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Dracula (1931)

Approved | | Fantasy, Horror | 14 February 1931 (USA)
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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
David Manners ...
...
Edward Van Sloan ...
Herbert Bunston ...
Frances Dade ...
Joan Standing ...
Charles K. Gerrard ...
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:

| |

Release Date:

14 February 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drácula  »

Box Office

Budget:

$355,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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

John Carradine was among the actors considered for the title role. However, there is no corroborating evidence from that time period, only Carradine's own later testimony. He also claimed to have turned down a makeup test for the Monster in Frankenstein (1931), due to the absence of dialogue. This statement seems to have a greater bearing of truth, as the actor did indeed work at Universal in the late spring-early summer of 1931, on Heaven on Earth (1931). See more »

Goofs

The London girl selling flowers who is attacked by Count Dracula before he enters the concert hall can be seen moving while the policeman is blowing his whistle, even though she is supposedly dead. 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."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Joan Standing, who played Briggs, was credited as the maid, who was actually played by Moon Carroll. See more »


Soundtracks

Unfinished Symphony
(1822) (uncredited)
Written by Franz Schubert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Lugosi's Triumph
23 July 2004 | by (Beyond The Cosmos) – See all my reviews

Tod Browning's film of the Stoker novel didn't so much eclipse Murnau's NOSFERATU (1922) as shove it into antiquity. One big reason was the technological advancement of sound. Roughly three years old by 1930, the public embraced the talking picture wholeheartedly over silents.

The other big reason for Dracula's success was that the star of the stage play had been cast as the star of the film. And movie history was made. Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula is now a eighty-one year old icon, outlasting all other interpretations before or since. The twist is that this Dracula looks nothing like Stoker's creation (read the book). Lugosi, either through his work with the playwrights or later at Universal with Browning, devised the most insidious form the character would ever take- a handsome, courtly, well-groomed, civilized aristocrat, so gracious and attractive that he projected an aura of well-being over the viewer. This was worlds away from the Murnau/Max Schreck approach of head-on abomination in NOSFERATU.

Sensibly, no one in their right mind would stay within viewing distance of Schreck (or Kinski in NOSFERATU, THE VAMPYRE and Dafoe in SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE) after the first glimpse. But Lugosi's Count would have you chatting and drinking wine- until he began to drink of you. That cape and those evening clothes are the perfect deception. Browning's Dracula is sometimes stagy and tentative in its continuity (it feels at times that the director was unsure where to go next in the progression of scenes). But Karl Freund's photography summons up a persistent mood of heavy gloom and enveloping dread.

Two other assets in the film are Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing and Dwight Frye as Renfield. Van Sloan was Universal's resident Learned Man, appearing as an Egyptologist in THE MUMMY (1933), and perhaps most famously as Dr. Waldman in FRANKENSTEIN (1931). A career-long character actor, Dwight Frye was an eccentric talent who appears to have worked exclusively at Universal. He had his best role as Renfield, producing a still blood-curdling, sneering laugh that seemed to come from the depths of a hellish insanity. If you haven't seen this Dracula please do so. The Count awaits.


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