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Dracula (1979)

In 1913, the charming, seductive and sinister vampire Count Dracula travels to England in search of an immortal bride.

Director:

John Badham

Writers:

W.D. Richter (screenplay), Hamilton Deane (play) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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It begins with Jonathan Harker, a young American lawyer, as he travels to Transylvania. Harker plans to meet with Count Dracula, a client of his firm, in order to finalize a property ... See full summary »

Directors: Stephen R. Reynolds, Ash Liegh Virdell
Stars: Angela Irving, Justin Scalise, Emily Smith
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Langella ... Count Dracula
Laurence Olivier ... Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
Donald Pleasence ... Dr. Jack Seward
Kate Nelligan ... Lucy Seward
Trevor Eve ... Jonathan Harker
Jan Francis ... Mina Van Helsing
Janine Duvitski ... Annie
Tony Haygarth ... Milo Renfield
Teddy Turner ... Swales
Sylvester McCoy ... Walter (as Sylveste McCoy)
Kristine Howarth ... Mrs. Galloway
Joe Belcher ... Tom Hindley
Ted Carroll ... Scarborough Sailor
Frank Birch ... Harbormaster
Gabor Vernon ... Captain of Demeter
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Storyline

When a ship is wrecked off Whitby, the only survivor, Count Dracula, is discovered lying on the beach by the sickly young Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her dear friend Lucy Seward. Lucy, her fiancé Jonathan Harker (a solicitor), and her father Dr. Jack Seward (who runs the local asylum) try to make the Count feel welcome to England. The Count quickly takes the life of Mina, and proceeds to romance Lucy, with the intention of making her his greatest bride. Soon after the death of Mina, the Sewards call her father Dr. Abraham Van Helsing to come to their home. As Lucy falls deeper under the spell of the Count, Dr. Van Helsing almost immediately comes to understand that his daughter fell prey to a vampire and discovers the culprit to be none other than the Count himself. Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and Harker work together to foil the Count's plans to take Lucy away to his native Transylvania. Written by Hillary Glendinning (jujbee_luna@yahoo.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He has walked through centuries, untouched by time. He has seen empires rise and fall. He possesses the wisdom of the ages. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Dutch | Romanian | Russian

Release Date:

20 July 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dracula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,164,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,141,281, 22 July 1979

Gross USA:

$20,158,970

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,158,970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Along with Richard Roxburgh and Sir Christopher Lee, Frank Langella is one of only a few actors to play Dracula and Sherlock Holmes in movies and television. See more »

Goofs

When Renfield surprises Jonathan in the car and begs him to help him, there is a bat -apparently Dracula- watching them. The animal is an Amazonian fruit bat, not a vampire bat. Yet, neither of them can be found anywhere in Europe. See more »

Quotes

Milo Renfield: I've been bitten by a bat.
Count Dracula: [sarcastically] Yes, I see.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Director John Badham intended to film the movie in black and white but was forced by the studio to shoot in Technicolor. When the movie was re-released on laserdisc in 1991, at the behest of Badham, the lush color was drained from the film. All subsequent home video releases feature the desaturated print. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated adaptation of Stoker's classic
16 February 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

"Dracula"

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: Dolby Stereo

The vampire Count Dracula (Frank Langella) arrives in England from Transylvania and targets a wealthy middle-class family, including the daughter of arch-enemy Abraham Van Helsing (Laurence Olivier)...

John Badham's underrated adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel takes most of its cues from the stage play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston (which had launched Bela Lugosi to stardom in 1927), and while it may not be entirely faithful to the book - events are compressed for reasons of timing - it adheres faithfully to the spirit of the thing. It's also an immensely CINEMATIC work which uses the wide Panavision frame in painterly fashion, creating a landscape of Gothic architecture and Victorian excess (note the breathtaking shot looking down from the ceiling inside Dracula's castle, where an ornate spider's web fills the entire screen). Badham and screenwriter W.D. Richter emphasize the film's Romantic elements - helped immeasurably by Langella's complex performance - though the corruption underlying Dracula's handsome exterior is often betrayed by certain details (the Count clawing at a windowpane, seeking entrance to his latest victim; the ghoulish vampiress who continues to rot even as she pursues her lust for human blood, etc.).

Olivier has been criticized in some quarters for his 'silly' European accent, and it's true that his performance lacks some of the dynamism Peter Cushing once brought to the role of Van Helsing, but Olivier comes into his own when confronting Dracula with evidence of his vampirism, and in the deeply moving moment when he drives a stake through his daughter's heart and cradles her corpse in his arms whilst sobbing uncontrollably. The fine supporting cast includes Trevor Eve, Donald Pleasence and a wealth of familiar British character actors (Tony Haygarth, Teddy Turner, Sylvester McCoy, etc.), alongside Canadian actress Kate Nelligan, giving a finely-tuned performance as a potential bride of Dracula. A beautiful film - romantic, tragic, Gothic and sinister, it satisfies in almost every respect, and is ripe for rediscovery. John Williams' glorious music score is the icing on the cake.


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