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.
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>
When Dracula arrives at the theater, the music heard coming from the orchestra is the beginning of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony." When he enters the seating area, the music heard is the ending of Richard Wagner's Overture to the opera "Die Meistersinger." Later in the scene, the music from the Unfinished Symphony is heard again. See more »
Wolf's bane is on the sleeping Mina's neck prior to Van Helsing's advice to use wolf's bane. 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."
See more »
The original title card has producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. identified as Presient (sic). 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 »
Yes, after the "first two reels", this film is less effectively baroque, but it's still heartily enjoyable stuff, even if the finale is poorly handled. Bela Lugosi's performance as the good Count is so wonderfully definitive that it seems remarkable how many other actors have subsequently donned the cape. I've not seen any of the other versions, but I suspect few could match Lugosi's hypnotic display of acting. From the wonderfully eerie, sublimely photographed Transylvania scenes to the scenes in a London theatre, Lugosi is spellbinding. While he dominates the film, others make their mark. Helen Chandler is quite good as the unfortunate Mina Seward, Dwight Frye is wonderfully mad as Renfield and Edward Van Sloan is towering as Van Helsing. Certainly, there is a contrast in tone between the two parts of the film; the first nightmarish, eerie, mesmerising and very cinematic, the second more akin to a stage play, and rather more melodramatic, but it does come together in my view, as a most effective, likeable whole. It is all immensely helped by a quite wonderfully Philip Glass score, that perfectly complements and embellishes the images. In many ways it is typical Glass, and that is no bad thing, but the atmosphere the Kronos Quartet create is just right. Rating:- ****/*****.
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