Bram Stoker's legendary novella is one of the most adapted stories in history, and one could wonder if it's absolute necessary to watch all the different "Dracula" film versions that exist. The short answer is: yes, definitely in case you're a horror fanatic; or at least as many as possible because each version features a couple of unique and innovative aspects. In 1979, two noteworthy versions were released. There was a classy "Nosferatu" remake directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski, and this dreamy Gothic version directed by John Badham and starring Frank Langella. Although based on the same source novel, there's a world of difference in how these two films portray the titular monster. In "Nosferatu", the Transylvanian count is a traditionally hideous and menacing creep, whereas here we are introduced to the hunkiest and most charismatic bloodsucker in the history of cinema. I kid you not: I'm a 100% heterosexual male, but I think Frank Langella is damn sexy and I believe him when he states in interviews that watching him as Count Dracula sparks the libido of female viewers! Apart from the handsome lead vampire, this version is also beautiful and romantic thanks to the giant budgets spent on enchanting locations, marvelous set pieces and poetic cinematography. The scenario implements a few bizarre changes, like the reversal of Mina and Lucy as the count's principal love-interests, but otherwise the story is treated with respect and – moreover - the essence of Stoker's novel is perhaps even captured better here than in most other "Dracula" films. Yes, whether we horror freaks like to admit it or not, "Dracula" fundamentally remains a love story and its protagonist is merely a sad figure eternally mourning over his lost lover and trying to replace her. The fact that Count Dracula is depicted as a handsome and sophisticated aristocrat generates one major disadvantage, though, namely that he isn't the least bit terrifying. Metaphorically speaking, his charming appearance actually sucks the suspense out of the plot rather than the blood out of its victims. The old Van Helsing (Sir Laurence Olivier) even comes across as more menacing than the Count, especially when he attempts to speak Dutch! I'm a native Dutch speaker, but the short scenes with dialogues in Dutch were the only incomprehensible ones. The "horror" of this version primarily comes from the Gothic recreation of England in 1913, with spooky old abbey dungeons filled with cobwebs, ominous stranded ships and eerie cemeteries enshrouded in fog. The special effects are very admirable too, as the film features several cool sequences where Dracula transforms into a bat or a wolf, or when he crawls down walls.