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Horror of Dracula (1958)

Dracula (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 16 June 1958 (UK)
Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Bram Stoker (novel)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... Doctor Van Helsing
Christopher Lee ... Dracula / Count Dracula
Michael Gough ... Arthur Holmwood
Melissa Stribling ... Mina Holmwood
Carol Marsh Carol Marsh ... Lucy Holmwood
Olga Dickie ... Gerda
John Van Eyssen John Van Eyssen ... Jonathan
Valerie Gaunt Valerie Gaunt ... Vampire Woman
Janina Faye ... Tania (as Janine Faye)
Barbara Archer Barbara Archer ... Inga
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Doctor Seward
George Merritt ... Policeman
George Woodbridge ... Landlord
George Benson George Benson ... Official
Miles Malleson ... Marx - Undertaker
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every night he rises from his coffin-bed silently to seek the soft flesh, the warm blood he needs to keep himself alive! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was such a huge hit internationally that the following year, Christopher Lee was hired to go to Italy and essentially recreate his Dracula character for the Italian comedy "Uncle was a Vampire" (1959). See more »

Goofs

The coffin Dracula uses in the undertaker's cellar has a large cross on the lid. Dracula could not touch that lid to get into the coffin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jonathan Harker: [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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Alternate Versions

The film was cut for its original cinema release by the BBFC in 1958 to remove shots of blood during Lucy's staking and to reduce the final disintegration of Dracula. For later UK video and DVD releases the U.S print (titled "Horror Of Dracula") was used as this restored the staking scene in full, although the climactic disintegration remained edited (and may no longer survive). In May 2007 a new BFI 'restored' print was premiered in Cannes which includes the staking and restores the original title of "Dracula" to the opening titles. See more »

User Reviews

 
The most influential British film
6 June 2006 | by msquaredSee all my reviews

It's difficult to overestimate the significance of Dracula. Far more so than its predecessor, The Curse of Frankenstein, it set the tone for Hammer's movie output over the next two decades - the two decades (1956-1976) when British films, or at least British horror films, were among the best, most admired and most imitated in the world. A far cry from the terribly English whimsy of the Thirties and Forties, or the provincial, "arty" stuff that's predominated since the end of the Eady levy in the 1980s.

With this movie, Hammer not only created an international star out of Christopher Lee, but a worldwide phenomenon that persists, in series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and films like Sleepy Hollow, to the present day. Taking the Kensington gore quotient of The Curse of Frankenstein, and combining it with an unprecedented dose of eroticised violence, Dracula revolutionised horror, ultimately leading to the breasts and blood exploitation movies of the Seventies, as well as the heavy sexual overtones of films such as Alien and The Company of Wolves.

The movie benefits from two astonishing central performances. Christopher Lee's Dracula is a creation of passionate intensity, to whom Cushing's monomaniacal Van Helsing is the antithesis – fire and steel; hot-blooded animal instinct versus cool scientific rationalism. This has led some critics to identify Van Helsing as the real villain of the piece, a brutal fanatic who coldly pounds a stake through the vampirised Lucy. Either way, both actors give supremely effective performances. The final confrontation between the two remains the single most iconic scene in any Hammer film. Hardly surprising, given their on screen charisma, that Lee should reprise his role six times and Cushing four.

The most influential British movie of all time, Dracula's electric mix of sex and death fuelled a global revolution in genre film-making, and presented Hammer with a formula that they would return to again and again over the next two decades.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dracula 1958 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP81,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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