Christopher Lee did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Count Dracula in Horror of Dracula.
Christopher Lee of the amazing voice and has a magnificent presence, but I have to say his roles always seem to be more minor than one would hope. This is certainly the case for his premier portrayal of one of his most famous roles that being of course Count Dracula. Despite being one of the most noted depictions of the character Lee's initial appearance is quite sparse as the film basically portrays Dracula's actions as pretty random and the film really does not have a particularly natural flow about it. Dracula kinda just does things and he appears from place to place without much logic at all. This version of the story really undercuts Dracula as a character through its ridiculously rushed pace, but it is still interesting to take a look at Lee's performance especially when compared to the other actor who have played the vampire Count.
There was Max Schreck's portrayal as basically a monstrous personification of despair and decay. Then later there was also of course Bela Lugosi, who is perhaps the most iconic, take where he combined a certain allure along with a menace. Also of course there was Gary Oldman's rather tongue-in-cheek that took elements of the other portrayals and took them to an extreme. Lee's performance is more limited than those other three since the films uses him so sparsely. Lee only has a few lines of dialogue throughout the film, and even that is mostly to the point dialogue that does not really try to build the character. Lee mainly has to create his Dracula just through his physical portrayal and even in that case he has to do it very quickly since his screen time is so ridiculously sparse in the film.
Lee performance is relatively simplistic as there just is not enough material available to him. Lee though still does create his own take on Dracula even in these fairly ridiculous confines. When he is acting "normal" Lee carries himself with enough innate menace simply from his presence although I have to say he certainly moves far swifter than the usual portrayal of the Count. I suppose this factors into his portrayal of Dracula when the monster comes out in a more obvious fashion. Lee's plays Dracula in the monster mode in a very animal like fashion as the thirst for blood is quite clearly in his expression as he seeks his prey. Lee is very effective in this regard as he brings such an intensity in his portrayal of the vicious vampire, and it is an interesting take on the character. Unfortunately the film only let's him go so far with this, and that is not very far at all considering his sparse appearances in the film. It's a solid performance by Lee to be sure, but very much wasted by the film.