A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Playing the half-crazed Renfield would typecast Dwight Frye for the rest of his career. He would forever be associated with playing jittery, manic characters. See more »
During shots of the ship sailing in route to London the ship is experiencing very rough, rolling, and stormy seas including both torrential rain and waves washing across the decks and yet when shots of Dracula are shown as he comes up from the lower decks show a stable and completely dry setting. See more »
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."
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The title card was revised at the last moment to include playwrights Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. But the old title card, with the movie's title in a different typeface, is still visible briefly at the tail end of a lap dissolve to the second credits card. See more »
Universal released a newly restored version of the film in 1999 that included a musical score by Philip Glass. The original "Swan Lake" music during the opening credits was removed. See more »
"I bid you welcome," "I never drink wine," "Children of the night...what music they make," and of course "I am Dracula" are memorable lines that resonate throughout horror films, literature, art, etc... throughout the 20th century because of a landmark film made in 1931 starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tom Browning. This film was the birth of the horror film as we know it. Its importance can not be underestimated. Dracula is a wonderful film for so many reasons, but first let's look at its many faults.
The film is by today standards very antiquated. It has almost no soundtrack, stage acting for the most part, limited special effects, and a slow pacing. It has long parts of little action and lots of chat. It shows little while leaving much to one's imagination(a plus for those like myself that are good at envisioning what is not shown). With all this not going for it, why is Dracula such a classic? Why is it considered to be such a great film and a great horror film?
The answer is that even with all these flaws (and bear in mind some of these flaws are not flaws for all) the film offers a rich story in an eerie, atmospheric way. Bela Lugosi was Dracula. He was the model for oh so many vampires to come. His gesturing, his deliberation in speech, his facial movements all created a vampire never to be forgotten. Despite Lugosi, however, is the real genius of the film....Tod Browning. Browning created a movie and a setting hitherto imagined and conjured on a screen. Browning was the man behind the camera that created the cob-webbed stairs of the Dracula castle and the squalid emptiness of the crypt. He created the ghoulish female vampires thirsting for blood. Dracula is not just a film to see, it is film history and should be viewed with that in mind and not put under a microscope of today's languishing tastes.
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