Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Poster

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gianlucabertani-7709516 November 2017
First of all, sorry for my English: I'm Italian and I don't know if I am able to express not in my language my thoughts with the proper terms. Anyway, I loved this movie, even if I agree that the title should have been F.F.Coppola's Dracula. In fact it is a very personal read of the original script. So, I can understand, but not agree, with all critics about important differences to Bram Stoker's masterpiece. It's a movie you can love or hate, there is no midway, as all comments prove. Personally, I loved the way Coppola reviewed the classic tale, giving Dracula a reason to be what he became after the loss of his wife e to search in England the reincarnation of his lost love. Gary Oldman is absolutely fantastic, lavish, romantic,chilling, in particular as he plays an old Dracula in the beginning of the movie. Definitely the best character of his career until now (let's see how he portrays Churchill in the Darkest Hour). Winona Ryder is so sweet and adorable that I forgive the fact she hasn't been the best choice to play Mina. The other actors (except for Keanu Reeves, completely outcast and unable to act) are all good choices. The music is wonderful, as cinematography, art/set direction, make up and costumes (who cares if Dracula wears John Lennon style sunglasses...). This Dracula is seductive as no other movies ever showed and as no other actor was able to portrait the dark prince. By the way, the choice of Keanu Reeves and some screenplay bad errors and holes don't allow to give a 10. But at the same time I can understand it's not a movie for all tastes. As I already written, you can love or hate it.
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Oldman is the Best Dracula Ever!
Moonlyn14 February 2005
This is the best rendition of Dracula ever captured on film. Gary Oldman's dark and sensual personae outshines any other vampire who ever dare put on a cape. To me Gary Oldman is the most talented and underrated actor ever. He becomes who he is playing, however in this role... Dracula became him... Oldman set the bar so high it is untouchable even to Bela Lugosi. Winona Ryder's delicateness suited the role of Mina/Elisabeta nicely and Keanu Reeves played the unsuspecting and naive Jonathan with satisfaction. However the whole movie comes together because of Gary Oldman's intoxicating essence. He draws the viewers into his darkness and passion and guides them through until the end. This film is drastically romantic and hauntingly captivating- just like a real Dracula movie should be. The cinematography deserved Oldman's phenomenal performance and perfectly created a true vampire realm. Francis Ford Coppola is brilliant. This is the spirit of the vampire.
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Visually striking, but Coppola's storytelling eccentricities are ill suited for the story itself
MovieAddict201618 October 2005
"Apocalypse Now" worked due to its hazy, surreal vision of a hellish world. Coppola returned thirteen years later and created a similarly haunting and poetic so-called "masterpiece," a supposed truthful adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula tale - when, in fact, the truth is that this movie is no more faithful to Stoker than the (superior) Universal Pictures original.

The hazy film-making is visually satisfying, and some of the special effects are - simply put - amazing. Coppola's backlighting and use of shadows is creative and unique. But, unfortunately, after a while his emphasis on style over content begins to eat away at the film's other strengths - the relationship between the heroine (Winona Ryder) and Dracula (Gary Oldman) is weak. Many story links are completely nonsensical and people appear and disappear at whimsy. The heroine's fiancée (Keanu Reeves) writes to her from Transylvania, asking her to depart at once to marry him; in a matter of one or two scenes she has suddenly traveled a vast distance and is standing at the alter prepared to wed. It seems like Coppola loses a grip on his characters and plotting very early on.

Oldman gives a chilling performance but isn't given very much to do, because he's set aside and the special effects take over. The opening scenes of his battle and his motivation to become the King of the Undead is very enthralling - if Coppola had maintained this mixture of style and content the movie would have been far better.

The casting of the weak Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in leading roles harms the impact of the film as well. Reeves sounds like a Californian pothead imitating a Brit; Ryder treats the material as if it is a dramatic, over-the-top theatre rendition; every line she speaks is sickeningly cheesy.

Anthony Hopkins turns in a disappointing performance as the utterly forgettable Van Helsing, who is given very little to do in this particular film apart from show up when convenient and sprout fancy little one-liners, most of them dramatic closers to scenes (e.g. "We are dealing with a demon!", then a cut-away to another scene.) Overall, "Dracula" is a good film and is worth seeing for its visuals alone. It is not, however, the strongest adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel; given the hype surrounding its release in 1992, the completed effort is rather lackluster in the story department.
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Francis takes on Dracula and makes it into a masterpiece
Smells_Like_Cheese13 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best known and most popular Dracula films is by Francis Ford Coppola. At the time he really hadn't made a hit film since The Godfather, he was going bankrupt. So what better way to get out of debt than to make something that is pretty much a guaranteed thing that audiences will love? We got the scares for the boys and the romance for the girls and it equals Dracula. Many people ask me what is with the appeal of vampires? My opinion; it all equals sex. The dashing handsome man coming into the young lady's room at night confessing his desire for her and her giving herself completely to him is not only romantic, but dangerous and filled with adventure. I always found it funny that Dracula was supposed to be the villain of the story, but he's offering to take the girl on this incredible adventure through the world and time yet her usually bland boyfriend doesn't want it that way so he rips her from that experience… I don't know, maybe I just look at things too differently. However moving onto the film, Francis took on the classic tale claiming to be "Bram Stoker's Dracula", not really being 100% faithful to the novel and really over glamed it, however still made this into a very good movie.

