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Dracula (1931)

Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror | 14 February 1931 (USA)
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The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director:

Tod Browning

Writers:

Bram Stoker (by), Hamilton Deane (from the play adapted by) | 2 more credits »
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3,539 ( 1,717)
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Count Dracula
Helen Chandler ... Mina
David Manners ... John Harker
Dwight Frye ... Renfield
Edward Van Sloan ... Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston Herbert Bunston ... Doctor Seward
Frances Dade ... Lucy
Joan Standing Joan Standing ... Maid
Charles K. Gerrard ... Martin (as Charles Gerrard)
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Storyline

After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the strangest Passion the world has ever known! See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hungarian | Latin

Release Date:

14 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drácula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$355,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Dracula and Renfield are traveling to London by boat, the footage shown is borrowed from a Universal silent film called The Storm Breaker (1925). Silent films were projected at a different frames-per-second speed from that later adopted for sound films, accounting for the jerky movements and quicker-than-normal action of these shots. See more »

Goofs

When Renfield first enters the great hall of Castle Dracula the wall of windows to his right are glowing with light and cast distinct shadows as if lit by the sun, however he has arrived a the castle well after midnight. Presumably this is moonlight. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Girl Passenger: [reading from a Transylvanian tourist brochure] "Among the rugged peaks that crown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The original title card has producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. identified as Presient (sic). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Swan Lake, Op.20
(1877) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpt Played during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Flawed Masterpiece
14 September 2001 | by Shield-3See all my reviews

The 1931 `Dracula' casts an imposing shadow over the horror genre. It is, after all, the movie that launched the classic Universal horror cycle of the 1930s and 1940s. It is also a tremendous influence on the look and atmosphere of horror movies in general (and vampire movies in particular). It gave Dracula a look and a voice, and created a legend.

Okay, so we know it was influential. But how does it work as a movie? Well… the first time I watched it, I was underwhelmed. The pace is slow. While Bela Lugosi's Dracula is menacing, the rest of the cast is colorless to the point of transparency. There are some good gliding camera shots here and there (thank you, Karl Freund!), but the majority of the film is locked into stationary medium and long shots. The film is tightly bound to its theatrical origins – director Browning has his characters look at things out of frame and describe them rather than just showing us, which would be much more effective.

Fortunately, `Dracula' improves with repeated viewings. The glacial pace and lack of sound in many places gives the movie a nightmarish sense of menace. In fact, `Dracula' is somewhere between a nightmare and a piece of classical music – everything proceeds at its own pace, gliding through the motions, gradually building suspense and momentum until the piece reaches climax. The end result is a flawed but haunting, hypnotic masterpiece, and one of the greatest vampire films ever made.


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