At midnight on Walpurgis Night, an English clerk, Renfield, arrives at Count Dracula's castle in the Carpathian Mountains. After signing papers to take over a ruined abbey near London, ... See full summary »
Count Alucard (read his name backwards) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.
Lon Chaney Jr.,
The Romanian count known as Dracula is summoned to London by Arthur Holmwood. A young Lord who is one the verge of being wed. Unknown to Arthur's future bride Lucy. Her future husband is ... See full summary »
At midnight on Walpurgis Night, an English clerk, Renfield, arrives at Count Dracula's castle in the Carpathian Mountains. After signing papers to take over a ruined abbey near London, Dracula drives Renfield mad and commands obedience. Renfield escorts the boxed count on a death ship to London. From there, the Count is introduced into the society of his neighbor, Dr. Seward, who runs an asylum. Dracula makes short work of family friend, Lucia Weston, then begins his assault on Eva Seward, the doctor's daughter. A visiting expert in the occult, Van Helsing, recognizes Dracula for who he is, and there begins a battle for Eva's body and soul. Written by
When this film was released on DVD in 2004 as part of the "Dracula: Legacy Collection", it included closed captions for the hearing impaired, but did not contain the straight English subtitles. Universal answered buyers' complaints by telling them to simply select the "closed captions". See more »
The three brides of Dracula that are seen in the catacombs are not the three that set upon Renfield. The catacombs shot was stock footage from Dracula, and thus the three actresses playing the brides are different. See more »
The next morning, I felt very weak as if I had lost my virginity.
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The Spanish language version of 'Dracula' has attained cult status over the years, due mainly to the fact that it was hard to get hold of for many years (it may even have been considered lost, I'm not sure) and also because those who have seen it said it was better than the Tod Browning-directed, Bela Lugosi-starring English-language version.
Having recently seen the Spanish movie, I can say that, in many ways, this assessment is correct. One problem with the Browning movie is that it is very static, almost like a filmed stage play (which it is actually based on, more so than the original Bram Stoker novel). George Melford's film, by contrast, has much more of a flow to it, notably in the scene where Dracula is first seen in his castle, which, in Browning's version, is a static shot of Bela Lugosi plodding down the steps, whereas Melford has a crane shot go up to frame Carlos Villarias. It's not as spectacular as some people have claimed, but it is quite a nice effect. The fluidity of Melford's film-making can also be seen in the sequences where Harker, Van Helsing and Dr. Seward confront Renfield about his links to Dracula. In the English-language film, both sequences play out in Seward's sitting room, with Renfield slowly walking in on the three men, who stand around like statues. In the Spanish movie, these sequences move between the sitting room and the veranda, with Renfield's entrance in one being forced by Harker rushing to the door and hurling the madman into the room (David Manners barely moves in his scenes).
Another notable difference between the two Draculas is that George Melford's film runs a lot longer than Tod Browning's, with several scenes being longer, notably the exchange between Dracula and Renfield when the lawyer is sitting down to eat, and later when Renfield advances on a fainted maid. Both sequences are in the English-language film, but there have important bits removed, such as the eventual fate of the maid, and a reference to Renfield having destroyed all his correspondence.
The downside with this movie is that the actors playing Dracula, Renfield and Van Helsing are not as good as Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye or Edward Van Sloan. For instance, when Renfield cuts his finger and Dracula advances on him, only to be thwarted by a cross around Renfield's neck, Bela Lugosi looks repulsed and horrified; Carlos Villarias looks like he needs more fibre in his diet
It's a matter of debate which version of Dracula actually is better, but the existence of both movie raises the idea of a great cinematic missed opportunity, that of a George Melford-directed Dracula with Bela Lugosi in the lead role. Maybe if that had happened, we'd have a real classic on our hands
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