In 1897, newly-qualified solicitor Jonathan Harker takes the Transylvanian Count Dracula as a client from his colleague R. M. Renfield, who has gone insane. Jonathan travels to Transylvania to arrange Dracula's real estate acquisition in London, including Carfax Abbey. Jonathan meets Dracula, who discovers a picture of Harker's fiancée, Mina, and believes that she is the reincarnation of Elisabeta, his long lost love. Dracula leaves Jonathan to be seduced by his brides and sails to England with boxes of his native soil, taking up residence at Carfax Abbey. In London, Dracula appearing young and handsome during daylight, meets and charms Mina. When Mina receives word from Jonathan, who has escaped the castle and recovered at a convent, she travels to Romania to marry him. In his fury, Dracula transforms Lucy, her best friend, into a vampire. The men: Van Helsing, Holmwood, Seward and Morris kill Lucy. After Jonathan and Mina return to London, Jonathan and Van Helsing lead the others to Carfax Abbey, where they destroy the Count's boxes of soil. Dracula confesses that he murdered Lucy and has been terrorizing Mina's friends, but a confused and angry Mina admits that she still loves him and remembers her previous life as Elisabeta. At her insistence, Dracula begins transforming her into a vampire. The men are now determined to save her before her transformation is complete by killing Dracula.

What makes this film so special compared to other Dracula movies? I think it was Gary Oldman's performance, he made a very memorable Dracula. Ranging from creepy and disturbing to romantic and charming. I think a lot of people connected with the love story, even if it was over romanticized, a lot of people would like to think that "love never dies" and someone would "cross oceans of time to find them". Does the film have flaws; oh yeah. Between the laugh fest that was the battle of the bad accents between Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. There are scenes that are very over the top and over acted, sometimes also equaling a little too MTV generation. However, you cannot deny that the style of the film is absolutely memorizing and very elegant. The costumes and sets are very stunning and who could forget Dracula's "butt" hair-do? This film has had so many parodies making fun of the lines and hair, but I think that goes to show the impact that the film had. It also started a stream of the Universal Studio remakes with "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and "Wolf" later on. The film may be flawed, but I still love it. It's not faithful to the novel, but gets more things correct compared to other films like Dracula's death and some lines directly taken from the novel like "Yes, I too can love". I think this will go down in the horror classics when it comes to vampire movies, it's got class, violence, blood, style and a lot of sex appeal.

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One of Coppola's Best
nico-1042 January 2005
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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A Treat For The Eyes And Ears
ccthemovieman-122 April 2006
As is the case with many of these latter-day horror movies, this is visually stunning. This one is particularly so, with beautiful colors, wild special effects, lavish sets and a handful of pretty women, led by Winona Ryder.

It isn't all beauty; there are some horrific, bloody moments in here. I've seen the film three times and the first two times was terrifying to me in parts. The last viewing wasn't as scary, but maybe I was distracted by seeing this on DVD for the first time, which enhanced the visuals and added some nice 5.1surround sound.

At two hours and 10 minutes, it's a bit long but there are very few lulls, if any. Gary Oldham gives his normal intense performance as Dracula and it never hurts to have Anthony Hopkins in the film.

The only negative I found was Keannu Reeves, who sounds a bit wooden in his lines. Is it my imagination, or is he a terrible actor? Maybe it's just his voice. Nonetheless, Cary Elwes, Richard Grant, Sadie Frost and Bill Campbell all give good support to this film which is a real feast for the senses.
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An Artistically Rendered Tale Of Darkness
jhclues24 March 2001
The most famous vampire in the history of literature and film is brought graphically to life in `Bram Stoker's Dracula,' directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Gary Oldman as the Count from Transylvania. Working from a screenplay (by James Victor Hart) that is a faithful adaptation of the novel, Coppola takes an artistic approach to the material and creates some startling and effective images-- some quite intense and erotic-- to tell the story of Count Dracula and his world of the undead. Unsettling at times, and often shocking, the film is mesmerizing and thoroughly engrossing, delivered with a full palette of colors and shadows that form a backdrop against which the characters so vividly emerge to play out the drama. It's a visual and emotional feast that is satisfying in every respect, beginning with a brief history of Dracula and the circumstances of his life that ultimately allied him with the forces of darkness and evil. Initially, the casting of Gary Oldman as Dracula seemed inauspicious and ill advised; in retrospect, the choice of Oldman was inspired. Though many actors have done the role before and since (Schreck, Lugosi and Lee, just to name a few), Oldman manages to make the character uniquely his own, with a nuanced performance infused with depth and acuity. Even when delivering famous, oft quoted lines from previously filmed versions of the story (Lugosi's `Children of the night, what music they make,' for instance), Oldman makes them spontaneous and fresh, with a conversational tone that makes you feel as if you're hearing them for the first time. His presence is self-assured and menacing, which makes the character strong and intimidating, and you sense his longevity and the dark wisdom afforded him by his many years of existence. There is a fastidiousness about Oldman's methods of inhabiting a character that makes you wonder if there is anything as an actor that is beyond his grasp. At this point, I would think not. As Van Helsing, Anthony Hopkins puts his personal stamp on a well known character as well. His portrayal of the famous professor is zealous and lively, and touched with an eccentricity that makes him an interesting and welcome presence in the film. Winona Ryder, too, gives a believable performance as Mina, a somewhat emotionally challenging role she addresses with the restraint demanded of her by the character. With her dark, winsome looks and natural intensity she is perfect for the part, and displays a femininity that contrasts well with the overt sexuality of Dracula's three `brides.' And Tom Waits gives a memorable performance as the mad, insect-eater, Renfield, as does Sadie Frost, as Lucy, Mina's young and nubile best friend who unwittingly falls prey to Dracula's dark powers. The single member of the cast who seems to struggle a bit with characterization is Keanu Reeves, as Jonathan Harker; he gives a passable performance, but fails to ever get a firm grasp of the character. Still, he has an engaging presence and, though lacking depth, his portrayal is at least credible enough to maintain the continuity of the film. The supporting cast includes Richard E. Grant (Dr. Seward), Cary Elwes (Lord Holmwood) and Bill Campbell (Quincey). Exacting in detail and imaginatively rendered, Coppola's `Bram Stoker's Dracula,' is an impressive, memorable film. By boldly juxtaposing images and shadows, embracing the innate sensuality of the vampire, and blending it all together so seamlessly, Coppola has taken his film, not only to the zenith of the horror genre, but beyond. It's a journey into the regions beyond the known, wherein the forces of darkness thrive and survive; a cinematic experience you'll not soon forget, courtesy of Coppola, a superlative cast, and the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.
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Coppola's commercial classic...
Don-1027 January 1999
While Bram Stoker's Dracula was being made, the press made a lot of stink regarding this as Coppola's "Cape Fear", referring to Scorsese's big-budget remake of the original of 1962. Scorsese did a commendable update of that flick, but Coppola, a director known for his eccentricity and innovation, has taken an old myth and turned it upside down. I've never seen such visual effects, creating an expressionistic mood that would make F.W. Murnau (director of 1922's silent Nosferatu) proud. This is German Expressionism and Dali mixed together in color. On top of its visual power is the treatment of the Dracula story, remaining very faithful to Stoker's vision.

