I haven’t seen as many of her films as I’d like, and I’m not sure when the phrase “scream queen” was coined, but I’ve seen enough to know one of the best and sexiest scream queens ever has left us. As you can read in this appreciation by Clark Collis over at EW, the feisty and outspoken Miss Pitt had an amazing life.
She was apparently saved from death as a child at a Polish [note: see comments] Nazi concentration camp near the end of World War II when the gas chamber failed to work as Russian troops were invading. Later, she swam her way out of Soviet-dominated East Berlin before being rescued by an American soldier whom she later married. She eventually headed to England and, ultimately, the Hammer Film studios where she became one of the studio’s regulars in such horror outings as “The Vampire Lovers” and “Countess Dracula.” She also appeared, briefly but memorably, in one of my favorite movies, 1974’s “The Wicker Man.”
In celebration of her life we present a clip and a complete film after the clip.
It’s a blissfully slow movie news week so far, after last week’s frenzy, so far (unless I missed something…I’m busy!).
In any case, it’s time to catch up on the passing last week at age 93 of one of the most reliable members of the Hammer Films horror and science fiction stable of the sixties and seventies, as well as the director of the some of the coolest British TV of that time, Roy Ward Baker. Aside from starting his career as Alfred Hitchcock‘s assistant director on the spy-comedy-suspense classic, “The Lady Vanishes,” being one of the main directors on the legendary season of “The Avengers” that featured Diana Rigg as the immortal Mrs. Emma Peel, aside from directing “A Night to Remember” (about the Titanic, but without Jack and Rose), as well as the racy “The Vampire Lovers” and the gender bending “Dr. Jeckyll and Sister Hyde,” he also made one of my favorite pieces of British film science fiction. We Americans call it “Five Millions Years to Earth” but to the rest of the world it’s….