Jump to: Spoilers (4)
Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola explains on the DVD commentary that Mina and Harker's wedding was a re-shoot done at a Los Angeles Greek Orthodox church. They filmed the entire ceremony with a genuine Romanian Orthodox minister, and realized afterwards that Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves may have really been married to each other. Reeves has since confessed that he often gets text messages from Ryder that read "Hello, husband", and that they are both completely fine with it.
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Gary Oldman hired a singing coach to help him lower his voice by an octave to help him give Dracula a more sinister quality.
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At the first cast meeting called by producer and director Francis Ford Coppola, he got all of the principal actors and actresses to read the entire Bram Stoker novel out loud to get a feel for the story. According to Sir Anthony Hopkins, it took two whole days to complete.
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Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola says on the DVD audio commentary that during the shaving scene, the walls of the set gradually move inward to create a subliminal growing sense of claustrophobia.
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Prince Vlad's scream after he drives his sword into the cross is not the voice of Gary Oldman. Lux Interior, lead singer of punk band The Cramps, recorded the scream, and it was dubbed in.
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During pre-production of the movie, Francis Ford Coppola came up with the idea that, when in the presence of a being such as a vampire, the laws of physics don't work correctly. This is why shadows often act independently of the figures casting them, why rats can run along a ceiling upside-down, and why liquid drips up.
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Gary Oldman said that when he first read the script, he decided it would be worth doing the movie just so he could feel what it would be like to say, "I've crossed oceans of time to find you" to someone.
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When Mina (Winona Ryder) recalls her previous life as Elisabeta, she says she remembers a land beyond a great forest. "Land beyond the forest" is the literal meaning of Transylvania.
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The little girl who played the child carried into the crypt by Lucy was genuinely terrified of Sadie Frost in her vampire make-up, and obviously wasn't expecting to do more than one take. Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola and Sadie had to do a lot of sweet-talking to the child, in order to get her back in Sadie's arms for another go at the scene.
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Gary Oldman was drunk the night they filmed the scene where he had to lick blood from Keanu Reeves' straight razor. The scene was filmed after midnight, which added to the spirit of the scene, and helped put the cast "in the proper mood."
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Francis Ford Coppola has openly criticized his own reasoning for casting Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker. According to him, he needed a young, hot star that would connect with the girls.
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Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder did not get along well at all during filming. The rest of the cast was shocked because the two had been friendly during rehearsals, then came back from a break in the schedule seemingly hating each other, with no indication given (then or later) as to what had happened.
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Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola had Richard E. Grant (Dr. Jack Seward), Cary Elwes (Lord Arthur Holmwood), and Billy Campbell (Quincy P. Morris) embark on a series of "adventures", including horseback riding and hot air ballooning, to build the camaraderie between the three.
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Liam Neeson was considered for, and very much wanted, the role of Professor Abraham Van Helsing, but after Sir Anthony Hopkins, still riding the success of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), showed interest in the role, Neeson was ultimately turned down.
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Francis Ford Coppola and the special effects team consulted with a professional magician to achieve the effect of Dracula's brides rising up from the bed.
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Keanu Reeves said years after this movie came out that he wasn't happy with his work in it, stating he had been exhausted from making several movies right on the heels of signing on as Jonathan Harker, and that he tried to raise his energy for the role "but I just didn't have anything left to give."
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The scene of Lucy (Sadie Frost) getting back into her coffin in the underground crypt was shot in reverse, to give it an eerie quality.
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The blue flame is the only optical effect in this movie. Every other effect was achieved completely "in-camera" on the set with no post-production effects work.
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At the beginning, Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) asks why Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) has purchased his houses in such specific locations, a question that is never answered in the movie. The explanation given in the book is that the fifty boxes of Transylvanian earth were distributed throughout Dracula's houses in locations surrounding London, so that Dracula would have many places to rest and regain his strength at daybreak, during which, Dracula must rest only in either a coffin or the earth of his homeland (Transylvania).
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Red jelly was used for the blood.
