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Peter Cushing appreciation thread

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Peter Cushing played one of my favorite characters in the entire saga, and in my opinion one of the greatest villains ever.  I also loved him in many hammer horror movies, especially "The Curse of Frankenstein".  Anyone's thoughts/opinions on Mr. Cushing are appreciated.

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Peter Cushing is my favourite actor. He was great as Governor Tarkin, obviously, but I didn't really notice how great an actor he was till I saw his interpretations of Frankenstein and Van Helsing.

He was truly dedicated - he could play any role, no matter how crappily it was written, and make it seem believable. And he just enjoyed acting in whatever people wanted to see him in. By all accounts, he was also a really nice man off-stage. A classic story goes that the one time he got angry with his best friend Christopher Lee was because the latter complained about the food in some film studio canteen!

Tarkin was definitely a fantastic villain. It took a couple of viewings for me to notice that here is a guy who'll kill off the population of an entire planet with no hesitations, seeminly taking delight in this, and dare to raise his voice against Darth Vader. I always thought it was a bit of a shame that he just blew up with the Death Star. Especially since it seems to me that Admiral Piett was intended as a substitute. Having Peter Cushing in the two other OT films would have been great.

That said, Cushing's delivery of his penultimate line is brilliant. "Evacuate?! In our moment of triumph?" That's just so delightfully arrogant!

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I love the story he told to Starlog magazine about how he found Tarkin's real motivation in the boots for the costume that didn't fit. If your feet are killing you all the time, others will suffer for it!

Cushing convinced George to mostly shoot him from above the knees, so he could order the deaths of innocent millions in his comfy slippers.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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The only movie I remember seeing him in outside of Star Wars was The Flesh and the Fiends, so I can't really give an informed opinion on his skills, but he seemed like a good actor from what I've seen.

STRANGE

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I love Peter Cushing's films as well. I'll watch any of the old Hammer horror films he was in- especially all the films he did with Christopher Lee.

But my favorite of his (aside from SW) is Madhouse where he co-starred with Vincent Price. LOVE that movie.

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I've honestly only seen him in Star Wars.  However, knowing he was a horror actor, he and Vince Price must have made a great duo!

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Interesting how Cushing, Lee, and Dave Prowse, who all did Hammer Horror films together, eventually ended up in Galaxy Far Far Away.

Now that a young Tarkin has appeared in the Clone Wars, I'm hoping he and Count Dooku somehow cross paths. ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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darth_ender said:


I've honestly only seen him in Star Wars.  However, knowing he was a horror actor, he and Vince Price must have made a great duo!


It's a really fun film- I'm a huge Price fan, too, so the two of them playing off each other just makes it doubly great.

I think it's still available on DVD, if you want to seek it out. I have the "Midnite Movies" edition from several years ago, that has Theatre Of Blood on the flip side (another fun Price film), but I think Madhouse was non-anamorphic letterboxed, unfortunately. I think it was oop for a while, then re-released with the last wave of Price re-releases, but I haven't seen that edition so I don't know if it's anamorphic now.

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Was browsing Video Savant's page, and found out Peter Cushing's very first film appearance, the 1939 version of "The Man in the Iron Mask" is coming out on DVD in February. Mark your calendars.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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FrederikOlsen said:

Cushing's delivery of his penultimate line is brilliant. "Evacuate?! In our moment of triumph?" That's just so delightfully arrogant!

I second this. Such an awesome moment; perfect delivery.

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Cushing was great at playing villains. Again, I have to highlight his Frankenstein films. Even the mediocre ones are redeemed by his performances.

There are quite a few clips on YouTube from these films, but do check out one of my favourite Cushing moments ever here.

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I saw your link on google and thought I'd drop you a line. There is a PETER CUSHING GROUP on FACEBOOK PAGES called The UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society. The club has was established way back in 1956...I've managed it since 1978 it has been on the net as petercushing.org for the last three years and FB for just under a year. Would be very happy to see any fans of Peter, Moff and Stars Wars in our ranks. Do drop by and give us a click, you'd be made most welcome

Great forum and site, by the way!

 

Marcus

theblackboxclub.blogspot.com

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Welcome aboard, Marcus!

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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Great idea!  Along with peter's performance is SW, I also enjoyed his parts in classic horror films.  I think he was simply stellar as Sherlock Holmes.  Ive the collected works from BBC.  His best friend Christopher Lee also portrayed Sherlock Holmes and I also have those movies on DVD as well.   Ive read that off camera, he's a total gentleman.  It would have been a treat to sit down with him and listen to his life's experiences.

"There's no cluster of midiclorians that controls my destiny!" -Han Solo, from a future revision of ANH

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Well, I remember when STAR WARS first was released and the run up to it's opening in the UK. For me, it was 'Great a new Cushing film!' I had seen a little of the publicity that Peter had sent on to the club, but it was a little confusing as to what the film actually was about. Peter too, I remember wasn't quite sure, but said it was a good experience. What a surprise we had when we saw it! The last few films that Peter had appeared in up to that time were so-so...but this was something quite different. I was hooked, but I had to wait a further another 14 years, until my son was born to have a valid excuse to REALLY indulge. And boy, did we!

Peter's Moff Tarkin has all the qualities that made his villains so great. The 'You may fire when ready...' is delivered so cool.

He is one very cool dude:)

 

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FrederikOlsen said:


There are quite a few clips on YouTube from these films, but do check out one of my favourite Cushing moments ever <a href="[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjU530ukMkU">here</a>.


And the monster is none other than David Prowse.

DE

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He had great delivery on every line of dialogue in Star Wars. Superb timing and vocal tone. Tarkin is actually a more chilling character than Vader.

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That's an interesting opinion....I wonder how many would agree with that?

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marcus brooks said:

That's an interesting opinion....I wonder how many would agree with that?

Vader was always the "cool" Bad Guy. Vader never frightened me as a child. I thought he was totally awesome, but not scary. The Emperor on the hand I found quite frightening (as a 6 year old).

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Vader was a lot more scary and menacing in ESB. I was much more scared of him there than in SW.

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i heard he was considered as Dr. Loomis in halloween.  I love donald pleasance in the role, but its interesting to think how cushing would have fared.

its too bad he was mostly before my time cuz he really is like those old-school, classic villains.  My dad is a big fan.

with so many genre movies nowadays getting big budgets and A-List directors and actors,  this era would have suited him perfectly. 

click here if lack of OOT got you down