The Essential Christopher Lee: 14 Must-See Films

The Lord of the Rings Christopher Lee Saruman 

Christopher Lee was the quintessential professional. His résumé contains over 280 films, TV shows, cartoons, musicals, and video games, and he was a stalwart and whole-hearted performer in every single one of them. Lee, who stood 6’5” and was possessed of the deepest, most sonorous voice this side of Thurl Ravenscroft, could stride onto a screen, glance in your direction, and you would be exhilarated. Even into his 90s, Lee was knocking people over with a seeming lack of effort. Perhaps after so many decades in front of the camera, it just came naturally to him.

Related: R.I.P. Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Lee’s filmography is loaded with amusing, scary, silly, bonkers, and classic exploitation and genre films. He has said that he loved playing Dracula (which he did over a dozen times), and that he was always fond of horror movies. He was the face of Hammer Horror for many years, and worked with numerous notably off-the-wall genre directors, from Jess Franco to Alejandro Jodorowsky to Joe Dante to Tim Burton.

Distilling his enormous career into a few choice films is a difficult task, but we here at CraveOnline, who have a comfortable sampling of Lee’s filmography under our belts, can recommend the following films as a healthy cross-section of Lee’s body of work.

Slideshow: The Essential Christopher Lee

Witney Seibold is a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.