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Francis Ford Coppola was insistent that he didn't want to use any kind of elaborate special effects or computer trickery when making the movie. He initially was given a standard visual effects team, but they told him that the things he wanted to achieve were impossible without using modern digital technology. Coppola disagreed and fired them, replacing them with his twenty-nine-year-old son Roman Coppola, who set about achieving some of the effects by using old-school cinematic trickery. A thorough exploration of these effects can be found on the 2007 Special Edition DVD in the In Camera: The Naïve Visual Effects of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' (2007) featurette and in the "Heart of Darkness" article from Cinefax Magazine (also found on the DVD), but some of the most interesting examples include: When sitting in the train on his way to Transylvania, Jonathan Harker is looking at a map which appears superimposed on his face. This was a live effect achieved simply by projecting the image of the map onto Keanu Reeves' face on-set. In the same scene, outside the window, Dracula's eyes mysteriously appear in the sky, watching Harker as he travels. This was achieved by combining three separate shots. First, the shot of Gary Oldman's eyes was done with him wearing special make-up, so that only his eyes would be visible when the image was projected onto the sky backdrop. The next shot involved the projection of the eyes onto the backdrop of the Carpathian Mountain set, making it appear as if two eyes are appearing in the sky. Then, a shot was taken of Reeves sitting in the train with the combined background/eye shot rear-projected through the window. Another shot in this sequence involves a close-up of Harker's journal, with the train appearing to travel along the top of the book, blowing smoke across the pages. This was a forced perspective shot using a huge book and a tiny miniature train model. After arriving in Translyvania, Harker is met by Dracula's carriage, and the driver seems to magically reach out and lift Harker into the carriage. This shot was achieved by having the rider (Gary Oldman) sitting on a camera crane which reached out and brought him towards Reeves. At the same time, the camera was moved to the right, so it appeared as if the rider's hand wasn't actually stretching, but was simply defying physics. For the lift, Reeves was also standing on a fake floor, which was a movable rostrum which raised him up into the carriage. As the carriage approaches the castle, there is a shot of the castle in the background as the carriage speeds along a narrow driveway. This was achieved by painting the image of the castle onto a piece of glass, and then positioning the glass in front of the camera, while the shot of the carriage was shot on a soundstage. The scene when Harker is shaving, and Dracula approaches him from behind, without a reflection in the mirror, was shot by a classic technique as old as cinema itself. The actor, with his back to the camera, is actually Reeves' double, not Reeves, and the "mirror" is simply a hole in the wall, with the real Reeves standing on the other side in a portion of the set, thus when the hand touches the shoulder of the double, there is no reflection to be seen, because there is no mirror. When Harker is exploring the castle, there is a shot of some rats walking on the ceiling upside-down while Reeves descends a staircase right-way-up. This was achieved by using a double exposure. First, the shot of the rats was done with the camera upside-down. Then the film was rewound, and a matte box was placed in front of the lens so as to ensure only the correct portion of the image would be exposed.
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Francis Ford Coppola notes on the DVD commentary that although the three actresses playing Dracula's brides had agreed to appear nude in this movie, everybody on the set was too timid to ask them to take off their clothes before filming their scenes. Coppola asked his son Roman to ask them, but Roman didn't want to do it either, and asked another crew member to do it.
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In August 2018, Winona Ryder expressed concern that she might be legally married to Keanu Reeves. Apparently, Francis Ford Coppola wasn't happy with their wedding scenes in the movie, and to achieve greater authenticity, re-shot the sequence with a real priest.
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Earnings from this movie were enough to save Zoetrope (producer and director Francis Ford Coppola's studio) from bankruptcy, after suffering from financial difficulties and liabilities of $27 million over the past three years.
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The original teaser trailer (which consists of blood forming the logo on a jagged surface and quick flashes of scenes from this movie) was pulled from theaters by Columbia Pictures when patrons complained of it being too intense. This trailer appears on the Criterion Edition LaserDisc.
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Winona Ryder saw the script when it was originally going to be made as a television movie, directed by Michael Apted. She took the script to Francis Ford Coppola, to whom she had not spoken since withdrawing from The Godfather Part III (1990), due to exhaustion, six months earlier. They were originally meeting to discuss an adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," and on her way out, she mentioned the script for this movie. Coppola agreed to make this movie, and Apted stayed on as executive producer.
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In the scene where Count Dracula serves Jonathan Harker dinner after his arrival at the castle, the count mentions his ancestors were members of the Order of the Dracul. There was an actual Order of the Dracul (Dracul = dragon), an order of chivalry fighting against the Ottomans in the Balkans in the 1400s. Vlad Tepes, on whom the character of Dracula was loosely based, was known as "Draculea", which means "son of the Dragon", as his father was a member of this order.
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According to producer and director Francis Ford Coppola, much of the cast was assembled as Winona Ryder's "dream cast", including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, and Richard E. Grant.
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Francis Ford Coppola claims that Bram Stoker's name was included in the title because he has a tradition of putting the author's names in the titles of his movies that are adapted from novels, such as "Mario Puzo's The Godfather (1972)" and "John Grisham's John Grisham's The Rainmaker (1997)." Others have claimed, however, that Stoker's name was included in the title to avoid legal action from Univeral Studios, who claimed to own the rights to the simple title Dracula (1931).
