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Countess Dracula (1971)

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In 17th-century Hungary, elderly widow Countess Elisabeth Nádasdy maintains her misleading youthful appearance by bathing in the blood of virgins regularly supplied to her by faithful servant Captain Dobi.

Director:

Peter Sasdy

Writers:

Jeremy Paul (screenplay), Alexander Paal (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ingrid Pitt ... Countess Elisabeth
Nigel Green ... Captain Dobi
Sandor Elès ... Imre Toth
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham ... Master Fabio
Patience Collier ... Julie
Peter Jeffrey ... Captain Balogh
Lesley-Anne Down ... Ilona
Leon Lissek ... Sergeant of Bailiffs
Jessie Evans Jessie Evans ... Rosa
Andrea Lawrence Andrea Lawrence ... Ziza
Susan Brodrick Susan Brodrick ... Teri
Ian Trigger Ian Trigger ... Clown
Nike Arrighi Nike Arrighi ... Gypsy Girl
Peter May Peter May ... Janco
John Moore John Moore ... Priest
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Storyline

In medieval Europe aging Countess Elisabeth rules harshly with the help of lover Captain Dobi. Finding that washing in the blood of young girls makes her young again she gets Dobi to start abducting likely candidates. The Countess - pretending to be her own daughter - starts dallying with a younger man, much to Dobi's annoyance. The disappearances cause mounting terror locally, and when she finds out that only the blood of a virgin does the job, Dobi is sent out again with a more difficult task. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The more she drinks, the prettier she gets. The prettier she gets, the thirstier she gets. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

11 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La condesa Drácula See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ingrid Pitt's voice was dubbed. Supposedly, she was so furious at director Peter Sasdy that she vowed never to speak to him again. See more »

Goofs

When the young boys in the forest discover the body of the girl, they run way and holler for help. In the next shot, the girl is breathing. See more »

Alternate Versions

Although cinema cuts were requested by the BBFC (and the film remains listed as cut on their website) the edits were never made following an appeal by Hammer to chief censor Stephen Murphy. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bloodiest Show on Earth: Making Vampire Circus (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
COUNTESS Dracula (Peter Sasdy, 1971) **
22 October 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This isn't one of the best Hammers: unusual and atypically authentic but basically unremarkable. The Bathory legend is rendered silly, mainly because it was almost completely re-invented for the screen: the subject matter may have been controversial for its day but Hammer treat it like another Transylvanian vampire, which is a shame, complete with the ridiculous title!

Leads Ingrid Pitt and Nigel Green are quite good: their characters are well-rounded and their relationship is believable. Maurice Denham is amiable, though his comic sage is a bit overstated for the purpose, then suddenly turning conspirator which leads to his unlucky end. Lesley-Ann Down's role as the young Countess is hopelessly under-developed.

Apart from Pitt's few instances of exposed flesh, the film's nude content is entirely gratuitous, as was Hammer's style at this late vintage of their life-span; the violence is occasionally effective (for instance, Nike Arrighi's murder) but mostly rather tame. One other thing which annoyed the hell out of me was that servant woman who kept asking about her missing daughter!

The finale, while effective, is preposterous for a couple of reasons: having been suspected of mass murder, the Countess would certainly not have been allowed to celebrate her wedding on such a grand scale; even worse, her apparent decision not to 'bathe' on such a momentous occasion is incomprehensible, so that the pay-off is entirely predictable! Compared to other filmizations of the Bathory legend, and DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (1971) in particular, this take on the 'facts' emerges as both hokey and extremely old-fashioned!

The transfer is pretty good for a 30 plus-year film (it seems to have been quite well preserved); ditto for the audio. The theatrical trailer is quite unusual and, frankly, it's better and wittier than the film proper! The commentary is very interesting and well-paced (though lack of a mention of the other Bathory films or Pitt's obvious dubbing is sorely felt, also moderator Jonathan Sothcott and director Sasdy's discussion about a certain shot's presence, or not, in the final version of the film); it ends on a bit of a scuffle, however, between Sasdy and Pitt (who seems to bear some kind of a grudge against the script) which somewhat dampens the otherwise warm and nostalgia-filled talk!


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