The Brides of Dracula (1960)
Director: Terence Fisher
Writers: John Elder (Anthony Hinds), Jimmy Sangster, Peter Bryan, Edward Percy
Cinematographer: Jack Asher
Music: Malcolm Williamson
Cast: Peter Cushing, David Peel, Yvonne Monlaur, Martita Hunt, Freda Jackson, Miles Malleson, Henry Oscar, Mona Washbourne, Andree Melly, Michael Ripper, Norman Pierce, Vera Cook.
Fearing typecasting, Christopher Lee declined to return for the second of Hammer's Dracula films, leaving David Peel to fill the gap as Baron Meinster, a disciple of the Count. Martita Hunt is the Baron's mother, who keeps him safely locked up until a visitor to the castle (Yvonne Monlaur) falls for his charms and sets him free. It is up to Van Helsing (Peter Cushing making a return) to destroy the Baron before he claims Marianne as his next victim.
The plot is rather messy - the script infamously went through several different writers, including Anthony Hinds, Jimmy Sangster and Peter Bryan - but it is for its high production values and fascinating imagery that this film remains a favourite among Hammer fans today. Bernard Robinson's sets and Jack Asher's lighting never looked more lavish.
Notable location filming took place in Black Park (the fog-filled opening scenes) and Oakley Court, the gothic mansion next door to Bray Studios.
Title card from The Brides of Dracula:
A matte painting brilliantly transforms a balcony in the Chateau Meinster (David Peel is on the ledge):
David Peel as Baron Meinster makes a grand entrance:
Baron Meinster quickly gains the trust of Marianne Danielle (Yvonne Monlaur):
Dr Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) finds himself under attack:
The Baroness Meinster (Martita Hunt) falls prey to vampirism:
The Baron is destroyed: