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Christopher Lee and cricket loving film stars

In May 1959 C.P. Snow delivered a lecture at Cambridge entitled The Two Cultures which subsequently became a book.

It was about the ignorance of academics in the humanities on science and science on the arts.

No such cultural separation exists at the Rust. We on the arts side pride ourselves on our breadth and are often consulted by other writers on different topics.

I cannot say I follow cricket but Mike Brearley’s father Hubert was a popular teacher at my old school, City of London and I have always supported Middlesex.

Duggie Heath urged me to listen to From the Boundary a series of  interviews on Test Match Special with somebody well-known in another field who loves cricket.

Because of Covid they are reprising old ones.

Last week’s during the Test v Pakistan featured Christopher Lee.

If you think of Christopher Lee, you think of Dracula but Lee hated this typecasting.

The fact is they were immensely successful for Hammer films but he considered rightly he could do better.

His favourite film in which he acted was the scary The Wicker Man, weird goings-on in rural England with pagan rites.

Lee was the step-cousin of Ian Fleming and starred as Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun.

He could speak 6 languages fluently, narrowly missed out on a scholarship to Eton and went to Wellington. A very tall man, he was a decent fast bowler and very competent scratch golfer.

The English clique of actors in Hollywood centred around the cricket club. C Aubrey Smith, who captained a MCC side, was in charge of the team and the likes of Ronald Colman, David Niven and Christopher  Lee played for them.

Trevor Howard had inserted in his film contract time off to go to Lords.

Boris Karloff was another huge cricket fan.

Peter O’Toole feature in another such interview .

Lee’s was a fascinating interview for lovers of cricket and films.

About Neil Rosen

Neil went to the City of London School and Manchester University graduating with a 1st in economics. After a brief stint in accountancy, Neil emigrated to a kibbutz In Israel. His articles on the burgeoning Israeli film industry earned comparisons to Truffaut and Godard in Cahiers du Cinema. Now one of the world's leading film critics and moderators at film Festivals Neil has written definitively in his book Kosher Nostra on Jewish post war actors. Neil lives with his family in North London. More Posts