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Sadie Frost was nervous about shooting the ravishment scene, so Francis Ford Coppola asked Gary Oldman to talk to her. According to Frost, Oldman started whispering to her to get her in the mood. Nobody knows exactly what was said, but Coppola was amused when he found out.
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The blue flames seen on the road to the castle are a detail mentioned in the book. In the novel, it is explained that on one night every year blue flames are seen over areas containing hidden treasures. In the scene from the novel, Harker's coach driver stops several times to place rocks over them as markers in order to find them in the daytime and possibly dig up the treasure.
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To help put himself in a grieving mood at Elisabeta's corpse in the opening prologue, Gary Oldman carried a photo album of his then young son Alfie during and would go through it before doing a take. Interestingly, he also doubled, but uncredited as the mysterious coach driver when Jonathan is taken into the castle from the pass. This is consistent with the book where Jonathan sees no servants in the castle and concludes that the Count is the sole inhabitant, and most likely he was the coach driver as well.
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Sadie Frost didn't bother auditioning for the part of Lucy, as she figured that she was too physically similar to Winona Ryder. It was only after Francis Ford Coppola had real trouble casting the part, and had happened to see Frost's performance in Dark Obsession (1989), that she was approached.
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At one point during filming, a double was used to portray the wolf-beast version of Dracula when Gary Oldman suffered an allergic reaction to the make-up.
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The battle scene in the prologue was originally intended to be performed with shadow puppets instead of actors. The idea was used later in this movie when we see, in the cinema house, a shadow puppet battle similar to the prologue battle.
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Steve Buscemi was the first choice to play Renfield, but turned it down.
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The front of Gary Oldman's hairline was shaved for make-up purposes, and to resemble Vlad.
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Despite his occasional discomfort in them, Gary Oldman creatively contributed to the make-up effects when Dracula transforms into various monstrous forms.
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Mina walks past an advertisement for the Lyceum Theatre and Henry Irving. Dracula author Bram Stoker managed the Lyceum, and Sir Henry Irving is rumored to be one of the primary inspirations for the character of Count Dracula.
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The Japan-based leadership of Sony was so new to Hollywood that after this movie's record-setting November 1992 premiere weekend, they asked the American executives if the $30 million box-office tally was considered a good result.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins also plays Cesare, the Priest who tells Dracula that Elisabeta's soul is damned, and he provides the voice-over sequence during the narrative for the Captain of the Demeter.
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Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola says in the 2007 Collector's Edition DVD audio commentary that the "Arabian Nights" book, over which Mina Murray (Winona Ryder) and Lucy Westenra (Sadie Frost) giggle, went missing.
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Originally, producer and director Francis Ford Coppola had wanted to use highly impressionistic sets using only lights and shadows with minimum props. Instead, he wanted to spend the entirety of the production design budget on the costumes. The studio, however, wouldn't allow this, and ordered him to build "proper" sets.
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Francis Ford Coppola wanted Johnny Depp to play Jonathan Harker, but the studio wanted someone who was more of a heartthrob.
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Dracula's final Kabuki dress was directly inspired by a Gustav Klimt painting known as "The Kiss".
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In an attempt to elicit more emotion, producer and director Francis Ford Coppola shouted "whore" and "slut" at Winona Ryder while filming the scene when Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Sir Anthony Hopkins) catches Mina (Ryder) with Dracula (Gary Oldman).
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Costume designer Eiko Ishioka was from Japan, and because the costumes had a Kabuki theater-like appearance, Gary Oldman's wig maker and hair designer Stuart Artingstall studied traditional Kabuki and Geisha hair styles and incorporated them into her unique and elaborate designs. Each wig was "built", taking many hours of painstaking work to thread each hair in a base individually, as is done in traditional opera companies.
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The name Dracula is borrowed from Vlad the Impaler, but the character of Dracula is never identified as being Prince Vlad in Bram Stoker's novel. Though he does identify himself as Prince Vlad in this movie, the historical Vlad lived in the fifteenth century.
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According to cinematographer Michael Ballhaus's autobiography (published in March 2014), Francis Ford Coppola's main influence and inspiration for the cinematography and visual design of this movie was F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922). Ballhaus considers Coppola's visually inventive movie one of his favorite achievements as a cinematographer, and the last great "must-see" movie by Coppola.
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Costume designer Eiko Ishioka (who won an Oscar for this movie) had never seen a Dracula movie prior to being hired for this one. She was initially hired as the art director, but when producer and director Francis Ford Coppola saw some of her costume sketches, he immediately asked her to work as the costume designer.
