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Reviews & Ratings for
Dracula More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Absolute Favorite

10/10
Author: Nicole Emmons from United States
15 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am in love with Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, for years and years after the film has been produced Lugosi's voice has set the standard for what every vampire should sound like, from the Count in Sesame Street to people dressed up for Halloween. Bela's portrayal is incredibly iconic and he is a truly talented actor. Dwight Frye is also an amazing actor and I would have liked to see more of a presence of his character in the film. The shots of just Bela's face are so creepy but yet effective in reinforcing the horror in the mind of a viewer. Van Helsing and Dracula have a character dynamic that is unparalleled in any piece of film or literature even now into 2014.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A classic horror film reduced to a competent genre-piece

8/10
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
25 October 2013

The horror genre didn't begin with Tod Browning's Dracula, but it was greatly revolutionized by its incarnation. Horror had existed as a largely expressionistic medium in countries like Germany for much of the early 1900s, but when Universal Pictures decide to put its hand in the monster-movie pot, horror would never be the same again.

1931 saw the beginning of the Great Depression and movie studios began hurting. Dracula's financial performance led to the lengthier viability of Universal Pictures' studio and jump-started several other horror films known as the "Universal class monster movies." With that being said, it also placed Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi on the map in addition to furthering the career of filmmaker Tod Browning.

Dracula is more than a curious piece of history in the regard that its atmosphere and acting still hold up today, but I think the appeal for viewers will be greatly diminished if they have seen the classic vampire picture Nosferatu from 1922. That film relied more on the sheer ugliness and daunting presence of the monster - with much material taken from the Bram Stoker novel. Dracula, on the contrary, uses the Broadway play as its source, retracting the ugly traits of Dracula to make him dashing rather than daunting. Suave rather than scary. And somewhat attractive rather than a vile monster.

Such decisions were completely creative on part of writer Garrett Fort and director Tod Browning (and the uncredited Karl Freund). I can admire and respect their visions but I can't bring myself to prefer it to the 1922 classic. With Nosferatu being the first "Dracula" film (not counting the lost films of Russia from 1920 or the other lost film from Hungary called Dracula's Death), it's fair to say that a standard was unintentionally set. And having seen that masterpiece, seeing Dracula was a pleasant but ultimately a somewhat unrewarding experience.

The film revolves around the titular count who arrives in Transylvania on business. The residents fear the count and his ominous castle, and fear only continues to brew when he attempts to start a relationship with young Mina (Helen Chandler), the daughter of Dr. Seward (Herbert Bunston) who runs the nearby mental hospital.

Is it necessary to go further since the story is so classic? Moreover, Lugosi is brilliant here, with his elegant portrayal of a monster formerly seen as brooding and homely. Subtle movements Lugosi makes in the film feel like bold statements and whenever he speaks, the presence of a shivering echo always exists. Lugosi in addition to Karl Freund's beautiful cinematography that guides us through Dracula's spacious concubine with exceptional clarity and placement.

The look of the film - thanks to the professional touch of Freund in this particular film - is what Universal began to rely on with each of their monster films, which will probably get to be a redundant, overused statement as I visit many of these films within the next few days. Browning's Dracula, as a whole, works as competent entertainment, but pails in comparison to its silent film predecessor that proves to be scary even as it approaches its one-hundredth year anniversary. Dracula's effectiveness has been demoted to that of a basic mood-setter, if anything.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, and Herbert Bunston. Directed by: Tod Browning.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bela Lugosi

6/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
22 October 2013

Tod Browning directed Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula to major stardom in this loose adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel. Dwight Frye(quite memorable) plays Renfield, who goes to the count's castle in Transylvania to transact a real estate deal, only to be turned into a vampire who loyally serves him, protecting his coffin on its way to London, where he seeks the blood of this new land. Only professor Van Helsing(played by Edward Van Sloan) can stop his reign of terror. Lugosi is the whole show here, delivering an indelible performance, though the film itself(despite a promising opening) becomes remarkably slow and talky. Still, Bela and Dwight Frye make the difference here, and film just about succeeds, but with major reservations.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"Definitive Dracula!"

