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|Index||459 reviews in total|
Tod Browning put on a complete show that didn't disappoint the least bit in this adaptation of the Dracula novel. It was faithful, had solid characters and a strong presence of Bela Lugosi to carry the way. What I liked about this Universal Picture was that it was fast paced and never really had any dull moments. Classic movies sometimes drag and don't hold my interest entirely but I never really seemed to hit pause. I was glued from the get go from the starting opening scene in Transylvania. Renfield, played by Dwight Frye was very sufficient and creepy. The characters of Van Helsing, Dr. Seward and Mina were terrific and casted perfectly. Bela Lugosi as Dracula was of course the star of the film and spawned a long list of Universal movies for himself. The role of John Harker was annoying at times and didn't have the best dialog written for him. It's obviously a classic that all horror fans have to watch. I would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't like 1931's Dracula despite its few flaws.
A bloody horror film classic! One of the best vampire films ever made.
This is another must see film for all horror movie fans.
What makes vampires so alluring, so irresistible? Is it their charming ways? Is it the fact they have eternal life? Is their brooding dark ways? Is it their style of dress and homes? Is it their manners? Or, maybe, it is simply their really cool fangs! Whatever it is vampires are sure to stay in fiction films for a long time yet to come. And some older vampire films like "Dracula(1931)" will surely never die!
I could watch this film classic again maybe because Count Bela has hypnotized me with his famous line "Look Into My Eyes..." Another great last night flick!
For Xmas last year I got the Universal Monsters box set containing 8 of
Universals horror movies from the 30's and 40's. I started watching
this set with Dracula, a movie that I watched back in the 80's, so I
haven't seen it in 30 years, It's still a chilling and frightening
movie when you put it into the context of when it was released. Bela
Lugosi's movements when he attacks and the light across his eyes must
have really scared the daylights out of the 1930's audience, today it's
almost humorous. But the movie is regarded as a classic movie from that
period. It was the start of the horror movie genre, Classic Lugiso
lines including "cheeldren of the naight", "I nevair dreenk vine" and
"I am Count Draculaaa", and no doesn't say, "I vant to dreenk your
The scene where Dracula meets Van Helsing is a classic, especially when Van Helsing asks what sort of creature makes marks on a neck, and the maid introduces Count Dracula. This scene is quickly followed up by the lack of Dracula reflection in the mirror.
Dwight Frye's Renfield is excellent, his creepy laugh and the expression on his face when he is not given his insects is memorable. Bela Lugosi epitomizes the perfect Dracula, no other actor has ever matched Lugosi's Dracula. Combined with Dwight Fryes Renfield, they were the perfect pair for this movie.
Interesting that nurses were stationed in the lobbies of theatres when the movie was released to attend anyone who was scared by the movie.
I love this box series and I am really enjoying watching Dracula, one of my favourite classic horror movies.
The Transylvanian sequences in this film are a superbly atmospheric,
cobwebbed delight and Lugosi's vampire has a presence unmatched by any other
screen Count with the possible exception of Christopher Lee.
The theatrical origins of the screenplay (it was an adaption of a stageplay based on Stoker's novel) are more apparent in the second half. Unlike the book Dracula at first conceals his vampiric nature from his English victims, which echoes Jeckyll and Hyde somewhat.
Nevertheless I feel the spirit of the book survives in this version better than it does in closer adaptions. Along with 'Vampyr' (1932)and 'Nosferatu'(1922) - also a loose adaption of Stoker - it is probably the best vampire movie ever made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this movie to be one of the greatest experiences with classic
horror films that I have ever had. I usually find them slightly tacky
but the excellent acting and classic storyline of this movie made it an
excellent experience all around.
Lugosi never fails to amaze with his signature 'creepy' persona. He captures the feel of Count Dracula to a tee in this amazing film. You can almost see all the years of inflicting pain in his eyes every time he bites a victim. You can almost feel the conflict going on behind his eyes as he takes a victim for sustenance and snuffs out their bright light of life. The scene where he takes the girl in the asylum you can almost see the tears in his eyes as he bites the girl.
Dracula's servant also has some incredible acting in this movie. The scene on the ship where they open up the hatch and you can see him staring up at you from the inside of the ship reflects such evil and insanity that it truly makes an unforgettable impression.
Besides all of the incredible acting that this movie has to offer, the scenes are set up masterfully and truly set the mood for the film. Draculas castle, set up to be dark, dank and abandoned looking truly sets the scene for evil events to unfold. The cobwebs and long winding staircases could only be the most perfect dwelling place for the King of Vampires and lord of evil himself.
One kind of film that Universal Studios did better than any other was
the Gothic horror story. Carl Laemmle practically took out a patent on
those films. The sets were already on the lot, he just kept making
Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula films at minimal cost and they made
money for Universal. In fact until Deanna Durbin started singing for
this studio and Abbott&Costello brought over their vaudeville routines,
these horror films were the bread butter of Universal Pictures.
