Christopher Lee vs Ian McKellen

Fans of the movies? Love those actors; How about the characters? Come here to discuss all forms of fandom surrounding Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.

Postby solace » Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:57 pm

So whose it going to be? Which actor do you prefer? And not just in the context of good vs. evil, as their portrayals in LOTR (majority vote would obviously be for Gandalf/Ian), but rather throughout their career!<BR><BR>PS- Thought of this while watching FOTR EE. Each actor was on the spot, behind the scenes, asked to describe one another and their abilities. Well, watching/hearing Christopher and Ian, I thought both of them were acting more like rivals then equals, trying to outdo one another? Did anyone else perceive them the same?<BR><BR><BR>Me= Christopher Lee...seems more natural and comfortable with himself!
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Postby Mammo » Mon Jan 19, 2004 11:01 pm

Solace, <BR><BR>for me there is no comparison. Christopher Lee is a B movie actor who made his name in a hundred Hammer Horror movies. <BR><BR>Ian McKellen is a Shakespearean actor who made RSC.... he brings incredible depth to Gandalf....I think he should be up for a best supporting actor nod but who knows.<BR><BR>Lee did a good job as Saruman but he has very little screen time compared to Gandalf who dominates when he is on.<BR><BR>Go Ian!
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Postby jrenckly » Mon Jan 19, 2004 11:18 pm

Call me crazy but I realy like Christopher Lee. (Of course the fact that he's a big time LOTR fan doenst hurt)
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Postby Dwendak » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:33 am

McKellen is perfect as Gandalf. Lee is perfect as Saruman. The difference is that Gandalf is a much more complex character. Saruman just have to look powerful and evil. He is actually a very wooden character.
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Postby Razorback » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:22 am

Choose who is the better actor? Is this a joke?<BR><BR>RB
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Postby Mummpizz » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:38 am

Prefering Lee to Kellen is not the reason I'd call you crazy, jrenckly. Lee is faszinating - in his stubborn pride, self-doubt (before he says "we have work to do" ), malice (with the Dunlending captain), and quasi-sexual emotion (teaching the Uruk-hai about his origins). He is a powerful man, playing a powerful wizard - I've never seen him in the role of a good guy. Has anybody?<BR>Btw. I don't mind his B-movie history. Klaus Kinski has played in <i>hundreds</i> of bad movies and was still a good actor. <BR><BR>McKellen is a powerful man, too - but I have my problems with him in his "white" aspect. He's simply too clean, and his beard too well trimmed. He has a wonderful smile, though, and twinkles just like Gandalf would.<BR><BR>I doubt if he would have played a good Saruman, if Bernard Hill had played Gandalf - he's not good as a bad guy (see X-men "Magneto" ).
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Postby Pericles » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:51 am

McKellen not good as a bad guy? I thought his Magneto was one of the good things about X-Men and his parts in Apt Pupil and of course as the biggest bad guy of 'em all, Richard III, have been spot on.
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Postby FinweGolodhFinwe » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:58 am

If you want me to answer based in LOTR only I´ll have to sat Ian McKellen. If you are refering to their careers I´d say obviously Christopher Lee.
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Postby Steerpike » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:01 am

Lee was a good guy in <i>Gormenghast</i>(Flay),and <i>The Hound of the Baskervilles</i>(Sir Henry Baskerville).<BR><BR>He made his name as a B movie actor but that wasn't his whole career. He's done several A-list movies and they did very well by him:<BR><BR>The Three Musketeers<BR>The Four Musketeers<BR>Wicker Man<BR>Private Life of Sherlock Homes<BR>The Man with the Golden Gun<BR>1941<BR>Tale of Two Cities<BR><BR>I'm sure you could find others if you check IMDb.
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Postby bab5nutz » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:07 am

I do remember seeing Lee as a good guy in one of his many Hammer films. It was about the Greek Medusa [the lady with the snakes in her hair, and anyone who saw them turned to stone.]. Can't remember the name of the movie - though I was a real Hammer nut as a teenager. Now, I'm going to have to go and look it up! <BR>And I think that maybe Lee played Sherlock Holmes - and he is definitely a good guy. <BR><BR>Have to go and look that up, too!
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Postby -|---Anduril » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:55 am

Chris Lee rocks in my opinion. I first noticed how natural acting out certain types of characters comes to him when i watched him play Count Dooku in Star Wars. Many people might disagree with me, but I think that was really good. He was great as Saruman too. He even had the look in his eyes I had imagined on Saruman from the books.<BR><BR>McKellen too was awesome as Gandalf. Actually I prefered him as Gandalf the Grey, but that's just my opinion. He gave the character depth, was as human as book Gandalf and was also incredible in the battle scenes.<BR><BR>Do I really have to choose between them???<BR><BR>As regards to rivals as actors, I wouldn't know, I havent seen the interviewes in EE
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Postby Razorback » Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:57 am

Lee is a brilliant actor... they both are.<BR><BR>Why do we need to choose anyway?<BR><BR>RB
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Postby FinweGolodhFinwe » Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:26 am

Because someone asked us to do it ...
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Postby Mighty_Squid » Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:33 am

Shouldn't this be in fandom or something?<BR><BR>
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Postby Mummpizz » Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:51 am