6/10
Author: gwnightscream from United States
26 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This 1931 horror classic stars Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Frances Dade, Herbert Bunston and Edward Van Sloan based on Bram Stoker's novel. I won't give away the film's plot because I think most of us know what it's about. I will say that they don't make them like this anymore, Lugosi makes the film and will always be the definitive version of the legendary vampire, Count Dracula. He's so creepy in the role that he didn't need fangs because his movements and facial expressions are chilling. Frye plays Renfield, Chandler plays Mina, Manners plays her fiancée, Jonathan, Dade plays Mina's friend, Lucy, Bunston plays her father, Dr. Seward and Van Sloan not only plays Dracula's nemesis, Van Helsing, but also appears in other horror classics, "Frankenstein," "The Mummy" and "Dracula's Daughter." The film gets flack for not staying true to the novel and may have obvious flaws like wire-hanging bats, but it works for the imagination and they did what they could since they didn't have the technology/resources we have now. This classic has a good spooky atmosphere and I recommend it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bela Logosi: although not the first, and certainly not the last, nevertheless the quintessential screen Dracula.

7/10
Author: Roman James Hoffman from United Kingdom
26 August 2013

The vampire mythos has been a part of folklore for centuries. Originally the reanimated corpses of peasants who stank and looked grotesque, in the Romantic era of the 19th century the vampire was re-imagined as a sauve, aristocratic, and above-all hypnotically charismatic creature who is able to fascinate with a curious erotic allure. This archetype would then blossom and achieve literary immortality in Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic novel. Moving to the silver screen, in 1922 German Expressionist director F.W. Murnau made 'Nosferatu', an unauthorised version of Stoker's novel which ran into legal trouble and thought destroyed for many years. Thankfully, copies of the film survived and it remains a striking film in its own right but nevertheless doesn't have the pop-culture punch that Tod Browning's 1931 film has enjoyed since its release. The reason, well…Max Schreck's portrayal of Count Orlock is of a grotesque monster, closer to the smelly peasants of the original vampire myth. Hardly erotically alluring. Whereas, in contrast, Bela Lugosi's portrayal of the Count is closer to Stoker's image of aristocratic grandeur and exquisite Gothic decay…which is, well, much more alluring.

However, despite the high point of Lugosi's definitive performance of the Count, the film is not perfect and should be approached with caution due to the risk of disappointment. Although cinema had been around for a while by the 1930s and many incredible films had been produced (i.e. in Germany with the likes of 'Nosferatu' (1922) and 'The Cabinet of Dr' Caligari', and also in the US with the likes Universal's own 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1923) and 'The Phantom of the Opera' (1925)) many films, especially from Hollywood, produced in this era are shot and paced much like theatre as the inherent potential of cinema as a unique art-form was still being established. This seems especially the case in 'Dracula' as it was based on a Broadway adaptation of the novel (taking a few liberties with the original plot along the way) and when the action is taking place anywhere but Dracula's lavish yet crumbling castle, I can see how it would be difficult for many to suspend one's disbelief. Also, it must be said, the bat is absolutely laughable which also sadly distracts from the air of menace the film goes to great lengths to create. Consequently, as a result of such weaknesses, the film has lost a lot of the bite it may have had back in the day (pun intended).

So while, as a whole film, 'Dracula' certainly has its weak points and doesn't really stand up to the magnificence of, say, James Whale's 'Frankenstein' released the same year, or Browning's own 'Freaks' released the following year (which promptly destroyed his career and was forgotten for decades until it was rediscovered in the 1960s for the masterpiece it is). However, 'Dracula' was a commercial smash at the time, made possible the Hollywood monster boom of the 1930s, rightly made a star of Lugosi, and served up the definitive cinematic presentation of the Count. No small feat…and while the film may not scare the modern viewer, it still has a certain power to seduce.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"nobody looks like a vampire anymore".....

8/10
Author: rsubber from United States
24 August 2013

"Over the years all these vampire movies have come out and nobody looks like a vampire anymore." Johnny Depp

Most of the time, vampires aren't my thing, although I loved "Interview With A Vampire," the movie and the book. Anne Rice does vampire. Johnny Depp ain't my thing, either, pretty much, although I confess that I've watched "Edward Scissorhands" repeatedly. And I guess pirates aren't my thing, pretty much, either....

But --- "...nobody looks like a vampire anymore"? That's deep truth.