Gary Oldman turns in his best performance to date, both terrifying and compassionate, and is the most frightening Count since Max Schreck donned the Dracula gear back in the 1922 original. He takes on forms past filmmakers could only dream of putting on film. Obviously, the chemistry between Winona Ryder & Oldman is there. Hopkins is solid as always playing Professor Van Helsing, who has a few supernatural tricks of his own. Of course, Keanu Reeves is as solid as a piece of plywood, but that's another story.

It's the visuals and effects that really put an auteur's mark on the picture. You can tell a lot of money was spent, but Coppola utilizes every penny (something he has failed to do in some past films i.e. One From the Heart, Rumble Fish). We see some seriously disturbing images such as eyes in the sky and a stairwell in the Count's castle that seems to go beyond the infinite underneath. What a movie. This is a must see for all film fans and a reminder that Francis Ford Coppola has and always will be one of the best directors of all-time. Just sit back and let the film assault your senses.
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Coppola's Dracula Is An Atmospheric Masterpiece That Falls Just Short Of Greatness
jaredpahl30 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire story is unlike any other film I have ever seen. A beautifully crafted Gothic horror romance, Bram Stoker's Dracula is infinitely rich in haunting atmosphere, but a conventional love story prevents it from becoming truly great.

Bram Stoker's Dracula is a mostly faithful adaptation of the original novel, telling the story of Dracula's quest to find his long lost love through four characters, Keanu Reeves' lawyer Jonathan Harker, who experiences Dracula first-hand after being imprisoned in his castle, Harker's fiancé Mina Murray played by Winona Ryder, the subject of Dracula's affection, Van Helsing the vampire hunter, played by Anthony Hopkins, and the man himself, Dracula, played with intensity by Gary Oldman. All four principle actors do well in their parts, lending a heightened drama to the fantastical story. Reeves is comfortably quiet as the straight man in the story. Ryder is an attractive presence on screen, wisely dialing back on the melodrama that may have infected her performance. Conversely, Anthony Hopkins gives a delightfully over-the-top turn as a man obsessed with killing Dracula. And speaking of the Count, Gary Oldman's irritating habit of wildly over-acting is actually channeled here into something incredibly watchable. Dracula is a fascinating presence every time he's on screen, especially when he's wearing Eiko Ishioka's brilliant costumes or sporting some of the most convincing creature makeup I have ever seen.

The problem with the narrative in Bram Stoker's Dracula is that it spends too much time on an somewhat standard love story. Winona Ryder's character is well written and her arc works well enough, but at a certain point, the erotic love scenes only carry so much weight. I was far more interested in Dracula's point of view, and aesthetically, I simply wanted to spend more time in his castle. The first chunk of the film is so consistently engaging, both visually and thematically, that it is a pity that the rest of the movie never manages to get back to that level. I can't say I have a real problem with the love story. Like the rest of the film, it's well written, crafted, and acted, but the Dracula point of view as well as Van Helsing's vampire hunt were both more interesting story lines than the conventional love story, and I wish they would've gotten more screen time in comparison.

Even with nagging problems regarding the story, I can't deny the power Coppola infuses into this film atmospherically. The costumes, music, sets, and special effects are uniformly amazing and they work together seamlessly with Coppola's direction to create a final product that is uniquely Coppola and uniquely Dracula. From the first shot of the film, Dracula is constantly surprising as a audio/visual experience. The first 45 minutes in particular showcase some of the most captivating visuals ever put on film. The opening flashback sequence alone is masterfully designed, composed, and shot. There is a heightened reality to the sequence, a storybook detachment that had me transfixed on the screen from the first second, and it didn't let up. The time spent in Dracula's castle is the highlight of the entire film, with the vast corridors of the castle illuminating with eerie shadows in some of the most daring and artistic cinematography I've ever seen. Dracula himself is a haunting creation, as he glides and coils about in an unsettlingly alien manner. The film never gets back to the same level of atmospheric intensity after we leave the castle, and that is a real shame, but still, Coppola continually shows us new visual tricks and inventive effects throughout the film. As a sensory experience, everything works. Coppola gives the film a breathtaking visual signature, utilizing age old camera tricks and special effects to create something that puts you in another world. It's not just unique locations we're treated to, it's a unique method of filmmaking. Wojciech Kilar's music is similarly special. Big, bold, haunting, and dramatic; the soundtrack here is exceptional. The same can be said for the costumes and makeup. There is a boldness to every technical department here.

