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Dracula's Death (1921)

Drakula halála (original title)
A girl has frightening visions after visiting an insane asylum where one of the inmates claims to be Drakula and she can not be sure whether they were a nightmare or real.

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(as Kertész Mihály), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Askonas ...
Drakula
Carl Goetz ...
Funnyman
Károly Hatvani
Anna Marie Hegener
Aladár Ihász ...
His assistant
Paula Kende
Dezsõ Kertész ...
George (as Dezsö Kertész)
Margit Lux ...
Mary
Lene Myl ...
Mary Land
Oszkár Perczel
Lajos Réthey ...
The fake-doctor
Magda Sonja
Lajos Szalkai
Elemér Thury ...
Doctor
Béla Tímár
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Storyline

A girl has frightening visions after visiting an insane asylum where one of the inmates claims to be Drakula and she can not be sure whether they were a nightmare or real.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

February 1921 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Dracula's Death  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to what has been widely assumed to date, recent research carried out in Hungary indicates that this movie was not based on Stoker's novel. However, that cannot be confirmed, because this film has been lost for many decades. See more »

Connections

Version of Blood for Dracula (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What country gets credit for the first screen version of Dracula?
7 April 2008 | by (Chinatown, California) – See all my reviews

Germany, with the release of Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens in 1922 has long claimed this honor. However a film book has recently been found in the Budapest National Library that strongly suggests that the Hungarians got there first.

The Hungarian film Drakula halala (1921), aka The Death of Dracula, was the first adaptation of Irish writer Bram Stoker's 1897 vampire novel Dracula. However, recent research has carried out in Hungary that indicates this movie was not based on Stoker's novel.

The narrative from Drakula halala models itself not from any historical event, but from the fictional stories circulating in the early part of this century. Svengali-like stories of powerful dynamic men hypnotizing pure innocent girls were one of the staples of popular melodrama. Indeed, since Mary is kidnapped by her former music teacher, one could argue that the story is closer to Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, than to anything Stoker visualized.

Newspaper accounts confirm that Drakula halala opened in Vienna in February 1921. Nosferatu premiered thirteen months later, in Berlin in March 1922. On these grounds alone, The Death of Drakula is clearly the first film adaptation relating to Stoker's novel. Perhaps the Austrians should get some of bragging rights as to which country produced the first screen Dracula. The film was both partly shot and premiered in Vienna, and Paul Askonas (who played Drakula) is Austrian. Depending on your politics, either the film was an Austro-Hungarian collaboration, or this Hungarian Count had more than a little Germanic blood.

A trade journal reporting on the 1921 opening in Vienna mentions that the lead actress was played by a Serbian actress named Lene Myl. The film next resurfaces in Budapest in 1923 with the lead actress named as Margit Lux. Although this might be simply the result of a marketing decision designed to highlight different actresses, the possibility exists that Lajthay re-cut or re-shot the film to star Margit Lux, making the 1923 film an alternative version.

Those who insist that their Counts live in coffins and suck blood can rest assured that the German Nosferatu still qualifies as the first attempt to film Stoker's novel. The rest of us who like life with its complications and ambiguities can point instead to Hungary. It is only fitting for the country of the birthplace of Bela Lugosi to also have made the first filmed Dracula.


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