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 Carl Laemmle moved Universal to California in 1914, a version of "Dracula" was one of the first projects being considered. It was over fifteen years before this version was produced. See more »
At one point, Dracula gets out of his Carfax Abbey coffin. In the background can be seen the great hall standing set for London After Midnight. A still exists of Lugosi carrying Chandler down these stairs and the scene is in the Spanish version. However, later his coffin is in the basement. See more »
Young Girl Passenger:
[reading from a Transylvanian tourist brochure]
"Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age."
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Dracula(1931) mayn't be the definitive version of the brilliant Bram Stoker novel, but it is still a classic. My only complaints are the abrupt ending and David Manners as John, he tries his best but sometimes his line delivery is awkward and some of his lines are stilted.
I did also think that to a lesser extent the first half is better than the second. The opening scene is absolutely brilliant, but while there are still some compelling and well-done scenes the second half is rather talky. That said, there is a lot I loved about Dracula. The costumes, sets, photography and lighting are suitably atmospheric and grandiose, the story is still the timeless story even with the many changes I love and the screenplay apart from the odd stilted line from John is very good.
I saw Dracula in two versions, one without background music which added to the genuine atmosphere, and one with a suitably hypnotic and haunting score from minimalist composer Phillip Glass. While I loved Glass' score, I do prefer slightly the one without the scoring, the silence further added to the atmosphere I feel. The whole film is beautifully directed too, and while the film is very short at about an hour and a quarter the pace is just right.
The acting is very good, perhaps theatrical in a way but I think it worked. Bela Lugosi has such a magnetic presence in the title role, Edward Van Sloan is perfect as Van Helsing but in a sinister and funny performance Dwight Frye steals the film.
In conclusion, excellent film and a classic. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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