Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is The Wake Wood doomed?

I just caught this item on Robert Simpson’s Unofficial Hammer Site. This is quite interesting, somewhat disconcerting news that – if true – seems to have completely fallen off the radar.

Robert noticed that a) the DVD release of Beyond the Rave seems to now be at least questionable and b) that Hammer’s new production The Wake Wood has apparently been taken off the list of productions for 2009. Read the article to get the full details of this discovery.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about Beyond the Rave. I hated it with a vengeance when I watched it for free, have no intention of ever seeing it again and definitely do not intend to spend any money on it. The only thing I may regret is not seeing Ingrid Pitt’s appearance in the DVD release, but based on the serial this would likely have been an insignificant blink or you’ll miss it moment anyway, so I guess I’ll survive that one easily.

I am much more sorry to hear that The Wake Wood may now have fallen off the schedule. From all I have heard about it this seems to have been a production that was much more in line with Hammer’s previous image and whereas I didn’t care an iota for BTR, The Wake Wood was something I was genuinely looking forward to especially also as this would have been filmed in Ireland.

Not too sure what to do about this. It would be nice to hear from a source directly at Hammer about it. Is it worth starting a concerted effort to rescue that production and try and push Hammer to continue with it?

I’d definitely appreciate comments and suggestions about this situation.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yet more news!!!

There's just no end to Hammer related news:

Christopher Lee finally received his Knighthood. I am sure he is ecstatic about that and it sure was well deserved. Not certain though how much he appreciates those Sir Dracula jibes.

Mind you: Lee has also just joined the cast of the new Hammer movies The Resident, so Lee, Hammer and Horror can finally be mentioned in the same breath again.


Start pre-ordering and wait with baited breath until the end of September! Then pre-order again and count the days until the end of the year!

Cause none other than Marcus Hearn and Titan Books have joined forces again to publish the kind of oeuvre I have been salivating about ever since I became a Hammer Fan. (And hey, don't I also have a Hammer Glamour related website that needs updating soon?)

"Hammer Glamour" (the book) will no doubt be a visual feast and chock full of interesting, ahem, titbits. I wouldn't expect anything less from the people who brought us "The Hammer Story".

And to celebrate a new year full of salacious memories we will also be able to purchase a Hammer Glamour calendar at the end of this year.

Now I can die a happy man.


Looks like Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires may soon be remade. You know what? It could just work. I like the original, but it is not one of the all time critically acclaimed classics, so not really heresy.


And last but not least: The Internet Archive now has the rare (non-Hammer) Peter Cushing movie The Risk available for download. Can't wait to watch this.

Two US events that I'd love to frequent

Is it my imagination or are there more and more events around of interest to the Hammer Fans? I am looking forward to Don's London based Cine Lumiere do next month. If I could (i.e. live in the US) I would also visit the follow two happenings:

September 11/12
Riverside Drive-In, Route 66, Vandergrift, PA 15690

The line up is simply electric for anyone interested in Hammer movies and Brit Cult. September 12 is dedicated Hammer Horror Saturday with the following shows: The Vampire Lovers, The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula, The Satanic Rites of Dracula and Vampire Circus.

The previous day is also nothing to be sneezed at with the following shows on offer: The Witchfinder General, Scream and Scream Again, The Crimson Cult and Terror Creatures From the Grave.

Another show of interest for us Hammer Fans is the Vampire-Con, August 14-16, in Hollywood and organised by Harris Publications. Check out more info about them on their official website.

Christopher Lee's Dracula Cape at Auction next Tuesday 16th of June

Got tons of news over the last week that I only now find the time to update. The most pressing one is with regards to an auction of Christopher Lee's original Dracula cape tomorow! Angels the Costumiers together with Bonhams will auction off that cape tomorrow with a bunch of other fascinating film memorabilia. Below please find the press release with all the details. Here's a link to a recent article about the sale.



A remarkable collection of costumes supplied by Angels the Costumiers to some of the biggest and most iconic international film and television productions are to go under the hammer at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, on Tuesday 16th June 2009 at 11am as part of the Entertainment Memorabilia sale.

With prices ranging from £50 to £30,000, just under 250 lots featuring film and television costumes from the Angels archive will be available to collectors and amateur fans alike at this phenomenal 600-lot auction. Star lots include Christopher Lee’s Black Cape from Dracula (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000); Laurence Olivier’s Military Tunic from The Prince and the Showgirl (estimate: £8,000 – 12,000); John Pertwee’s Frock Coat from Doctor Who (estimate: £7,000 – 10,000); a full length cloak worn by Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia (estimate: £5,000 – 6,000); and James Bond’s Leather Jacket, as worn by Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies (estimate: £4,000 – 6,000).