Elrond: Even if I had an army of mods under my command like in the old ages, I could not comply this task.<BR><BR>Gandalf: Elrond, this age belongs to the fans.<BR><BR>Elrond: Fans ...
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Postby TheLidlessEyes » Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:53 am

Mighty - I need your e-mail address, I've lost it. <a href='mailto:thelidlesseye2002@yahoo.com' target=_blank>E-mail me?</a>
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Postby Lock-Bearer » Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:59 am

I am going to move this to the Fandom Forum.<BR><BR>I am also going to remind everyone to be respectful of the actors in this debate.<BR><BR>
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Postby Moonglade » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:28 pm

If forced to choose under pain of death, I'd go with Sir Ian. Both are "wise and powerful."
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Postby Hobbit_Guy » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:31 pm

There's no way I could choose; both actors portrayed their respective characters exactly as I imagined them, and I admire them both. They both are masters at acting and I loved Gandalf's subtle mouth movements, his eye twitching, and his tone of voice. Christopher Lee gave an awesome performance as Saruman as well, with his cold, clear, "melodious" voice, and his bearing... his posture. He just seemed to radiate power and skill, like the White Wizard of old, and I felt his performance was truly on the mark. He could suggest so much by saying so little, with the tone of voice, the slight facial movements, the posture... Look at "On of the Halflings carries something of great value. Bring them to me alive... and UNSPOILED." (shivers) All in all, Ian McKellan was great as Gandalf as well...<BR><BR><b>Undecided...</b><BR><BR>EDIT: Oh, for their careers? I'd have to go with Christopher Lee.
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Postby Hethlin » Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:17 pm

Can't I just be incredibly wishy-washy and say both? <BR>I suppose not... so after a tragic and brutal debate with myself I have agreed (with myself) that Ian McKellen is the favorite. Though if it's any consolation to Christopher Lee...it was THAT close!
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Postby sh_wulff » Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:50 pm

Christopher McKellen!!!!!!<BR><BR>Ian Lee!!!!!<BR><BR>oh oh<BR>I'm confused<BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0>
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Postby Liselle » Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:53 pm

Ok well I was looking for a C Lee thread in here - this will have to do. I used to adore Christopher Lee when he was younger - I absolutely love him as Scaramanga and he's still got the magic whether he is Dooku or Saruman.
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Postby Daefaroth » Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:14 pm

<BR>A Christopher Lee thread is here<a href='http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=48&threadid=73281' target=_blank> Christopher Lee/Saruman Appreciation society </a><BR><BR>A Search on "Christopher" turns this up.
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Postby Malperion » Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:32 pm

At gunpoint, it's all Ian....but man, ya gotta love the peaks and valley's of these actors rich deliveries together in one, kick-butt set of movies!
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Postby portia » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:27 pm

Generally, Sir Ian has had better material to work with, even that excreble Richard III movie. However, Lee has taken some pretty awful material and always seems to me to make it better that it was.<BR>Lee's voice and accent are very much in his favor. Sir Ian's accent is also the British stage-trained actor accent that I love, but his voice is not nearly so wonderful as Lee's. I am sooo loking forward to the return of the VoS.<BR><BR>Deep philosophical question: Why is excreble an OK word, when s***ty is a TOS violation?
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Postby OrodrethCelebrindal » Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:32 am

Both of them is excellent!<BR><BR>Ian McKellan makes a perfect Gandalf Grey/White.<BR>Christopher Lee looks very much like Saruman and has a great voice.<BR>I can't choose!<BR><BR>I have seen the little interwievs on ROTK game and both of them is verry good.<BR><BR>I missed the scene with Mithrandir outside the doors of Isengard, when Mithrandir destroys Curunirs wand
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Postby Ingold » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:22 am

Christopher Lee is a very fine actor and so is Ian McKellen

It is a really hard decision but im going to have to go for Ian McKellen
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Postby jordanryan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:52 pm

First of all I would just like to say that Christopher Lee is a magnificent actor in every way. His dominant voice and incredible height are but advantages of his great gift in acting.

I also think that Ian Mckellen is a very facinating actor, but he does not possess the flexibility of successfully playing different roles, for example; 'good and evil'. Even though Ian Mckellen plays the character Magneto very well (and for me was the only thing that made watching 'X-men' bearable), Christopher Lee has a much greater flexibility in his acting.

In terms of 'The Lord of the Rings', I think Saruman is a much more interesting and enjoyable character, who Christopher Lee plays brilliantly. I loved 'Gandalf the Grey', but was not a big fan of 'Gandalf the White'. And considering that that Christopher Lee is a huge 'Lord of the Rings' fan like myself makes him even better.
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Re: Christopher Lee vs Ian McKellen

Postby LordoftheShortys » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:38 pm

I cant choose between the two of them.

McKellen is perfect as Gandalf. Very wise, powerful yet kind and softspoken when he needed to be.

Lee is perfect as Saruman. Also very and powerful just like Gandalf. Lee knew how to make his voice dominant and intimidating and he just absolutely crushed that performance to near brilliance. He knows how to be evil after all. ;) I honestly cant choose between the both of them. They are two very strong actors with their own brilliance about them.
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