Three middle-aged distinguished gentlemen are searching for some excitement in their boring bourgeois lives and get in contact with one of Count Dracula's servants, Lord Courtley. In a ... See full summary »
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at count Dracula's castle. Needless to say, he is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to ... See full summary »
Roy Ward Baker
In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the ... See full summary »
After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one who may be able to protect them is Dr. van Helsing, Harker's friend and fellow-student of vampires, who is determined to destroy Dracula, whatever the cost. Written by
Dracula was filmed between 11 November 1957 and 3 January 1958. The film premiered at the Warner Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 8 May 1958 and took in $1,682 on its first day. In Britain, the film opened at London's Gaumont Theater 22 May 1958. See more »
The supposedly dead Lucy reacts when Van Helsing and Arthur Holmwood look into her coffin after she has been staked. See more »
[narrating his diary]
The Diary of Jonathan Harker... Third of May, 1885. At last, my long journey is drawing to its close. What the eventual end will be, I cannot foresee. But whatever may happen, I can rest secure that I will have done all in my power to achieve success.
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Hammer's Best Movie and Maybe the Best Dracula Ever
Until the release of "Horror of Dracula" (as it was called in the United States), Bela Lugosi had stamped his personality so thoroughly on the character of Dracula that it seemed unlikely that anyone else would ever replace him as the quintessential Count. That all changed in 1958 when Hammer Studios released its updated version of the Bram Stoker novel. Christopher Lee, who a year earlier had played The Monster in Hammer's "Curse of Frankenstein," infused new blood (so to speak) into the character of the bloodthirsty count.
Unlike the 1931 Universal classic, "Horror of Dracula" was shot in color with plenty of blood. The violence was much more overt, and this time Dracula and the other vampires actually had fangs! Add to that a literate script, plenty of Gothic atmosphere, a rousing score, Peter Cushing in the role of vampire slayer Van Helsing, and a stellar cast of supporting players, and the result was an instant classic that rivaled if not surpassed the Lugosi version.
The screenplay by Jimmy Sangster takes numerous liberties with the Stoker novel. Some of the characters (most notably Renfield) are missing entirely and others (like Jonathan Harker) are quite different from the characters as penned by Stoker. That meant nothing to me when I first saw "Horror of Dracula" as a ten-year-old boy, because I had not read the novel. In fact, watching this movie is what inspired me to read the book. And as much as I enjoyed it, Stoker's novel did nothing to lower my estimation of this movie.
For someone who is looking for a Dracula more faithful to the original source, I would recommend Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 remake. Personally, I prefer the Hammer version. I have seen it many times since its first release, and even after the passage of more than 50 years it has not lost its power to frighten or entertain. Christopher Lee would go on to play Dracula in numerous sequels and in some non-Hammer movies as well. Some of these sequels are quite entertaining in their own right, but none comes close to approaching the quality of the first. Still, whenever I think of Count Dracula I think of Christopher Lee, just as an earlier generation equated Bela Lugosi with the Transylvania blood drinker.
I have watched hundreds, if not thousands, of horror movies over the years, and there is none I would recommend more enthusiastically than this one.
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