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Horror of Dracula (1958)

Dracula (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 16 June 1958 (UK)
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Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Bram Stoker (novel)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... Doctor Van Helsing
Christopher Lee ... Dracula / Count Dracula
Michael Gough ... Arthur Holmwood
Melissa Stribling ... Mina Holmwood
Carol Marsh Carol Marsh ... Lucy Holmwood
Olga Dickie ... Gerda
John Van Eyssen John Van Eyssen ... Jonathan
Valerie Gaunt Valerie Gaunt ... Vampire Woman
Janina Faye ... Tania (as Janine Faye)
Barbara Archer Barbara Archer ... Inga
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Doctor Seward
George Merritt ... Policeman
George Woodbridge ... Landlord
George Benson George Benson ... Official
Miles Malleson ... Marx - Undertaker
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The terrifying lover who died - yet lived! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dracula 1958 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP81,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Van Helsing's recording machine is an Edison wax cylinder phonograph. The maximum recording time was about two minutes. The original wax cylinder machines were developed by Charles Tainter and Chichester Bell (a first cousin of Alexander Graham Bell) and were named "gramophones" after Bell's famous cousin. Edison sold his phonograph company, the reacquired it, developing longer-playing and more durable cylinders and louder machines. Van Helsing's machine is an earlier model, which was constructed around the year 1889. This, by the way, is in conflict with the film being set in 1885. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in 1885; however, when Dr. Van Helsing puts his fur coat on young Tania, he tells her she looks like a "teddy bear", a term that wasn't coined until 1902. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jonathan Harker: [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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut for its original cinema release by the BBFC in 1958 to remove shots of blood during Lucy's staking and to reduce the final disintegration of Dracula. For later UK video and DVD releases the U.S print (titled "Horror Of Dracula") was used as this restored the staking scene in full, although the climactic disintegration remained edited (and may no longer survive). In May 2007 a new BFI 'restored' print was premiered in Cannes which includes the staking and restores the original title of "Dracula" to the opening titles. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood! (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Probably Hammer's best horror film."
3 December 2004 | by jamesraeburn2003See all my reviews

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

Jonathan Harker (Van Eyssen) arrives at Castle Dracula posing as a librarian with the intention of destroying Count Dracula (Lee) who is the lord of all vampires and the most evil creature on Earth. Unfortunately, after Harker is bitten by Dracula's vampire bride he realises that he is doomed to become a member of the undead and while his senses are still his own he sets out to destroy the Count and his bride in blood. He stakes the bride but he is then overpowered by the Count and is turned into a vampire. Dr Van Helsing (Cushing) arrives at the castle and destroys Harker but of Dracula there is no sign. Meanwhile Lucy Holmwood, Harker's girlfriend has been struck by a mysterious illness. Dr Van Helsing suspects that she has become the victim of Dracula in revenge for the loss of his vampire bride and that Lucy is to replace that woman. His suspicions are confirmed when Lucy dies and she is seen leaving her tomb every night. Lucy has become a vampire and Van Helsing manages to destroy her before she attacks the niece of the Holmwood's housekeeper. With the help of Lucy's brother Arthur (Michael Gough) he sets out to trace Dracula's coffin and destroy him thus ending his evil reign of terror.

After the enormous commercial success of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957), Hammer turned to Bram Stoker's classic horror story Dracula as their next subject for filming. They wasted no time in re teaming stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee along with screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, cameraman Jack Asher and director Terence Fisher. The result was another box office smash and Hammer's reputation as the finest purveyors of horror since Universal in the 1930's was fully opened. The film spawned six sequels all of them starring Lee as the Count. However, none of them with the possible exception of the first really lived up to this one because the scripts went increasingly away from Stoker's original and Lee's Dracula was sadly reduced to little more than a supporting character. They were Dracula PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966), Dracula HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968), TASTE THE BLOOD OF Dracula, SCARS OF Dracula (both 1970), Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and THE SATANIC RITES OF Dracula (1974).

Dracula (US: HORROR OF Dracula) is probably the best horror film Hammer ever made. The lighting of Jack Asher is excellent, the sets were well used and the performances of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are outstanding. The night time scenes are especially impressive and are not so obviously day-for-night as they would be in some of the company's later films. The script by Jimmy Sangster scales down the original novel considerably due to the film's small budget, but compared to the awfully overblown version by Francis Ford Coppola in the early 1990's this film is still more effective.


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