Son of Dracula (1943)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  5 November 1943 (USA)
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Reviews: 86 user | 47 critic

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.



(screenplay), (original story) (as Curtis Siodmak)
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Complete credited cast:
Robert Paige ...
Louise Allbritton ...
Claire Caldwell
Frank Craven ...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Judge Simmons
Adeline De Walt Reynolds ...
Madame Zimba (as Adeline DeWalt Reynolds)
Pat Moriarity ...
Sheriff Dawes (as Patrick Moriarity)
Etta McDaniel ...
Colonel Caldwell
Count Dracula (as Lon Chaney)


Count Alucard finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South after meeting Katherine Caldwell, of the moneyed Caldwell clan that runs a plantation called Dark Oaks. She's obsessed with occult matters. Who better to guide her through this supernatural world than Count Alucard, whose name no one bothers to spell backwards? No one, that is, except the wily Dr. Brewster, an old family friend. He'll join Professor Lazlo, a specialist in the occult, in fighting this "Alucard" and the woman he's influenced. Or has Katherine influenced him? Meanwhile, Katherine's fiancé, Frank Stanley, will find his courage and his sanity sorely tested when he accidentally shoots Katherine to death, yet finds that she goes on living. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Chill and Thrill to Dracula's Curse! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destiny  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Part of the original "Shock Theater" package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with "Son of Shock", which added 20 more features. See more »


When Alucard/Dracula approaches the bedroom of Colonel Caldwell, and transforms from bat to man, both the bat and Lon Chaney Jr. can be seen reflected in a mirror hanging on the wall, which is a no-no in Universal vampire lore, as vampires cast no reflection. What's more, the actual animated transformation is not reflected; rather a jump-cut is seen in the mirror. See more »


[first lines]
Harry [townsman bit]: How are ya, doctor?
Prof. Harry Brewster: Hi, Harry.
Frank Stanley: Hey, Charlie!
Charlie, station agent: Hello Dr. Brewster, Mr. Stanley.
Frank Stanley: How are ya. Say, uh, those all the passengers you have?
Charlie, station agent: Just the four.
Prof. Harry Brewster: You didn't put anyone off at the wrong station, did you? We're here to meet a friend of the Caldwells, a Count Alucard.
Charlie, station agent: There was no Count on this train. All customers. Say - there was a lot of stuff in the baggage car that might belong to your Count.
Prof. Harry Brewster: Thanks, we'll take a look at it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

You're not giving--- just lending--- when you buy war savings stamps and bonds--- on sale here See more »


Referenced in True Blood: Evil Is Going On (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Put it out!"
11 August 2006 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I thought "Son of Dracula" was the pits when I was a kid. I simply found it slow and tedious and lacking in the kind of mesmeric atmosphere that makes the best vampire entertainment really tick. But, reviewing the film recently, I found myself enjoying it thoroughly. Go figure...

It's still no masterpiece, of course. Shoehorning Count Alucard/Dracula into a Louisiana swamp-and-plantation setting has always struck me as a weird and arbitrary move. (Though Dracula does get some interesting dialog about how he's attracted to America because it's a youthful and vigorous land.) And the human protagonists are too drippy for my tastes. The supposed hero is Frank Stanley, but his character is too thinly developed to be truly sympathetic. In fact, in an early scene he expresses a sort of jerky glee when the local voodoo woman drops dead of a heart attack, so I suppose you could say he's aggressively unsympathetic!

As usual, the vampires stand head and shoulders above the boring humans. Some people are critical of Chaney's performance, but I think he's pretty good. He's definitely a different sort of vampire from Lugosi - he's less ethereal, and more aggressively powerful. You could say he foreshadows Christopher Lee's forceful portrayal of Dracula in the 1950s-70s films from England's Hammer Studios. Louise Allbritton is even more effective in her role as the female vampire, and, in an interesting twist, she's allowed to have a set of motivations and ambitions that are totally different from Dracula's. In fact, in many ways she's the main character.

In the end, then, I think this movie stacks up pretty well to other films in the Universal series. It's not as eerie as "Dracula" or "Dracula's Daughter," probably because it's a more modern and technologically advanced film. (The primitiveness of the early entries in the series actually makes them scarier!) But it's certainly easier to watch than its predecessors, thanks to its more glossy look, full music score and occasional nifty special effects. You gotta love that mist stuff...

On a side note, I do think that Cheney is playing Dracula's son, and not the original Dracula himself. I'm surprised to see so much controversy about that point on this site. The film is called "Son of Dracula," after all, and J. Edward Bromberg identifies Alucard as a "descendant" of Dracula. Sure, Alucard admits to being a "Dracula" at one point, but not necessarily THE Dracula. As father and son, they would have the same surname - right? Oh, never mind, this is giving me a headache!

One more odd matter of continuity. Bromberg's character says at one point that Dracula was destroyed "in the 19th century." But, since the Universal films had a contemporary setting, wasn't he destroyed in the 20th century in this particular universe? Just thought I'd mention that.

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