In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period... See full summary »
It hadn't even been a year since a plantation owner named Louis had lost his wife in childbirth. Both his wife and the infant died, and now he has lost his will to live. A vampire named Lestat takes a liking to Louis and offers him the chance to become a creature of the night: a vampire. Louis accepts, and Lestat drains Louis' mortal blood and then replaces it with his own, turning Louis into a vampire. Louis must learn from Lestat the ways of the vampire. Written by
Author Anne Rice wrote the original part of Lestat for the 1976 novel with Rutger Hauer in mind. The rights to the novel were optioned by Paramount for $150,000 before the book was first published. John Travolta was then earmarked to play Lestat but Dracula (1979), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), and Love at First Bite (1979) put the project into turnaround. By the time a movie was to be filmed, Hauer and Travolta had become too old to portray the ever-young vampire. Upon learning that Tom Cruise had been cast, she was quite disappointed and expressed concern that Cruise could not carry the part. After attending a screening, Rice wrote a letter of apology, quite pleased with Cruise's portrayal. See more »
After Lestat kills the tavern woman with Louis's help and replaces her head on the table, her eyelids move slightly. See more »
So you want me to tell you the story of my life?
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I, like Anne Rice, was initially dismayed that Tom Cruise had been cast as Lestat. But when I saw the film, I had to admit that he absolutely nailed the role. I had always thought of Cruise as a pretty boy, and not really a serious actor, especially since he failed in his attempt at a Streepian accent in "Far and Away". However, he perfectly portrayed Lestat for what he is, a monster with a monstrous ego. I think that this was the first film I had seen with Brad Pitt, followed shortly by "Legends of the Fall" so to me his acting credentials were impeccable, in spite of my female friends swooning over him. The rest of the cast was excellent as well, with the only minor quibble that Antonio Banderas was too old for the part of Armand. Kirsten Dunst was adorably evil. The cinematography was beautiful, considering that almost all of the film (of course) takes place at night. One note on the supposed "homo-eroticism" in the film. I have the advantage, having read Rice's books, so here is the deal on that. In Rice's world, the vampires are absolutely sexless. Therefore, gender has no meaning to them. When a vampire loves another, or a mortal, it is truly from the heart, as no sexuality of any kind ever enters into it. The only thing to them that is close, is the kill. Killing is highly "erotic" to vampires. However, this too is really asexual, and so again, gender has no bearing on the eroticism of the kill. I think that some elements of this, which apparently came across as homo-eroticism, were included in the screenplay just to emphasize how different, how non-human, that vampires are.
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