Tweed Archive: Cushing and Lee Edition

Peter Cushing’s notes on playing Sherlock Holmes for his performance in The Hound of the Baskervilles [Hammer Films, 1959]:

Morning suit—hat—gloves?—cane.
Cape over tweed suit (no hat).
Put stains and burns on gloves.
Don’t make Holmes obvious—or his suspicions. Suspect everything.
Don’t do jackets up at all.
Get nervous energy over.
Just slip pipe to mouth (not open mouth). Puff clouds of smoke.
Sardonic sense of humour. Flashes of steel after laconicness.
The deerstalker has been dyed a little.
Do cuffs up as if buttoned—short links.
Make top quiff of hair stand up a little.
Have hypnotic quality. Slight mystic quality.

Dialogue from Horror Express [Granada Films, 1972]:

Inspector Mirov: But what if one of you is the monster?
Dr Wells: Monster? We’re British, you know!

The Small Wars of Peter Cushing

“Television is a rather frightening business,” said the actor Peter Cushing in a 1958 interview. “But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.” Over his lifetime, Cushing—beloved for his many films at Hammer Studios—had built a 5000-piece army of miniature soldiers, trains, and scenery. Many of the soldiers were handmade in lead by Frederick Ping, whose work was sought after by collectors, and painted by Cushing himself. With these the actor played “War” according to the rules devised by H. G. Wells.

British Pathé filmed a newsreel segment about Cushing and his miniatures in 1956, describing him as an “enthusiastic” member of the British Model Soldier Society.

In addition to pieces for wargames, Cushing constructed miniature theatrical sets. His assistant Bernard Broughton described his home in later years: “He had a set in one of the rooms, where the entire wall was comprised of different sets. One of his favourites was R. C. Sherriff’s play about the war (Journey’s End).”

Above, the actor with one of his model theaters.