In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola has created something daring, ambitious, and different in the best way possible. Unfortunately, the movie's best section is its first, and the story lingers too long on it's least interesting story line. While those complaints keep the film from being truly great, they don't stop Bram Stoker's Dracula from showcasing a master filmmaker's unique vision. This is a special film, an extraordinary sensory experience, a 2 hour journey to a dark, foreboding dreamworld that I won't soon forget.

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Interesting and Mostly Accurate Take on the Horror Classic.
tfrizzell18 April 2003
"Bram Stoker's Dracula" is one of those films that reeled people in by making its audience believe that it would be an intense horror film on par with productions like "Rosemary's Baby" or "The Exorcist". Instead, director Francis Ford Coppola stayed more true to Stoker's novel and put a focus on an intense love story that transcends time, the elements and even life and death. This naturally turned off many horror enthusiasts who would rather see a film that thrives on shock value rather than a movie that thrives on heart, brains and emotion. The film is naturally about the titled character, an immortal man (played superbly by the nearly always exceptional Gary Oldman) who has turned against God and now lives through the powers of darkness. By the late-19th Century, the titled character is trying to lure back a reincarnation of his one true love (Winona Ryder) and of course attempting to eliminate all those that might stand in his way (Ryder's fiance Keanu Reeves and professor Anthony Hopkins most notably). Overall "Dracula" is an amazingly good looking film that benefits from high production values and guaranteed performances (mainly from Oldman and Hopkins). Coppola's direction is strong, but a bit overbearing at times and sometimes it is unclear what the tone of the production truly is. Watch for Italian beauty Monica Bellucci as one of Oldman's beautiful, but deadly wives. 4 stars out of 5.
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One of the most romantic stories ever told
stamper29 October 2001
The background of this story is the myth / legend of Count Vlad Dracula (son of count Dracul) ‘nicknamed' Vlad Tepes (Vlad the impaler). Vlad was, as the film tells us a warlord in the 15th century who fought the Turks. According to the myth he drank the blood of his victims and impaled them. This is a real myth, as it was and maybe even is still believed in Rumania. A lot of information about Vlad Dracula was later gathered by Irish writer Bram Stoker, who, combined it with myths of vampires into this tale of the well known blood -–sucking Vampire. Another thing that is real in this film are the pictures in the book Vampyr, which is read by van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) in this movie. The pictures you find there are also to be found in history and school books, complete with ancient writings beside them.

I will not reveal to you the nature of the plot, but I must say this bloody horror film is one of the most sad and romantic stories ever told. It is about a man who loses his wife and cannot rejoin her in another life. So he turns against anything people in the 15th century believed in and is punished by god to wander the earth as the undead. He is cursed to be feared and hunted, for he needs to drink the blood of man to keep alive. He is nosferatu (vamyr), he is Count Dracula.

He lives miserably for about 400 years until he falls in love again. And by doing so we are dragged into the fortune and misery of a creature who lives eternally. He is alive, but lifeless on the inside. He is rich, gentle and loving, yet he must feast on humans to survive. He is damned forever, whilst he did not do anything wrong.

The settings of this great story is late 19th century Europe (England and Karpathia). Karpathia is not well known to man, the wild side of Europe. All this bears with it the mysticism of this story and the epic and tragic background. As for Dracula (Gary Oldman) himself, he drags us into a world of blood, lust and erotica. He seems only to be driven by his great love for Mina (Winona Ryder) and the need of being together with her. TRUE LOVE

There are some great (and famous) actors in this film: Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes and Keanu Reeves. They all contribute greatly to this film, although I must say that the best acting comes from Gary Oldman (Dracula), Sadie Frost (Lucy), Sir Anthony Hopkins (van Helsing) and music legend Tom Waits (Renfield). Do not get me wrong the rest is good to and do their job's well, but these four really put the dot on the i.

Besides the actors there are a lot of things that stand out (look at the list of prizes and nominations at the Oscars), but I must say two people are left unaccounted for there. The director Francis Ford Copolla and the genius behind the haunting and touching music Wojciech Kilar. They both bring so much to the greatness of this film, I would have felt like an idiot if I had left them out.

This does not only make an excellent horror / epic / romantic film, but surely is (in my opinion) a great date flick, about love everlasting and the tragedy of a man who is cursed to live forever and roam the world alone, for he is feared and hunted.

9 out of 10
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The best Dracula movie ever made.
silicondoc21 March 2006
I have watched this movie probably ten times. It is no doubt the best Dracula movie ever made. The cinematography is superb, the sound effects are absolutely incredible. It is enchanting, haunting, endearing, and enthralling all at once. It is the type of movie that is done so well it seems there are endless stories within it, and you can certainly lose all sense of yourself when watching it. Absolutely tremendous. Top of the line. A classic for all time. It has a bit of a good western in it, some of the old style early movies, plenty of modern visual effects, a good amount of sexual flair without overdoing it, the enduring innocence of the several young ladies that lighten the screen. The first person storytelling aspect that fades in and out is also a very well done key effect, detaching you from the scenes in an observant listener fashion without danger of entering, allowing you to witness or imagine the coming horror unfolding, then drawing you in deep within the screen until you're lost in it's essence.

