This version of Dracula is closely based on Bram Stoker's classic novel of the same name. A young lawyer (Jonathan Harker) is assigned to a gloomy village in the mists of eastern Europe. He is captured and imprisoned by the undead vampire Dracula, who travels to London, inspired by a photograph of Harker's betrothed, Mina Murray. In Britain, Dracula begins a reign of seduction and terror, draining the life from Mina's closest friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy's friends gather together to try to drive Dracula away.Written by
Preview audiences are alleged to have found the film too gory, so twenty-five minutes of footage was removed to make it less bloody. See more »
When Holmwood has the gun pointed in Van Helsing's face in Lucy's crypt, Van Helsing explains about the undead. Switch to a shot behind Van Helsing and his jaw is still moving even though he has stopped speaking. See more »
We have learned much. Dracula fears us. He fears time. For if he does not, why does he hurry so.
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In 1997, a heavily censored version of the film was broadcast on FOX, garnering much criticism from fans and critics alike, not to mention Francis Ford Coppola himself. Some of the more obvious cuts involve:
the character of Renfield is removed entirely
the Brides are wearing rags instead of being topless
the scene when Dracula gives the brides the baby is gone
there are no close ups from Arabian Nights
Lucy's comments about sexuality during her introductory scene are removed
the kiss between Mina and Lucy in the maze is gone
all shots of the Demeter are gone
all shots of Dracula howling as the wolf creature are gone
the shot of Dracula 'raping' Lucy is gone, and in the close up, Lucy's breast is no longer exposed
indeed, Lucy's breasts are seen several times in the uncut film, but in all such cases here, the shot has been altered to remove them and make it look like her clothes aren't actually ripped
the destruction of Lucy's body by Van Helsing is gone
Van Helsing's exorcism of Carfax Abbey is shortened
Mina drinking from Dracula's heart is considerably shortened
when Mina slams the sword through Dracula's chest at the end, the shot of it coming out his back and sticking into the floor is gone.
Though I did not read the book and can't compare it to the movie, I found Bram Stoker's Dracula quiet excellent. The costume design, lighting, camera work, make-up-fx are all very good and make for a very atmospheric movie.
There are some truly outstanding things in this film.
1, the editing... excellent, I love the way they worked with dissolves, the hypnotic feel they created with the careful editing. Every frame flows in the other, the whole style grabs you and never lets you go... I simply could not turn my eyes off the screen.
2, the acting... Gary Oldman is THE Dracula, IMO. Seductive, strong, bad and scary in his own distinctive way, yet really romantic.
Hopkins is funny as Van Helsing and quiet ironic.
Winona is a great Mina. Beautiful, innocent. She looks great in these Victorian costumes.
Keanu Reeves is not as bad as many of you think. He makes the best of his underwritten character.
3, the Score... haunting, romantic, scary. It works beautiful with the pictures.
I think this movie is a great cinematic achievement and very underrated. It's a shame they don't make movies like that any more.
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