You want vampire? First, you have to read Dracula. Bram Stoker did vampire the right way. You want a white-knuckle "chase scene"? Try chasing Dracula by stagecoach through the mountains back to his castle in Transylvania....

Then you should watch "Nosferatu" (1922) if you want to do this thing right.

Then you have to see the 1931 version of the "Dracula" movies.

Then you have to put Bela Lugosi's poster picture on your wall. Keep looking at it.

Then you can watch the 1992 "Dracula" with Gary Oldman.

Put his poster on the wall. Stare at that one for a while.

Now you're ready to talk vampire talk.

…and by the way, I didn't like "Dark Shadows," there are lots of good reasons why the film never made it to the hit parade....for one thing, it doesn't have any Transylvanian stagecoaches, duh.... Read more on my blog: Barley Literate by Rick

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Dracula is a scary movie, if you're in the right mindset.

8/10
Author: Boothegoo from Sweden
20 August 2013

This movie is the fist sound horror movie from this famous studio. And the pick was a good one.

Dracula is about the vampire by the same name who is on the haunt for fresh blood. And for that he moves to England. In England he reaps one victim after the other (Only women).

This movie is pretty slow, but that is what you can expect since the book is also pretty slow sometimes. There are some changes from the book, and i will not spoil it, but for one the ending is different, and it has less blood then you expect (if you read the book).

There are 3 characters that makes the movie really good.

The first one is Dracula, brilliantly done by Lugosi, he is just so creepy sometimes. You will remember the most famous stare in movie history after this movie.

The second on is Renfield. You can summarize him with "Rats" and "Ne-hehehe" The last one is Martin. Just watch the movie and you will see why.

There is some bad parts about this movie also. Harker is bland compared to Nosferatu, and it feels like he don't really care about the role and just reads the line with out giving a F**k

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Vlad the Impaler

10/10
Author: kai ringler from United States
10 July 2013

this is one of my all time favorite classics,, first off Bela Lugosi did a great job,, possibly his top 5 material you have to love the Renfield character that guy was just so lovable the whole movie,, I love the use of sexuality in this movie also, all of the undertones. the movie was very suspenseful, creepy, I just love the story of how our main character, besides Dracula, Jonathan Harker has to go and visit the count,, here we go thru the Bulgar Pass. hope I spelled that right. I love how the townspeople harass him and tell him he's crazy ,the horses are up on two legs,, they want no part of it either, the castle itself is a character in the movie,, it's so old and dank, and dreary,, pefect for me, I actually have visited many castles in Germany along the Rhine, so I can appreciate a good castle when I see one.. you have to also love all of Dracula's minions in the movie,, how the serve him without question. I love the Mina character a lot as well,, and you have Van Helsing,, and a host of others I can't remember because it's been over a year since I've watched this so time again to be taken far off to the land of Transylvania.. I can't wait.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Being classic isn't always a good thing.

3/10
Author: LaserLemon from United States
12 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a movie that I had really looked forward to as a classic horror movie, the original Dracula. I was sadly disappointed when I finally did get around to watching it. The best way to describe the film as a whole is cheesy. Rubber bats, lightning, spider webs, and crypts are common throughout the movie. There is also some sort of strange mythology mix up in the middle as Dracula becomes some sort of wolf and is repelled by wolfsbane, the classic way to deal with werewolves. The only real savior is Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, which I found particularly moving. His voice, which represents most of the film's memorable sound, is simply captivating in the way a vampire's voice should be. Lugosi is the only thing I would keep in this film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bela Lugosi is Dead

4/10
Author: hans-smooth from United States
20 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bela Lugosi creates the modern vampire in a movie that is anything but modern. The iconic Count Dracula would become the template for nearly all vampires and similar ghouls. Bela's performance transformed the vampire from a cadaverous ghoul into an suave aristocrat dominating the weak willed. Most of the acting aside from Lugosi's, Sloan's and Frye's is awful with awkward pauses between lines and actions. Characters will often make a single appearance and disappear from the movie, never to be mentioned again(Dracula's brides). For all the fantastic and terrifying powers the Count is said to posses, most of his strength is portrayed through dialog between characters, probably due to budget and technical limitations. The character Dracula is a classic, forever memorable. The movie itself is not quite as timeless.

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