Tremendous film. Definitely recommend. Do not deprive yourself.
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After Gary Oldman as Dracula, there is no other Dracula
ienge16 December 2004
This movie I feel has not gotten high enough vote in your system. Therefore I gave it 10 points despite a few details that would normally deprive it of one point.These are firstly that the character of Jonathan does not measure up to the standards of the rest of the actors. The second little detail is the scene with the party where Lucy joins together her worshipers. Quincy is holding his hat in front of the sofa when Lord Holmwood arrives. The next time we see him he is given his hat with apologies from the doctor Jack Seward who apparently has sat down on the hat. He already sat there in the former scene when Quincy is holding the hat. Very irritating with such a big blunder in a super movie like that. Now, what makes the movie a "tenner" is everything else, in particular Gary Oldmans interpretation of the count, and Anthony Hopkins as doctor van Helsing.The scene with Mina and Dracula in bed is one of the greatest romantic scenes ever, and sure to make any girl cry.
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Lush and Sensual
Cheetah-614 January 2002
This one really nails it. Lush, sensual, sexy\gory, beautiful and creepy. With just the right touch of humor to keep it in perspective. Tom Waits as Renfield gone bonkers is great comic relief. Nosferatu of 1922 or Werner Herzog's version of 1979 are also very good but they've got nothing on this one. It stands well with them and is a must for any Vampire story lover. This one pulls of Dracula's story in high style! One of Coppola's Best works.
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Coppola ruins a great novel by adding his own flavor.
rturner23131 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was supremely disappointed by this, "Bram Stoker's" Dracula. I have read the classic novel by Bram Stoker, and I don't think this would have gained his approval. The only things common between the movie and the book are the names of the characters, and that Count Dracula is from Transylvania. I don't know why Francis Ford Coppola felt he had to spice up a story that has stood up for generations of scrutiny as a classic story of good vs. evil and dress it as a love story. There is a reason that other horrible characters have been created in literature, but there are only a few that endure. Dracula is one of them, and it is because of the chills a reader feels when in his presence in the world Stoker created. The novel has suspense, feeling, and good, noble characters throughout. The movie has none of these qualities.

Everyone in the book has their own vices and greatness. Dr. Seward: doubtful but brave. Dr. Van Helsing: brilliant and cunning. Quincey Morris: simple and impetuous. Arthur Holmwood: sophisticated and selfless. Jonathan Harker: loving and loyal. Coppola manages to remove all these qualities from the characters in this movie. But the worst tragedy of them all was the butchering of the character of Mina Harker. She is the heroine in Stoker's story, a great woman who was indispensable in their pursuit and ultimate destruction of the monster. In the movie, she is the reincarnation of Dracula's lost bride and loses all of her charm and any connection with the audience by pining for an undead demon. Who, by the way, Coppola manages to humanize by somehow justifying his thirst for blood by showing us how much he loved his bride hundreds of years ago.

If I had not read the book, I might be less disappointed with the movie. I did enjoy Anthony Hopkins' performance as Dr. Van Helsing, although he turned the doctor into a bit of a religious crackpot. I have never seen the "Dracula" starring Bela Lugosi, but I intend to, if for no other reason to go back to a time where movie makers developed plot lines and characters rather than just splashing blood and bared chests across the screen.
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this movie is disgrace for Bram Stoker and his fans
night_hawk333-127 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This movie have excellent cast, director, photography, atmosphere BUT writer is complete idiot. He butchered the beautiful story. It would be OK if movie don't have name: Bram Stocker's Dracula! STOKER TURN OVER IN HIS GRAVE after this film. All characters are disgusting: Dracula wasn't romantic pathetic Don Juan, he was tyrant and evil!!! Lucy wasn't whore, she was kind shy girl! Mina was never in love in Dracula!!!! She loved Jonathan more than everything in the world and their love defeated Dracula!!! And Dracula never transformed in ugly hairy monkey and raped Lucy on cemetery(that is the worst scene in movie) Story from book was very original and there weren't necessary to make it more pathetic and more stupid American to make great movie. I hope that some wise director make one real version of Dracula to correct Coppola's greatest error in his life!
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Testing a palette
Cristi_Ciopron17 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have been out of blue reminded of Coppola's calligraphic, fancy and more atmospheric than scary 'Dracula', while reading an Italian discussion, brief and vivid, of the Hammer movies and their actors; however, Coppola didn't seem to look for inspiration in the Hammer films, when shooting his own 'Dracula'. There is a lot of beauty, and a lot of beautiful things, and much to be said about this star—studded shocker of exquisite calligraphy and high—minded; idiots may mock, if they wish. There was a time when Coppola—well, there were, _intermitantly, several such moments—when Coppola seemed to emulate Bertolucci; Scorsese tried his hand at this as well, but Coppola is the more telling instance.

'Dracula's cast leaves nothing to be desired—a team of stars, some of them in rocketing ascension by then.

What this movie certainly has, and in abundance, is gusto, appeal—immensely tasty kitsch. Like with most of his other movies, Coppola seems to have had nothing in particular on his mind—and in this respect, a comparison between the New Hollywood directors—De Palma, Lucas, Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, perhaps even Cimino, Millius and Stone might be thrown in here --some of these I have badmouthed and cursed here countless times, writing about their outings in a dismissive and contemptuous way, even with certain nastiness, as if Kusturica cursing 'Die Hard', which you must have found out that he did—I like all of them, nonetheless, and gladly watch their flicks—a comparison between the main New Hollywood directors, dependable craftsmen, would prove enlightening; anyway, resuming, Coppola often seems to be on to nothing in particular, and this surely is the case with his take on the vampires. 'Dracula' is more of a palette, a study of approaches, devices, etc.. I have seen it many times, and enjoyed it—twice in a movie theater (the first times I was quite disappointed, I now seem to remember), countless times on a video cassette. Very glamorous, very playful—avoid those campy, corny, cheesy—much of it works; at the opposite end, a movie that also works this way is PSYCHO, austere, restrained, stark, unglamorous—it can be watched countless times—even on a daily basis—for the sheer joy, and one that doesn't work and even cloys is ANGEL HEART ....

