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Dracula (1979) Poster

(1979)

Trivia

Frank Langella, like Bela Lugosi, never wore fangs for the role of Dracula. He has stated that he considered it a compliment when fans of the film would comment on them anyway.
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There were two stipulations that actor Frank Langella insisted upon when accepting the role of Dracula in this movie. First, there would be no scenes with fangs dripping blood and second, that Langella would not do any commercial promotions as Dracula.
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Actor Frank Langella has often commented that men have frequently said to him after seeing him as Dracula on stage or screen: "Boy, did my wife make love to me that night when she saw "Dracula"."
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Reportedly, the theatrical print of this film looks markedly different to recent versions. In 1991, when the film was re-released on laserdisc, director John Badham changed the color timing and as such the vibrant look of the film was desaturated. The color scheme of the film took on a virtually colorless look and consequently debates occurred on Internet chat forums.
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According to the DVD Documentary 'The Revamping of Dracula', Donald Pleasence was a props actor who knew the movie game, and frequently would be seen utilizing props like a handkerchief or eating sweets from a bag, handling objects so his scenes would be difficult to cut due to the continuity issues that exist with handling objects between shots, thereby forcing more time on screen and reducing the chance of his scenes being cut out of the film.
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Frank Langella also played the title character Dracula on the stage during the Broadway revival, was nominated for a Tony Award for his stage performance of Dracula. Langella once said of his interpretation of the Dracula character, "I don't play him as a hair-raising ghoul. He is a nobleman, an elegant man with a very difficult problem... a man with a unique and distinctive social problem: he has to have blood to live and he is immortal".
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Actor Laurence Olivier was seriously ill during the making of this picture and some cast and crew wondered whether Larry would be able to complete the film. Ironically, working on this vampire film, Olivier had a disease that caused him to bleed incessantly at the slightest nick or scratch.
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Donald Pleasence was initially offered the role of vampire hunter Van Helsing, but rejected it, saying it was too similar to his role as Dr. Loomis in the "Halloween" films. He accepted the smaller role of Dr Seward instead.
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The names of Mina and Lucy are inverted in this version of Dracula. In Bram Stoker's book and other movies, Mina was Jonathan Harker's fiancé and Lucy was her friend who becomes a vampire. Here, Lucy is the fiancé and Mina becomes the vampire lady.
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Reportedly, the concept for this picture came when producer Walter Mirisch saw the Broadway theatrical production. Mirisch said: "I truly had no idea what to expect. But I found that [Frank] Langella had created a completely different character from the accepted sinister one - a character with charm, sex appeal, and most important of all, he endeared himself to the audiences. I decided right then to make the film!".
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This was one of five Dracula films released in 1979, the other four being Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Love at First Bite (1979), Nocturna (1979) and Graf Dracula in Oberbayern (1979). In the same year, Vlad Tepes (1979), a Romanian film concerning the historical figure on whom the Count was based, was released. 1979 also saw the release of two other vampire films: Thirst (1979) and Salem's Lot (1979).
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According to the book "Lights! Camera! Scream!" (1983) by Stephen Mooser, Dracula's castle in this picture was not a real life location but a glass matte painted by special visual effects guru Albert Whitlock.
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Along with Richard Roxburgh and Christopher Lee, Frank Langella is one of only a few actors to play both Dracula and Sherlock Holmes in film & TV.
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When Dracula hypnotizes Mina, he uses the line, "When I will something, it should be done." A line once used by Bela Lugosi when he gave his "Great Vampire Bat Illusion" on an episode of "You Asked For It".
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This movie was based upon the second revived theatrical production of the original "Dracula" play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. It is a play in three acts set in Purley, England during the 1920s. This third Broadway production opened at the Martin Beck Theater in New York on 20th October 1977 and ran for 925 performances until 6th January 1980. The same Universal Studio's earlier Dracula (1931) film had also been based on this stage play, the play having been revived on Broadway in around April 1931 at the Revival Royale Theatre. The play was first performed on Broadway at the Original Fulton Theatre between the 5th October 1927 and May 1928.
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The type of ship where the movie's finale takes place was a three-masted brigantine whilst the vessel seen at the start of the film is the sailing ship 'Demeter'.
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Director John Badham originally intended to shoot the picture in black-and-white to mirror the b&w scenic design of cartoonist Edward Gorey's sets and costumes of the stage play as well as Universal's original monochrome Dracula (1931) movie but the Universal Pictures studio objected. The film utilizes mostly warm and golden colors, black, white and muted greys with only intermittent garish colors, a look and feel that director Badham said was to evoke the romanticism of period pen-and-ink drawings.
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The film's director John Badham saw the stage production of "Dracula" with Frank Langella and then went back at least four more times.
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First feature film of actor Trevor Eve.
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The film takes place in 1913.
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The car that Jonathan Harker drives is a Hispano-Suiza.
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Sylvester McCoy was interviewed for Renfield.
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The part that Teddy Turner played was spilt into two because the production team wanted to cast Sylvester McCoy in a role.
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Most of Sylvester McCoy's role was deleted from the final print.
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Frank Langella suffers from an eye condition called nystagmus, which causes one's eyes to move involuntarily. The producers were aware that this might detract from the menace he was able to portray in the role, but cast him anyway as they trusted in his overall screen presence to make the role work. In many scenes his eyes are seen to be moving erratically, while in other scenes he can be observed to be keeping them still either through force of will or by focusing on objects in the distance.
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Jan Francis, who plays Mina in the film, arranged the dancing sequence featuring Dracula and Lucy. Francis was a professional dancer before she became an actress.
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