In the early days of sound, it was common for Hollywood studios to produce Hollywood foreign-language versions of their films (usually in French, Spanish and German) using the same sets, costumes and etc. Unfortunately, most of these foreign language versions no longer exist. The Spanish version of Dracula is an exception. In recent years this version has become more highly praised by some than the English language version. The Spanish crew had the advantage of watching the dailies from the English crew's version when they came in for the evening and they would figure out better camera angles and more effective use of lighting in an attempt to "top" it. As a result, this version's supporters consider it to be much more artistically effective.Written by
For decades, the only surviving print, while in mint condition, was missing several minutes worth of material that encompassed Renfield's seduction by Dracula's brides and the voyage to England. The "lost" reel was eventually located in Cuba, and has been restored to complete the film as much as possible. Though much more worn and aged than the rest of the film, the additional footage differs strikingly from the English-language version of Dracula (1931), probably more so than any other part of the film. See more »
While most folks would look at you funny if you told them about the Spanish version of Dracula, many horror buffs across the nation would be impressed by the fact that you even knew it existed. What many people don't believe is that this version is actually better than the English version. Yes, I said it, and I don't regret it.
O.K., so you say that you don't know what this all about. Why is a Spanish version of Dracula any different from the English version you say? Because this is actually a different movie. Back in 1931, subtitling was possible, but actually considered "cheating." So basically the only alternative was to make a different version of the movie, this time in Spanish. So the same script and sets would be used, but different directors, actors, and styles would be used (some say that the Spanish version also had a different producer than the credited Carl Laemmele.)
So why is this version better than the English version? As explained on the Dracula DVD (which I highly recommend), the English crew would film in the morning, and the Spanish crew would film later in the day. The Spanish crew would have the opportunity to see what the English crew shot that day, and would try to make it better. Therefore in the end, the result was that the Spanish film was better.
Also, some info for runtime freaks like me, the runtime of the Spansih version runs MUCH longer than the English. Not real sure right now on the differences, but maybe I'll post that later. Anyway, I gotta highly recommend this one for everday watchers and the horror fanatics alike.
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