I thought Hopkins was very good in this. I hate Oldman's sunglasses—but Oldman clad in iron, with his medieval armor, that lavish Transylvanian teaser, with the return from the war . There is also a feel of Victorian corruption and spleen, insidious spleen, given in the over—the—top language of the big—budgeted kitsch ....

Do you at least remember, chaps, that ghoulish orgy, that made Reeves, then still in his youthful days, as it seems, a person so envied and despised, that dreadful fancy of submission and of highly corrosive so—called pleasure? One would suppose it nonetheless takes a very deviant fellow to enjoy that creepy orgy—to say the least—yet it even got a Friesian admirer—yes, a Friesian philosopher quotes it—as he quotes yet another image from the very same Coppola roller-coaster . More about him, below. One might suppose—one would be entitled to presume—that such sicknesses pass unnoticed but by the very perverted ....

Yeah, it looks as if for less than sane souls, for less than healthy minds, such rotten fantasies might prove of some interest ....

A convinced admirer of Coppola's goth exercise is the Friesian philosopher Kelley Ross, who quotes at least two images from the movie—the three broads taking over their victim—and Dracula morphing into rats, dissolving, dismembering into rats, turning into a running hoard of rodents. I have found these two quotes in Ross' pages, after all he's a consumer of popular culture—Cameron, W. Allen, Lucas, etc.; the more important fact to be underlined here about Ross' fair use of the popular culture tropes is that he doesn't distort them, or twist them to mean arbitrarily assigned things. In his pages, these places in the popular culture mean what they originally meant, he keeps their intended meanings, and finds interest and joy in these their original meanings; you should read K. Ross, in case you didn't already.

The unrecognizable Oldman under thick layers of makeup is a cartoon, but young Ţepeş's love is genuinely touching—that awesome line about the oceans of time—traveling oceans of time to find his lost wife—that's chilling, and mind—blowing . Drãculea whispers in a sonorous low tone that he had traveled oceans of time to find her, who had been lost . Other than that, Ţepeş—the Voivod of Muntenia, I mean, the historical character, the wild, perhaps demented cub of the Drãculeşti—has never been a favorite of mine, though we share the first name; I was 14 when I have seen, in that blessed summer of '92, my 1st Dracula movie, one starring Lee—but none surpasses or even matches that breathtaking, ravishing, heartrending and engrossing masterpiece, the NOSFERATU. Watch that one—in case you didn't up to now.

These are the best two intros in the whole genre cinema, starring two of the most dashing leads—Oldman, leonine in his armor, at the beginning of Coppola's 'Dracula', and Crowe, before the battle, at the beginning of 'The Gladiator'. Do you know other intros as dashing?
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A rich telling near the source material
bob the moo14 November 2003
Opening with his vow to rise from his grave and take revenge on a God who allowed his beloved to die while he defended Him on the battlefield, we see Count Dracula in the 1890's, conducting business with a London firm. When his first consultant goes mad, Jonathon Harker is sent to Dracula in his place, only to find himself trapped in the castle. Meanwhile, Dracula travels to London where he feeds on the lovely Lucy Westenra. Her various suitors try to help her and call for Professor Van Helsing to come and help – they realise that this is not a simple battle against a disease of the blood.

Although a little too long for my liking, this film is a very rich gothic telling of a story that has become watered down slightly with the many different versions of stories with the characters. Here the basic plot follows the tale from the creation of Dracula, his love and his confrontation with Van Helsing and the various suitors of the lovely Lucy. The story is told with a real respect for the source, perhaps a little too much as it can be a little to heavy and lacking in spark at times. However, for the most part the gothic telling works very well and feels very lavish and rich.

Visually the film is great – rich colours in the scenery and costumes really bring the goth out of the film. Meanwhile Coppola works well with shadows and images in the backgrounds to make the film have the feel of an old silent movie version (eyes in the storm) but with modern standards. It's not really scary, but I didn't need it to be, I was more interested in the overall story, and that worked well.

The cast suffer from a bit too much respect for the material, some of their performances are a little too hammy and heavy. Oldman is good when compared to the better known image of the `Bela Lagosi' Dracula, but I did still find him a little too hammy at times. Likewise Rider is not totally convincing. Hopkins is quite fun to watch and the three suitors (including Ewles and Grant) very much play stiff upper lipped straight men! Of course of their performances tower with majesty above the sheer miscast ineptitude of Reeves. From the start his accent is horrid, but his inability to bring out emotions and character basically kills his character off before the film has even got going.

Despite this the film is actually very enjoyable even if it is a bit too respectful and long – occasionally making it feel a little heavy going. The rich presentation and loyalty to the source material makes for a very enjoyable story even if it isn't really what we'd see now as a horror.
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Dracula: a 9.6 but not a 10++.

A 9.6 but not a 10++.

