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Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

 -  Horror  -  12 January 1966 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,175 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 100 critic

Dracula is resurrected, preying on four unsuspecting visitors to his castle.

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(screenplay), (idea), 2 more credits »
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Title: Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Barbara Shelley ...
Helen Kent
Andrew Keir ...
Francis Matthews ...
Charles Kent
Suzan Farmer ...
Diana Kent
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ...
Alan Kent (as Charles Tingwell)
Thorley Walters ...
Ludwig
Philip Latham ...
Walter Brown ...
Brother Mark
George Woodbridge ...
Landlord
Jack Lambert ...
Brother Peter
Philip Ray ...
Priest
Joyce Hemson ...
Mother
John Maxim ...
Coach Driver
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Storyline

Two couples traveling in eastern Europe decide to visit Karlsbad despite dire local warnings. Left outside the village by a coachman terrified at the approach of night, they find themselves in the local castle and are surprised at the hospitality extended by the sinister Klove. It turns out the owner, Count Dracula, dead for ten years, has been hoping for such a visit. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dracula | castle | evil | warning | mountain | See more »

Taglines:

Bloodthirsty Vampire Lives Again! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Disciple of Dracula  »

Box Office

Budget:

£100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Dracula finally wakes up (his "resurrection" in his coffin), to the crash of thunder and a flash of lightning, he originally took, as probably anyone would, a full FOUR frames (one sixth of a second) to completely open his eyes. In the final cutting stages, an assistant editor had the idea of removing those four frames - effectively a "jump cut" - to have Dracula's eyes open in an even more shocking ONE frame. However, the editor, Chris Barnes, had already finalized the edit for that reel - so the clever cut was never incorporated! See more »

Goofs

Just as Dracula begins his descent into the freezing waters of the castle moat at the end of the film, the long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding up the ice beneath him. See more »

Quotes

Father Sandor: [opening monologue recapping the previous film] After a reign of terror spanning more than a century the king of the undead was finally traced to his lair high in the Carpathian Mountains.Though the decades many had sought to destroy him all had failed.Here at last was an adversary armed with sufficient knowledge of the ways of the vampire to bring about the final and absolute destruction. This then was his fate thousands had been enslaved by to obscene cult vampirism now the fountain head ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Birth of the Living Dead (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hammer's decline starting to show.
15 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Although this film holds a nostalgic pull for this particular viewer, (having seen it in its original stateside release at a Drive-In)an honest assessment today compels us to admit that the film is a study of a studio in decline.

True, the film is not without its assets, not the least of which is the veteran cast, with the lovely and always dramatically compelling Barbara Shelley pretty much walking off with the picture. Suzan Farmer, as always, is charming, and very easy on the eyes.

However, Bernard Robinson's art direction, (though adequate) doesn't begin to approach his earlier work, (particulary in "Brides of Dracula," "The Man Who Could Cheat Death," and "The Kiss of the Vampire"--and Robinson's genius is of a type that the work 'adequate' sits uncomfortably upon). Curiously, Mr. Robinson was back at the top of his game months later when he designed the plushy, "Plague of the Zombies."

The cinematography is compromised by grainy film stock, poor color, (as noted by film historian Leslie Halliwell), often rushed lighting, and a cumbersome and unnecessary use of wide screen. Terence Fisher filmographer, Wheeler Dixon, has noted the deficiencies in Michael Reeds's lensing on this project. In any case Mr. Reed nowhere equals the beautiful compositions he had managed on "The Gorgon," all of which makes the absence of Jack Asher particularly evident.

That the aforesaid technical credentials are lacking bears ample testament to the studio's drastic mid 60's cost cutting strategies, and the artistically regrettable, but imminent move away from Bray studios.

Moreover, the commercial objectives are baldly evinced here--the film screams "Formula."

Despite these shortcomings, and since this film was one of the last shot at Bray, it does bear compensatory traces of former glories. Thus we fully appreciate the hapless quartet's posthumous toast to Count Dracula, whilst the armorial flags above them billow in a ghostly breeze and the underscoring throbs unnervingly.

And Miss Shelley, as a vampiress, descending the staircase in a diaphanous gown goes a far way on the asset side of the ledger.

Mr. Lee for his part, does his usual hissing and cape waving. Too much is made of his lack of dialogue here. After all he has only a few lines at the beginning of "Horror of Dracula," and a few lines in this film's successor, "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave." So why on earth people feel the absence of such scanty phrases damages this film, who can say?

This picture would have been far better had it been done five years earlier. That said, it is a masterpiece compared to the dreck the eviscerated Hammer would be foisting on the public just five years later.


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