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Dracula (1931)

Approved | | Fantasy, Horror | 14 February 1931 (USA)
The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

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Writers:

(by), (from the play adapted by) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Herbert Bunston ...
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Joan Standing ...
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Martin (as Charles Gerrard)
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Storyline

After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dracula | count | vampire | blood | abbey | See All (80) »

Taglines:

The story of the strangest Passion the world has ever known! See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

14 February 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drácula  »

Box Office

Budget:

$355,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1936 re-release) (censored) | (original 1931 release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This Universal production became the most famous and successful film to pair David Manners with Helen Chandler. The pair had made two films at Warner Brothers/First National and one at Fox. See more »

Goofs

When the street doors of the London concert hall open to admit Dracula, the orchestra can be heard playing Franz Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony". But in the next shot, an instant later, they are playing the conclusion of the prelude to Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Girl Passenger: [reading from a Transylvanian tourist brochure] "Among the rugged peaks that crown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age."
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Crazy Credits

The original title card has producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. identified as Presient (sic). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Swan Lake, Op.20
(1877) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpt Played during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Still the champ
11 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

Bela Lugosi forever captures the role of a certain undead Transylvanian count who takes a trip to London in the first legitimate version of the classic Bram Stoker novel. Despite many attempts by many talented film makers, I believe this version, directed by Tod Browning, remains the definitive take on the often-filmed novel. But why? Is it simply nostalgia? Granted, I do fondly remember staying up late as a child watching this film on Ghost Host theater and finding myself suitably frightened. However, if I were the same age today, would I find the film as effective? Would a steady diet of more modern and explicit horror films made me too jaded to enjoy the more subtle charms of this film? I hope not, but I could see how it might. The film is slow, and its slowness is further emphasized by the absence of an under score. It is stagey - being as it was more influenced by the stage play than the novel itself. Also, the story plays itself out too quickly. Van Helsing manages to figure everything out and dispatch the count in about two seconds. There simply isn't much suspense - and even less gore or violence. Yet it remains the champ. Why? The main reason is Lugosi himself. He gives the performance of a lifetime. He truly inhabits the role and is genuinely creepy. The rest of the cast, particularly Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing and Dwight Frye as Renfield, support him admirably. However, when I watch the old Universal horror films nowadays, I find myself really enjoying the atmospheric sets and lighting. Yes, there is still much to love about Dracula today. (As long as you avoid the optional Philip Glass score on the DVD!)


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