Barbara Shelley

Watching Five Million Years to Earth (aka Quatermass and The Pit) once again. I watched it last night too and while googling up some info on the flick I was saddened to see that Barbara Shelley passed on a month ago. She was just a few weeks shy of her 89th birthday. Though she is best known for her roles in string of Hammer’s quintessential horror films, I love her most as an unflappable scientist in this Hammer science fiction classic, one of my favorite films ever, and probably my very favorite science fiction film. (The original BBC four episode story, with a different cast, is also excellent.) Who knows how many times I’ve seen this movie since it first blew my mind when I was a teen, and it has only gotten better with age. Barbara Shelley was never better—subtle, smart, unflinching and beautiful—than she is here. Rest In Peace.

2 thoughts on “Barbara Shelley

  1. Thx for the reminder of this incomparably cool movie, and of Ms. Shelley. I love the largely unsung Hammer ladies and am grateful there is a scribe who brings them to the fore. Really excellent, Brick; and a stirring reminder—for some of us—of bug-eyed childhood hours spent enthralled by the weird Hammer magic.


    • Thx Jef. I heartily recommend the four part original BBC TV version too. Quatermass and the Pit. Different cast but same writer. The film was an excellent adaptation, it turns out, tho’ only the Brits (and Dominions, I assume) ever saw it.


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