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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 »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Dracula is resurrected, preying on four unsuspecting visitors to his castle.

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Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.

Director: Peter Sasdy
Stars: Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Gwen Watford
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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 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 | USA

Language:

English | Dutch | Romanian | Russian

Release Date:

20 July 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drácula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,164,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,141,281, 20 July 1979

Gross USA:

$20,158,970

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,235,812
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Ken Russell was also planning a version around the same time. At one stage, he considered Sir Laurence Olivier as the Count. His later cast was either Peter O'Toole or Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac fame) in the lead, with Peter Ustinov as Van Helsing. He also wanted Oliver Reed as Renfield, with Sarah Miles and Mia Farrow as Lucy and Mina, respectively. Michael York and James Coburn were also on Russell's wishlist. See more »

Goofs

The film calls Dracula's victim (Lucy Westenra in the novel) "Mina," makes her Abraham van Helsing's daughter, and goes to some lengths to establish her Dutch credentials, even having her speak the language at one point. While some might question the pronunciation of Mina's name, but as it is short for Wilhelmina, the pronunciation is correct. See more »

Quotes

Count Dracula: I have buried many friends, and I too am weary.
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 »

Connections

Version of Dracula (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
To my mind, the best of all Draculas
24 September 2007 | by integralesixteenvalveSee all my reviews

Now, I'm going to forward a controversial comment. This is the BEST adaptation of Dracula yet seen and miles better than Coppola's version.

I liked this adaptation because it was a subtle take on the old legend, needing neither the overblown pretension of Coppola's rather lurid and purple-prosy presentation, nor the schlocky elements of the Hammer versions (as good as they are).

Frank Langella really was the definitive Count. He carried the role off with charm and calculation, making him far more rounded a character than Oldman did (but maybe not with the poignancy). What makes the difference though, is that Langella gets first-class back-up while (with the exception of Anthony Hopkins) Oldman was left on his own by the woodenly gruesome performances of the supporting cast (Wynona Ryder and especially Keanu Reeves were the chief culprits here). Kate Nelligan, Sir Larry and Donald Pleasance were in fine form and Trevor Eve made more of the Jonathan Harker character than Reeves ever could. Jan Francis made a believably frail Mina.

What really makes this film so good though is the superbly Gothic atmosphere. The set for the Count's castle was suitably creepy and the cinematography added to the feel of the period. Technically, Badham's version shows how much has now been lost by the reliance on CGI and digital add-ons.

That this Dracula takes it's cue from the stage adaptation rather than Stoker's original book adds a welcome element of variety. So what if it's not faithful? Does it matter? Very few films these days have this level of class and genuine skill injected into them. John Badham's version has been criminally underrated for years and slagged off by far too many ill-informed pedants. Judge for yourself. Maybe you will disagree about which adaptation is best but , pound to a penny, you won't regret watching it.


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