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Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

Unrated | | Horror | 12 January 1966 (USA)
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Dracula is resurrected, preying on four unsuspecting visitors to his castle.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay) (as John Sansom), Anthony Hinds (from an idea by) (as John Elder) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Christopher Lee ... Dracula
Barbara Shelley ... Helen
Andrew Keir ... Father Sandor
Francis Matthews ... Charles
Suzan Farmer ... Diana
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ... Alan (as Charles Tingwell)
Thorley Walters ... Ludwig
Philip Latham ... Klove
Walter Brown Walter Brown ... Brother Mark
George Woodbridge ... Landlord
Jack Lambert Jack Lambert ... Brother Peter
Philip Ray ... Priest
Joyce Hemson Joyce Hemson ... Mother
John Maxim John Maxim ... Coach Driver
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Storyline

Two couples traveling in eastern Europe decide to visit Karlsbad despite dire local warnings. Left outside the village by a coachman terrified at the approach of night, they find themselves in the local castle and are surprised at the hospitality extended by the sinister Klove. It turns out the owner, Count Dracula, dead for ten years, has been hoping for such a visit. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bloodthirsty Vampire Lives Again! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Disciple of Dracula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally shown (in London) in a double billing with The Plague of the Zombies (1966). See more »

Goofs

When Charles and the Priest visit Ludwig in his room, the door has modern bolts on the outside. See more »

Quotes

Father Sandor: [opening monologue recapping the previous film] After a reign of terror spanning more than a century the king of the undead was finally traced to his lair high in the Carpathian Mountains.Though the decades many had sought to destroy him all had failed.Here at last was an adversary armed with sufficient knowledge of the ways of the vampire to bring about the final and absolute destruction. This then was his fate thousands had been enslaved by to obscene cult vampirism now the fountain head ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 20th Century Fox prints that were used in the United States have been replaced with the Warner-Pathe version that was released in Great Britain. See more »

Connections

Featured in SexTV: Blood Lust/Bodies of Evidence/Cake (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Lee returns as Dracula after an 8-year absence
23 March 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1966 and directed by Terence Fisher, "Dracula: Prince of Darkness" focuses on two English couples circa 1900 traveling the mysterious forests of Eastern Europe who are warned to stay away from a particular area that has an ominous castle. Fools that they are, they end up spending the night and the sinister Count is resurrected.

Hammer did nine Dracula films from 1958 to 1974:

Horror of Dracula (1958); The Brides of Dracula (1960); Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966); Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968); Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969); Scars of Dracula (1970); Dracula AD 1972 (1972); The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973); and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974). Christopher played the Count in every one of these except "The Brides of Dracula" and "The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires." As such, "Dracula: Prince of Darkness" was Lee's return to the role after a long eight year absence.

Most Hammer fans praise the first film in the series from 1958, which was Lee's first gig as Dracula, and it is a solid entry with the typical Hammer highlights, like lush Gothic ambiance, bright colors, Lee & Cushing and bodacious women, not to mention Lee's diabolical interpretation of the Count and one of the most stunning horror scores by James Bernard. But the truncated story wasn't completely satisfactory and there were too many 50's limitations IMHO.

I prefer this sequel as it features all the Hammer hallmarks listed above, except Cushing. Some might complain about the slow first half, but I like the way the film takes its time and concentrates on the two couples, the spooky ambiance, and the build-up of suspense. Klove (Philip Latham) is a particularly creepy character with his courteous pretense. The way he resurrects the Count is a ghastly highlight. Interestingly, Lee doesn't have all that much screen time and not one line of dialogue, so he's basically a vampire bogeyman here. But the lush Gothic atmosphere is potent and the cast shines, especially Barbara Shelley as the doomed wife of a so-"cultured"-he's-stupid husband (Charles Tingwell). And Andrew Keir as Dracula's worthy antagonist, Father Sandor, a most formidable monk.

I also appreciated the elaboration on vampire lore by Sandor (Keir). One reviewer scoffed at the idea that the undead have to be willingly allowed into a person's abode, but this fits the parallel of vampires to evil itself, which first affects a person's mindset (ideology) and THEN their behavior or lifestyle. In short, evil cannot overtake a person unless s/he willingly allows it.

THE FILM RUNS 90 minutes and was shot in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, England, (with, perhaps, some establishing shots from Romania, e.g. the mountains). WRITERS: Jimmy Sangster and Anthony Hinds. ADDITIONAL CAST: Francis Matthews & Suzan Farmer play the other couple.

GRADE: B


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