I am giving ten well deserved stars to this version of Dracula as it is without any doubt the best adaptation of the Abraham (Bram) Stoker´s book to the big screen. Nonetheless, it´s a 9.5 or 9.6 star movie that become ten when you round and not a 10+ or 10++ because if this movie has any defect at all is that in the moments when Dracula does not appear, the tension falls dramatically, which is also applicable to some moments when Dracula appears in his human form during daytime; and it is actually a defect that it maybe shares with the book it came from. Nevertheless, I think that this wasn´t necessarily a defect 100 and something years ago when Stoker wrote his novel, as life was slower in those days and there was no TV, movies or internet. Actually if you ever read the first chapter of the original Bram Stoker´s Dracula, you will be amazed how in some few pages, the author teaches you a little bit of many things at the same time that he tells you the first part of the story. He teaches you a little bit of gastronomy, a little bit of geography, a little bit of mythology and even a little bit of German and other languages. Nonetheless, when the story advances you keep wanting less details and more action.

Thanks for reading.

IMDb Review written by David del Real.

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Quite impossibly bad
nico_jones6 March 2006
I must be missing something here, as this is easily one of the most shockingly terrible, tear-my-eyes-out-so-I-don't-have-to-see-it, train wreck mess of an excuse for a film that I have ever had the severe misfortune to bear witness to. I am sitting here in my living room literally unable to come to terms with how execrable this 'film'was.

How anyone can think this is good is quite beyond me. A few points: -The look of the film is not 'grandiose' or 'lush', it is crap. The effects are crap, the sets are crap. It's just a royal glut of crapness from start to finish.

-Every cast member excerpt Gary Oldman turns in a career-worst performance par excellence.

-Calling it 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' is an exercise bordering on the farcical. This film should be called 'Francis Ford Coppola's unashamed molestation of Dracula, aided and abetted by the most staggeringly inept fake English accents ever committed to celluloid'.

Keanu Reeves' English accent is (deep breath) worse, yes WORSE than Dick Van Dyke's horrific cockney aberration from Mary Poppins. This in itself is quite an achievement and almost makes the film worth watching. Actually, no it doesn't.

To sum up, by all that you hold dear do not watch this film. Spend two hours removing your skin with a power-sander then have a salt bath. It will be a less painful experience. I bid you good day.
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Very little even watchable material in this film
p_liles24 January 2006
There are two good things about "Bram Stoker's Dracula". They are: Gary Oldman (as Dracula) and Anthony Hopkins (as Professor Abraham Van Helsing).

Other than that the negatives regarding this movie are seemingly endless. I'll touch of the main problems.

1. This movie had beautiful costumes and sets, but I was unable to enjoy them with the herky jerky camera editing that the director Francis Ford Coppala decided to go with. I got a headache trying to focus on the action.

2. Many movies have been made based on books. There are varying degrees of staying true to the original story. However, if you title your film "BRAM STOKER'S Dracula", then you better stay true to Bram Stoker's version of the story. I had just read the book, and was eagerly anticipating the film. It didn't take long to see that most of the original story is either simply ignored or actually changed. I'm not talking about minor details. I am talking about major themes in the book that are totally destroyed. The movie should have been named "Coppala's Vampire", then I wouldn't have wasted my money on going to the theater to see it.

3. This movie, in my opinion, has to be one of the worst cast films in the history of movie-making. At least, when you consider that the two main characters are played by Keanu Reeves and Wynona Rider. They are two of the most limited actors in Hollywood, and should never have even been allowed to read the script in the first place. As bad as they are, they do not even give a good performance even by their standards, most likely due to the poor matching of script to abilities.

Watching this movie is literally one of my least favorite movie-going experiences ever. It's basically a case of "three strikes and you're out", because of the poor acting/casting, lack of staying even close to the original story & irritating editing that leaves you straining to focus on what's happening.
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Awful adaptation of the book
punk_rawk_chick1816 September 2006
I saw Bram Stoker's Dracula last year without having any knowledge whatsoever of the book. As I watched it, I was almost certain that it was an inaccurate representation as there is so much vile nudity and violence that it seemed to be a glimpse into Coppola's disgusting, misogynistic brain rather than a 19th Century classic. I have just finished the book and I would like to proudly say I am correct. Although the book subverts women entirely and paints them as weak, timid creatures that need to be protected by men, they are at least far from wanton (except, of course, for the siren-like vampires). Lucy's character is completely corrupted from what Stoker intended her to be, and never in the book does Mina even have the slightest desire to become a vampire. There is NO love between Dracula and Mina and this is absolutely crucial to the story. This does NOT add a 'cool twist,' nor make the story any more interesting. It betrays the original Victorian notions that are embedded into the story and turns it into a gratuitous, abhorrent representation of modern Hollywood. Dracula is the embodiment of pure evil; he abhors life, purity, goodness and wishes to gather as many that he can to join in his evil existence and to do his bidding. The love in this story comes from Van Helsing, Dr Seward and most of all the love between Jonathan and Mina. The ending of the book captures this beautifully, yet this horrid film (no pun intended) fails to graciously offer its audience a glimpse into what this story is about.
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Visually stunning!! a classic
markhaazen1 May 2012
Francis Ford Coppala's approach is unlike Bram Stoker's famous book, not horror, but more an approach to the Love-side of the story. There still is a lot of horror in the film that really frightens you, but the story is more centerd around the tragic lovelife of count Dracula. Also, another thing that makes this movie a really fascinating movie experience, is because of some erotic scenes. They make the scenes extremely powerful which really helps to power the emotion and the horror. It also makes it the most erotic Dracula film ever.

