THE HORROR JAR: Movies Starring Vincent Price and Christopher Lee; and Vincent Price and Peter Cushing
By Michael Arruda
Welcome to another edition of THE HORROR JAR, that column where we feature lists of odds and ends about horror movies.
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price all share birthdays in May: Cushing on May 26 and both Lee and Price on May 27. Last year to celebrate this occasion we looked at movies in which all three stars, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price appeared together. It was a brief list, since it only happened twice.
This year to honor their birthdays we’ll look at movies starring Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, and movies starring Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. This list is brief as well.
Here we go:
Movies starring Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, without Peter Cushing:
Believe it or not, there’s just one.
Directed by Gordon Hessler
Screenplay by Lawrence Huntington, with additional dialogue by Christopher Wicking, based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe
Julian: Vincent Price
Dr. Newhartt: Christopher Lee
Edward: Alister Williamson
Running Time: 91 minutes
Lurid tale about premature burial, voodoo, and revenge in this story about a vengeful brother who goes around terrorizing the countryside while wearing a red hood. Vincent Price plays the lead, the man who tries to control his lunatic brother but constantly does more harm than good. Christopher Lee is solid in a supporting role. This film would have been so much better had Lee been cast as the evil brother Edward. Still, as it stands, this flick is a heck of a lot of fun.
Movies starring Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, without Christopher Lee:
PHIBES RISES AGAIN (1972)
Screenplay by Robert Fuest and Robert Blees
Dr. Phibes: Vincent Price
Captain: Peter Cushing
Darrus Biederbeck: Robert Quarry
Running Time: 89 minutes
Sequel to THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971) isn’t as good as the first one but comes darned close! Barely counts as a Price/Cushing pairing, since Cushing’s role is only a cameo. Blink and you miss him. Once again, Price steals the show as Dr. Phibes. Robert Quarry adds fine support as Phibes’ rival.
Screenplay by Ken Levison and Greg Morrison, based on the novel by Devilday by Angus Hall
Paul Toombes: Vincent Price
Herbert Flay: Peter Cushing
Oliver Quayle: Robert Quarry
Running time: 89 minutes
Price, Cushing, and Quarry are reunited in this effective yet flawed thriller about a horror actor (Price) making a comeback in the midst of a series of murders which seem to implicate his famed alter ego from horror movies of old, Dr. Death. An odd movie. At times, it’s really good, but at others it’s aimless and without direction. The best part is finally, at long last, both Price and Cushing have sizable roles, Price as the haunted horror film star, and Cushing as his friend and screenwriter. They get to spend considerable screen time together.
And just for fun, here’s a reprint of last year’s list of the two films which starred all three, Price, Lee, and Cushing:
SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN (1970)
An Amicus Production
Directed by Gordon Hessler
Screenplay by Christopher Wicking, based on the novel The Disoriented Man by Peter Saxon
Dr. Browning: Vincent Price
Fremont: Christopher Lee
Benedek: Peter Cushing
Running Time: 95 minutes
HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS (1983)
Directed by Peter Walker
Screenplay by Michael Armstrong based on the novel Seven Keys to Baldpate by Earl Derr Biggers
Lionel Grisbane: Vincent Price
Corrigan: Christopher Lee
Sebastian Grisbane: Peter Cushing
Lord Grisbane: John Carradine
Running Time: 100 minutes
Sadly, neither of these movies is very good. But you can’t beat the cast!
Thanks for reading!