Sir Christopher Lee, R.I.P.

It gives me real sadness to say that Christopher Lee died this week at 93. Although the obits will talk about the Rings trilogy and the gravitas he lent to the deplorable Star Wars prequels, I prefer to think of him for much of his work for Hammer Films, which he frankly disdained. I can understand his impatience with the subject -- for a long time it was the only thing he was ever asked about -- but some of the Terence Fisher films, particularly the early Draculas and most of all The Devil Rides Out, are really splendid and he is superb in them.

We were very, very amused:
Victoria Regina (Mollie Maureen), Mycroft and Sherlock (Christopher Lee and Robert Stephens)
in Wilder's masterpiece, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

I actually met Lee once at a press conference after a screening of the Bond farago, The Man With Golden Gun. I asked him about The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, of course the best film of his career and he brings a great deal to it, and he lit up like the Blackpool Illuminations. He clearly was sick of hearing about the Hammer films and bored with the Bond tour and, as he said to me, working with Wilder was one of the great thrills of his career.

At any rate, if what some believe is true, I'm sure Peter Cushing is working on a bang-up welcome for his old friend.