The movie is made with beautiful sets and colour. There is a real colour theme going on in the movie that is truly maqnificent and which pleases the eye. The use of music and sound is also fantastically done. It makes it more frightening and exciting. The casting of this masterpiece is absolutely perfect. Gary Oldman plays the count Dracula with true emotion and lust. He steals the show. Also, Winona Ryder as the lovely Mina does a fantastic job. With further rolls of Anthony Hopkins as the professor Van Hesling,(who plays him with lots of joy and wickedness. He is the one who brings some humor into the dark world the movie is in), Keanu Reaves as Jonathan (A great choice for the part), and Sadie Frost as Lucy (Who really acts great! She made quite an impression on me because she played Lucy perfectly) makes this a wonderful movie experience.

So are you in for a night of Horror, Erotica, Love, Action, great special effects and a lot of Vampire teeth? Than "Bram Stoker's Dracula" is the movie for you to see. This movie will truly amaze you from beginning to end. When the credits role over the screen, you do understand the tagline of the movie: Love Never Dies. Worth viewing many times!
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Bram Stoker spinning wildly in his grave!
Tin Man-58 June 1999
It is called "Bram Stoker's Dracula." The title is deceiving.

This film is an incoherent mess, to put it rather bluntly.

The effects, which look beautiful, only take away from the story-- you forget that this is a vampire movie and you are left with an impression that it is a special effects promo. And for crying out loud, what is with that tagline "Love Never Dies?" This film has taken a classic story and mutated it into a romance. Granted, there were huge romantic elements in the original Dracula-- the gothic horror classics such as it and Frankenstein flowed elegantly like poetry, and romance was used. But this film has taken something that Bram Stoker never intended and made it the key focus: Mina is now a riencarnation of a lover who Dracula lost while still Vlad the Impaler, and the whole film is basically an endless trek as they find each other and rediscover their lost love. OOOOKAY!

As far as events in the book goes, it is pretty accurate, but that's not the point. The point is, they completely changed the focus on some kind of unnesseccary love story. If Coppola had made the film an accurate account of the legend, it would have worked great. If he had changed the title from "Bram Stoker's", I might have liked it a little better (Even though the endless effects, as I have mentioned, made it mind-numbing and incoherent). Instead, it is only boring, tedious, and an insult to everything Bram Stoker hoped to accomplish. Poor Mr. Stoker....If he knew such trash like this would come out of his work, I'm sure he would have never written it.

If you want to see a good Dracula film, watch the Klause Kinski version of Nosferatu. It certainly isn't faithful to the novel, but at least it doesn't PRETEND to be, like this sorry excuse for a Dracula epic does.

I would give this film a negative two hundred on a scale of one to ten, if not for Anthony Hopkin's brilliant performance as Van Helsing. Truly, he's the only brillaint thing about it.
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Francis Ford Copolla should get on his knees and BEG for forgiveness from Bram Stoker!!!!
MamzelleLilliette30 January 2007
Firstly, I'm NOT going to say that the story of Dracula is strictly for Gothic culture (whatever's left of it) because, truthfully, such a fabulous example for literature is something that anybody of refined taste should enjoy. However, Dracula, due to being a story about the children of the night and their haunting impulse on the world of the living, has become associated with Gothicism. But it makes the Gothic genre of art and literature (I'm referring to Byron, Henry Fuseli, the Romantics etc) look poor and squalid because of the way it has been TAKEN and MAIMED by modern day Hollywood. Now this review is not about me personally, but I want to mention how I, as a Gothic, can no longer look at this story and admire it. Want to know why? Because every time I hear the name 'Dracula', horny, tanned and frankly un-vampiric Gary Oldman and his groaning, self-orgasm-ing miniature Harem (the three brides, Mina AND Lucy, for those of you who didn't guess) fill my head! What has Francis Ford Copolla done?! What possessed him to mutate such a beautiful piece of Victorian literature? And what the Hell makes him think-HONESTLY THINK-that his pornographic, dirty, lecherous,flea bitten vision is SO worthy of the title "Bram Stoker's" Dracula?

I could talk all night about the mistakes he's made. For one thing, Johnnathen Harker and Mina Murray, not just as sweethearts but also as aristocratic Victorians, have a CHASTE and PURE relationship; a relationship that does not require sloppy, sweaty sex to show virtue and passion. F.F.Copolla has not only discarded of Johnnathen Harker's importance to the story, he has also totally distorted Mina's gentle, heroic character by pretending to himself that she is actually Dracula's long lost reincarnated 'love'. Having a tag line like 'LOVE NEVER DIES' and a theme of love between Dracula, the wraith, and Mina, the maiden, is ludicrous.Its not only ludicrous because its NEVER what Bram Stoker intended; its also ridiculous because Mina and Dracula DO NOT love each other! How can Dracula rape Lucy, have a harem of brides AND adore Mina all at once? Whenever the two are around each other they behave like sex-deprived, sex-seeking, silly little lustful teenagers-sucking each others nipples and canoodling each other in public places. Where is the love-REAL love-in that?

You see, the Victorians had extremely strict ideals about love and marriage. Mainly all marriage was prearranged, the entire point of the corset was to keep a woman faithful to her husband (the husband laced her corset up in a specific way so that, if it was ever undone and then redone up, he could tell.)...and the characters in Bram Stokers book just go to show that that scummy thing we call 'sex appeal' is not actually important. Stokers characters are valiant, beautiful, in corrupt. Or were.

I think Copolla should be ashamed for ruining such a beautiful story. If he wanted to make a movie-another scummy excuse of a vampire movie-he should have wrought it with his own story and his own characters. Why he felt he had to deform this perfectly beautiful story about the triumph of purity over Death, is beyond me. And I will hate him forever for what he has done.
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