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
The film was shot between November 11, 1957 and January 3, 1958. It premiered at the Warner Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 8, 1958 and took in $1,682 on its first day. In Britain, it opened at London's Gaumont Theater on May 22, 1958. See more »
When Jonathan looks into Dracula's coffin he sees that it's empty, and the bottom is filled with dirt. Dracula does not need the dirt of his homeland while he's living in his homeland. 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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The UK censor took exception to the erotic quality of the film and the key scene when Mina is bitten by Dracula and seen to enjoy the experience was cut and alternative footage substituted. The staking of Lucy had the gore removed. The female vampire biting Harker had the actual bite removed making the scene look as if he pushed her away before being bitten. The final disintegration scene was trimmed with footage of Dracula pulling his face apart removed. This was the version released internationally. The staking cut was found in a US print and restored. The last three reels of a Japanese uncut print were found in shocking condition but with a lot of restoration allowed audiences again to see Mina in ecstasy and Dracula disintegrating in full: these additions are not seamless however and are of a lower quality than the rest of the film. This version was released in the UK in 2012 with a 12 certificate and several years later in the US unrated. See more »
Hammer's Dracula, the first Dracula film to incorporate fangs, blood, and red eyes, brings the best Dracula to the screen - Christopher Lee.
I first saw this on TV at home on Thursday 5pm on a channel that featured some classics. I also remember seeing War of the Worlds and others every Thursday. Each time they repeated it, I was there watching it. I just bought this DVD for my collection and the color and quality is awesome.
In Stoker's book Mina Murray is Harker's fiancé and Lucy Westenra was Arthur Holmwood's fiancé. Despite these changes the story holds together nicely. Sangster manages to avoid having Dracula turn to a bat to make the character more believable. In Stoker's book the Lucy character dies and returns as a child-lusting vampire so Van Helsing and Holmwood stake her as shown in the movie.
Trivia: Lee said the fangs he wore were easy to speak with but not eat. The contacts he wore were very painful and made him teary eyed and his vision a bit blurry.
There are some scenes that were deleted. One was of the impaled Harker in the early stages of decomposition which was removed by the British censor when it was released in English speaking countries. Surprising because it was tame compared to other scenes. Another scene that was removed by the same censor was Dracula's stages of decomposing during his death scene. This scene was reportedly left intact in foreign speaking countries and the rumor is Warner does not consider the scenes to be worth pursuing. What U.S. audiences see is the jump to the final stage of dissolving. Lee says they were kept in for the Far East parts of the world because they were considered to be too gruesome in those days. There are stills floating around of them both. A solid 9 out of 10, this remains the best Dracula film ever made. Yes, much better than the overrated "Bram Stoker's Dracula."
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