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Card #49

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 Peter-Spotting card #49

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a Hammer Film production
directed by Don Sharp
starring Christopher Lee, Barbara
Shelley, Richard Pasco, Francis


The story of Russia's power-crazed
monk is given a thrilling rewrite by
Hammer Films, with Christopher Lee
in the titular role...

This is a big widescreen movie,
handsomely staged, with a hypnotic
performance from Lee.

Hammer play up the legend, so
most of the story is bunk. We don't
care, though, because the end
product is quite thrilling and delirious.

The film was shot at Bray Studios,
back-to-back with Dracula, Prince
of Darkness
. Indeed, production began
on the weekend proceeding that film
and it utilised the same sets and
many of the actors!

The crew, also, were retained. This
includes Peter, who was again
employed as Hammer's go-to
fight arranger.

Peter spotted!

Peter also pops up in costume,
39mins in to the film.

in what proves to be a pivotal scene.

"Come on, slowcoach!"

Young Alexei is playing on the frozen
river under the guidance of Sonia
(Barbara Shelley). And Peter is
in attendance on his carriage.

Alexei gambols around the
bridge and onto the stonework
at the front of the palace.
He calls for Vanessa (Suzan
Farmer), and then for his
ice skates.

All the while,
Sonia appears

Barbara Shelley in "Rasputin the Mad Monk" (Hammer Films /  Studiocanal)

"Alexei! Careful, you'll slip!"

If we didn't know better, we'd say
someone was manipulating her
from afar; someone unkempt
and half-crazed!

Sure enough, whilst Vanessa
is distracted, Sonia gives Alexei
a shove and he plunges onto
the ice!

Coachman Peter scrambles down
the bank to assist the stricken

Peter Diamond in "Rasputin the Mad Monk" (Hammer Films / Studiocanal)

"He's alright!
 He's unconscious, but
 he's still breathing!"

But that's no comfort, because we
know this was no accident and
Rasputin's wicked plan is
coming together!

And the Mad Monk's machinations
seem to have reached Peter too,
because that isn't his voice
on the soundtrack; he's been
dubbed again!

Did you know?

Legend has it, Rasputin had a
notorious death in which he was
poisoned, shot, beaten and drowned.
And to this end, Peter co-ordinated
a fitting fight for the film's climax.

Alas, it was edited right down in
order to trim the running time.
But the edit was a little rough,
and you can still see the join,
thanks to a lapse in continuity.

Keep your eye on Francis
as he and Richard
trade blows with
Christopher Lee
. Francis becomes
quite dishevelled, from one shot
to the next, with no apparent

Despite that short-sharp edit,
we still get to see Christopher
Lee poisoned and crawling
dementedly towards the camera
on his belly - it's quite magnificent!

all images copyright their respective owners - f2012