Other items from the Angels archive going under the hammer include costumes from productions including The Fifth Element, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Highlander, Beyond the Sea and several James Bond films.


Angels was established in 1840, when actors were expected to purchase their own costumes for auditions and performances. The company founder, Morris Angel, then a trader in second-hand clothing and tailors’ samples, allowed actors to hire, rather than buy, their outfits. He was the first person to make such an innovation, and as a consequence his shop became popular with theatre actors. With the advent of cinema, the Angels family made their second major diversification by supplying costumes to the fledgling movie industry, and Angels the Costumiers has continued to be a major success story within the British and international film industry to the present day.

In 1948 Angels the Costumiers supplied costumes to the first of many films to win Academy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design – Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet. The company has followed suit a further 30 times, with international greats such as Gigi, Star Wars, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Titanic, The English Patient, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and this year’s The Duchess.

Today Angels the Costumiers is based in Hendon, North London, and boasts a warehouse containing more than five million costumes on around eight miles of hanging rails. The company also retains a costume hire shop for consumers – Angels Fancy Dress (run by sixth generation, Emma Angel) – at its original 19th Century premises on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End. Angels Fancy Dress is the UK’s largest business of its kind, and the company’s online presence, www.fancydress.com, is the UK’s most visited fancy dress website. Angels Fancy Dress prides itself on providing fancy dress outfits to the general public and celebrities alike –Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger and a number of young Royals can often be found rubbing shoulders with other Londoners visiting the shop in order to obtain the best and most extraordinary costumes.

Tim Angel, Chairman of Angels, and fifth generation of the family firm, is delighted to be providing to Bonhams a significant proportion of one of the biggest sales of major film costumes and explains his motivation for the sale:

“Following the incredible public response to our first public auction in 2007, and The Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale held in 2008, we are thrilled to announce the sale of Items From The Angels Collection Of Television & Film Costumes in the biannual Entertainment Memorabilia auction being held at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge salerooms in June. At Angels we take great pride in creating costumes that help immerse an audience in a believable fictional world. Our costumes are famously well researched and tailored to the highest standard, impressing industry insiders and audiences alike with the authenticity and effectiveness of the costumes worn on screen. The down-side to creating costumes that become so famous and strongly associated with particular characters, actors or films is that they can never be used again in future, nor can they be hired out at our fancy dress shop. Over two years have now passed since we held our first auction at Bonhams and our warehouse is once again approaching capacity, so now seemed to be the right time to offer fans and collectors the opportunity to take home a piece of film or television history from the Angels archive.”

Stephanie Connell, Entertainment Memorabilia Specialist at Bonhams, comments:
“Following the huge success of the initial sale of costumes from the Angels archive in 2007, we are delighted to offer at auction, another wonderful selection of costumes from classic BBC productions and iconic international movies. This auction will again give a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire some of the most important pieces of film and television costume ever to appear on the market.”

Below are selected highlights:

One of the star lots of the sale is Christopher Lee’s black opera-style cape from his role as the infamous vampire in the 1958 Hammer production of Dracula (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Lee is regarded by many as the definitive Dracula, and this film marked his first appearance as the character. The imposing full length woollen cape is being sold together with a letter signed by Christopher Lee himself, on Angels-headed note paper, confirming the authenticity of the item, as well as a still image of Lee wearing the cape as Dracula (see left). This lot is one that is sure to garner attention from serious memorabilia fans, and would be a valuable asset to any collection. Fans of Lee’s Dracula with a rather smaller budget needn’t be put off however, as there is also a chance to snap up a checked tweed waistcoat worn by the actor in the Dracula Pere Et Fils (1976) in a joint lot with another waistcoat worn by Lee in the 1971 production of Sherlock Holmes (estimate: £100-150).

This sale presents an opportunity for fans of Laurence Olivier, one of the greatest thespians of the 20th century, to get their hands on an impressive Military Tunic from The Prince and the Showgirl (estimate: £8,000 – 12,000). This wonderfully detailed early twentieth century style military tunic, supplied by Angels, was worn by Olivier when starring opposite Marilyn Monroe in the 1957 film that he also directed and produced.

