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 Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one who may be able to protect them is Dr. van Helsing, Harker's friend and fellow-student of vampires, who is determined to destroy Dracula, whatever the cost.Written by
Composer James Bernard once said in an interview that he composed the main three-note theme by breaking the word "Dracula" down to its three syllables. This approach was quite obvious and would influence many low-budget scores for years to come, being one of the classic elements of kitsch cinema. See more »
At Castle Dracula, when professor Van Helsing finds Harker's room in a messy state, he rushes in and brushes against a bed foot locker that rocks. It's most likely a badly made prop. See more »
[narrating his diary]
The Diary of Jonathan Harker... Third of May, 1885. At last, my long journey is drawing to its close. What the eventual end will be, I cannot foresee. But whatever may happen, I can rest secure that I will have done all in my power to achieve success.
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It has long been rumored among fans that the Japanese cut of the film contained a number of extended scenes, among them a shot of Dracula tearing his face off during the disintegration climax. Thanks to the efforts of a fan based in Japan, Hammer Films finally acquired the surviving footage from the extended cut in 2011 for inclusion in a forthcoming "definitive" restoration. See more »
Jonathan Harker (Van Eyssen) arrives at Castle Dracula posing as a librarian with the intention of destroying Count Dracula (Lee) who is the lord of all vampires and the most evil creature on Earth. Unfortunately, after Harker is bitten by Dracula's vampire bride he realises that he is doomed to become a member of the undead and while his senses are still his own he sets out to destroy the Count and his bride in blood. He stakes the bride but he is then overpowered by the Count and is turned into a vampire. Dr Van Helsing (Cushing) arrives at the castle and destroys Harker but of Dracula there is no sign. Meanwhile Lucy Holmwood, Harker's girlfriend has been struck by a mysterious illness. Dr Van Helsing suspects that she has become the victim of Dracula in revenge for the loss of his vampire bride and that Lucy is to replace that woman. His suspicions are confirmed when Lucy dies and she is seen leaving her tomb every night. Lucy has become a vampire and Van Helsing manages to destroy her before she attacks the niece of the Holmwood's housekeeper. With the help of Lucy's brother Arthur (Michael Gough) he sets out to trace Dracula's coffin and destroy him thus ending his evil reign of terror.
After the enormous commercial success of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957), Hammer turned to Bram Stoker's classic horror story Dracula as their next subject for filming. They wasted no time in re teaming stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee along with screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, cameraman Jack Asher and director Terence Fisher. The result was another box office smash and Hammer's reputation as the finest purveyors of horror since Universal in the 1930's was fully opened. The film spawned six sequels all of them starring Lee as the Count. However, none of them with the possible exception of the first really lived up to this one because the scripts went increasingly away from Stoker's original and Lee's Dracula was sadly reduced to little more than a supporting character. They were Dracula PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966), Dracula HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968), TASTE THE BLOOD OF Dracula, SCARS OF Dracula (both 1970), Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and THE SATANIC RITES OF Dracula (1974).
Dracula (US: HORROR OF Dracula) is probably the best horror film Hammer ever made. The lighting of Jack Asher is excellent, the sets were well used and the performances of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are outstanding. The night time scenes are especially impressive and are not so obviously day-for-night as they would be in some of the company's later films. The script by Jimmy Sangster scales down the original novel considerably due to the film's small budget, but compared to the awfully overblown version by Francis Ford Coppola in the early 1990's this film is still more effective.
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