a dit…

Dear Miss Monlaur,
My name is don Jump,and I am a fan of yours from America,in Texas.
i first saw you in ''Brides of Dracula'' when i was very young,about 9 0r so,since I was born 3 years after the film was made.
It was also the very first Hammer,Vampire,or Dracula film I ever saw,and it made a great impression on me,giving me a sense of wonder and flight of fancy that has stayed with me all my life,as well as letting me become a fan of horror and science-fiction in general.
I always liked the character of Marianne Danielle,and her bravery against the vampires with help from Peter Cushing as Van Helsing,and you made her alluring as well as innocent.
Today,actresses could take lessons from you about how to be sexy in a film,without using the crude sexuality that pervades the medium now;just as Christopher Le was able to seduce his ladies without being overtly crude .
however,my purpose in writing you was really to say that I wanted to thank you for so many hours of viewing pleasure,and bringing Transylvania and Baron Meinste into my living room so many times,in re-runs,then VHS,and now on DVD.
Any Hammer film collection is incomplete without a copy of ''Brides'',as any viewing of it is incomplete without an appreciation of those who mde it possible.
My utmost respects I submit to yourself Ms.Monlaur,Peter Cushing,David Peel,and all the cast and crew who made all the Hammer films possible.
I will always have a warm and loving place in my heart for you all..
Thank you again.

with Respect,as one of your staunchest fans---

Don J.Jump
3400 Valley View Road

Roderick Verden a dit…

Great Peter Cushing! Great Yvonne Monlaur! Great Film!

RoseOfTransylvania a dit…

I love this film! I love the "Transylvanian" atmosphere, perfected by Jack Asher´s lighting, and slowly but interestingly opening story. Cushing is great Van Helsing and Marianne is most beautiful Hammer heroine ever and good-hearted if very naieve. Evil but tragic Baroness added mature elegance as icy red herring. Too bad there was more adventures of Van Helsing and Marianne!