Also on offer from the Angels archive is a full length cloak worn by Omar Sharif in his Golden Globe award-winning performance as Sherif Ali in 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia (estimate: £5,000 – 6,000), a role for which Sharif was Oscar-nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category. A khaki military-style tunic worn by Sir Donald Wolfit as General Sir Archibald Murray in the same film is also going under the hammer, with an estimate of £1,000-1,500. Lawrence of Arabia is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made – it won 25 awards, including the Oscar and Golden Globe in both the Best Picture and Best Director categories – making these pieces especially desirable to serious movie memorabilia collectors.
Any 007 fan worth his or her salt would be wise to mark Tuesday, 16th June in their diaries, as a vast array of items from eight different James Bond titles will be going under the hammer in this impressive sale. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), Octopussy (1983), The Living Daylights (1987), Goldeneye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002) are all represented, and with estimates starting at just £100, there are pieces on offer to suit every budget.

For those with some serious money to spend, there are two stylish leather jackets worn by Pierce Brosnan in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies (estimates: £4,000-6,000 and £2,000-3,000); a Naval Commander’s battledress jacket worn by Roger Moore in 1977 as Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me (estimate: £3,000-4,000); and even Halle Berry’s wetsuit from 2002’s Die Another Day (estimate: £800-1,200).

Fashionistas looking for truly unique vintage pieces to add to their collections could find some unexpected treasures in this sale, including costumes and accessories from films such as Beyond the Sea, Eyes Wide Shut and a number of items designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for The Fifth Element. Of particular interest are two elaborate Venetian masks from Stanley Kubrick’s infamous final film, Eyes Wide Shut, each estimated at £200-300; a 1950s style dress worn by Belinda Mayne as Delta from Doctor Who – Delta and the Bannermen (estimate: £200-300); an ornate headdress worn by Christina Ricci in Man Who Cried (estimate: £100-150); and a stunning outfit worn by Kate Bosworth in Beyond the Sea, comprising a full length sequinned cloak in sliver and white, a cream coloured lace evening dress, a floral hair ornament and a pair of gold brocade court shoes (estimate: £400-500).

Costumes worn by television’s comedy greats, both past and present, feature heavily in this sale, including a number of items from Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Tim McInnerny in Blackadder (estimates ranging from £50 all the way up to £3,000). Also going under the hammer is a Roman Centurion's costume worn by Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses (estimate: £500-600); two Edwardian style dresses worn by Jennifer Saunders during a French and Saunders Titanic Sketch (estimate: £300-400); a collection of costumes relating to Morecambe and Wise (estimate: £80-120); and two monkey masks from The Mighty Boosh (estimate: £500-600 each).

Fans of military and historical costumes will be spoilt for choice, as excellent costumes covering a wide range of periods and nationalities are on offer, with estimates staring at just £100. Highlights include a British military-style tunic in khaki green wool, worn by Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder Goes Forth (estimate: £800-1,200) and ten stunning Elizabethan-style dresses worn by Glenda Jackson as Queen Elizabeth I from Elizabeth R (1971), with estimates ranging from £350 to £800.

Other female costumes in this sale include items worn by: Barbara Murray, Sophie Wilcox, Glenda Jackson, Diana Dors, Dianna Rigg, Miranda Richardson, Susan Sarandon, Anne Bancroft, Kathy Burke, Catherine Zeta Jones, Renée Zellweger, Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Anna Friel, Victoria Beckham, Andie McDowell, Uma Thurman, Kim Cattrall, Ingrid Bergman and Faye Dunaway.

Male actors whose costumes are featured include: Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Grant, Heath Ledger, Joseph Fiennes, Johnny Depp, Rupert Everett, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Tim Curry, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Ben Kingsley, Christian Bale, Kevin Spacey, Sean Bean, David Jason, Robert Carlyle, Robert Duvall, Dick Van Dyke, John Lennon, Alec Guinness, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Bruce Willis.

Entertainment Memorabilia
Including Items from the Angels Collection of Television & Film Costumes

Tuesday June 16th 2009, 11am

Montpelier Street
London SW7 1HH
020 7468 8340

For further information on the Angels Collection of Television & Film Costumes Auction
Please contact Benjamin Webb / Lynsey Haddow at Deliberate PR
benjamin@deliberate-pr.com / lynsey@deliberate-pr.com
Phone – 020 8732 8867 / 020 8732 8851
Mobile – 07930 408 224 / 07792 072 453