Interestingly enough though Bela Lugosi only played the role of Count Dracula twice on film, he became so overwhelmingly identified with the part that Lugosi's whole life was taken over by the undead Count. He was buried in fact in his Dracula costume.
Lugosi however did portray the vampire Count on Broadway in a play adapted from the Bram Stoker novel three years before he did the screen version for Universal. It was on Broadway that Lugosi first got acclaim for Dracula. Carl Laemmle bought the screen rights to the play after seeing Lugosi on stage and just in time for sound. Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing and Herbert Bunston as Dr. Seward also came over from the Broadway cast.
Although Bela got his career role from this film, Edward Van Sloan as the vampire killer Van Helsing also got the role that people identify him with. Van Sloan practically duplicated his role in The Mummy which also became another series of horror films for Universal.
Oddly enough Lugosi himself killed the Universal horror genre by that second appearance as Count Dracula in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. When those mythic horror monsters became comic foils for Bud and Lou, the demand ceased for these kind of films. It only started again when British Hammer films revived the genre by making them far more explicit and bloody.
Still with that Hungarian accented voice of cultured menace, Bela Lugosi remains for purists the only real Dracula ever put on screen, Christopher Lee notwithstanding.
Like in The Mummy which I've also reviewed good use is made of themes by Tschaikovsky as background music by Director Tod Browning. But it's Bela Lugosi who makes this film a horror picture for the age.
Dracula will be still frightening viewers centuries from now. After all vampires are eternal.
The one that started it all for me all those years ago back in 1987. I first saw Dracula at the age of five and it scared me with fear, especially those eyes. Bela Lugosi's best movie of his career and really brought out the monster in his character. Edward Von Sloan also did a superb job as Van Helsing, the hunter sent to kill the dreaded Dracula. Dwight Frye also did a wonderful job as the demented Renfield, Dracula's faithful servant. Universal hit it on the nail by making this movie and an entire collection involving the Dracula character. Though tame by today's standards in horror movies, Dracula remains as one of the best horror movies of all time and I agree one bit with that comment. A true masterpiece that will forever fright moviegoers young and old.
Bela Lugosi was, is, and shall be the greatest Dracula of all time. No modern performance touches his. A truly underrated talent. If he had lived a few more years, he would have been in high demand. Mr Lugosi is the iconic Dracula of the ages. His performance in this picture and many more set the standard for a suave sophisticated villain of diabolical evil. His problem was that he was so completely convincing as Dracula, that his association with the character became, in the audience's mind, natural and eternal. The legion of fans of Bela Lugosi will remain grateful for his untiring efforts to entertain and enthrall us with his stylish and sincere performances even when confronted with a poor script and low budget. The films in some cases were not up to par, but Mr. Lugosi's performance was always above par and professional. The Spanish version of the 1931 Dracula was very well designed and photographed, but it lacked the main ingredient Bela Lugosi. The comparison of these two film should show anyone the power of Lugosi's Dracula. Bram Stoker's Character Dracula was given eternal life by the great eternal BELA LUGOSI.
When I "hear" the silence of this film, I also hear the noise of most other films. This is to say that movies are increasingly noisy -- not only full of manipulating and unnecessary sounds, but full of film composers' scores which desperately try to fill some role in the visual medium (I am a visual artist and also a musician and feel that these guys should take a break). The silence of this film is pregnant with horror and so eerie. Lugosi is also so frightening that in the scenes in which he is absent (or silent), the fear of his return remains. I also think of Van Helsing's silence in his approach to Dracula: without a word, he opens the cigarette case .... There is power and chi in the stillness of this film which is lacking today. There is also, despite from "antique" acting techniques, a lot of sincerity here.
Dracula opens very well with lavish sets and a genuine spooky
atmosphere as a young lawyer named Reinfield visits the Count's
Transylvanian castle to settle some business. But after this, when the
story takes us to London, it seems more disjointed and vague.
I don't understand what has supposed to have happened to Reinfield, why did he go mad? If Dracula bit him then why didn't he die or become a vampire? And the story is a bit confusing. Did Dracula plan on killing certain women when he came to London or did he just go with the flow? Why did he come to London in the first place? It's never really clarified. Which is a bit odd considering all of the expositional dialogue featured in the movie.
Though it sounds incredibly unpurist, I did enjoy this film much more with Philip Glass's new score. The chewed up Swan Lake music at the start just got on my nerves and I feel Glass's music gave the whole film a new sense of consistency and tied it together a little tighter. I would have liked it more if it showed us the gore and killing rather than simply implying it. I know it was the '30s but they still could have made an effort. I see nothing that would shock even a naive '30s audience.
And surely I am not the only one who thinks that Dracula looks a uncannily like Steven Seagal.
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