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One of the very few Dracula movies in which, like in the novel, Dracula begins as a white-haired old man and becomes younger as he feeds on blood. His appearance as an old man is changed, however. In the novel, he is described as "a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of color about him anywhere." In this movie, he wears a long red robe, is of average height, and does not have a mustache.
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In her interview to Interview Magazine in 2013, Winona Ryder called her relationship with Gary Oldman on the set of this movie just "some teen drama", since Ryder was young then, and said that Oldman was a good friend of hers now.
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Preview audiences are alleged to have found this movie too gory, so twenty-five minutes of footage was removed to make it less bloody.
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The majority of gowns worn by Mina and Elisabeta are in shades of green. In many cultures, green is associated with love, lust, and sexual desire. Mina and Elisabeta's gowns also frequently feature leaf-motifs, most likely Rosemary leaves, which symbolize both love and fidelity (in wedding bouquets) and death, loss, and grief (in funeral wreaths).
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Gary Oldman and Francis Ford Coppola sometimes publicaly clashed with each other on the set over creative choices, e.g. the appearance of young Dracula in this movie.
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Gary Oldman himself thinks that Dracula was never a "bucket list" role for him in the first place. He said that the main reason why his younger self said yes to the role was an opportunity to work with Coppola, who he considered one of the great American directors. It was Oldman's first big American movie, made on a big set with lots of costumes and for a young actor then that was a tremendous experience.
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Amongst those who auditioned for the part of Dracula were Andy Garcia (who had concerns over the number of sex scenes), Gabriel Byrne, Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, and Viggo Mortensen. Banderas played the vampire character Armand in Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).
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The exterior view of Dracula's castle, as seen in several shots from the approach from the road, is designed to resemble Czech artist Frantisck Kupka's painting "Resistance - The Black Idol".
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Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola considered at one point of giving this movie the title "D", in order to distinguish it from previous Dracula adaptations.
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Miniatures were used extensively in this movie. Examples can be seen when Dracula drops Mina off in the carriage; the house behind the gate is a miniature model. Also, when Mina looks out the window at Carfax Abbey when the men go there to sanitize Dracula's crates of soil, Carfax Abbey is a miniature model in this shot.
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The painting of Count Dracula, which Jonathan Harker mentions after his arrival at the castle, is a self portrait of Albrecht Dürer (a German painter, 1471-1528), but with Gary Oldman's face (the face of the young Count). The painting also served as inspiration for another vampire author's writings, Anne Rice, though she used it for her vision of a non-vampire character, that of Lasher, the spirit that haunts a family of witches in her series The Lives of the Mayfair Witches.
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Several elements of this movie were taken from previous Dracula adaptations. Renfield being Harker's predecessor (the characters are completely unrelated in the novel) has been used in numerous previous Dracula movies, starting with Nosferatu (1922). The scene of Dracula rising from his coffin for the first time is also taken from Nosferatu (1922). Dracula's line of dialogue, "I never drink...wine" has also been used in numerous previous Dracula movies, originating with Dracula (1931). The idea of Dracula's motivation for coming to England being to find his reincarnated lost love was first used in Dracula (1974). The lunatics in the asylum rioting to signal the coming of Dracula was used in Dracula (1979). References to non-Dracula movies include Dracula turning Mina's tears into diamonds, a reference to the Jean Cocteau movie Beauty and the Beast (1946), Lucy's glass coffin, taken from the various versions of the "Snow White" story, and the window in Lucy's bedroom, taken from the Frank Capra movie The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932).
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According to an extra on this movie, during the scene where Dracula first arrives in London and he and Mina meet on the street, there was some difficulty getting Winona Ryder to have the appropriate response to seeing him for the first time. Gary Oldman grabbed a zucchini off of a vegetable cart that was part of the street scene and held it behind his back when Mina was across the street, then flashed it in front of his groin when she turned to look at him, which elicited the reaction Francis Ford Coppola was after.
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When Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is giving his lecture, he jokes that "civilization and syphilization have advanced together." This line is paraphrased from comments made by famous nineteenth century Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing, author of Psychopathia Sexualis, one of the first medical works to scientifically explore topics like sadism, masochism, and homosexuality.
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When Van Helsing (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is flicking through the book Vampyre you can see a picture of a wood carving of Vlad Tepes upon who Dracula is based
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Francis Ford Coppola recorded his audio commentary in English and Italian.
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Winona Ryder said that what attracted her to the script was the fact that it's a very emotional love story. According to Ryder Mina, like many women in the late 1800s, had a lot of repressed sexuality, everything about women in that era, the way those corsets forced them to move, was indicative of repression and to express passion was freakish.
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Despite being the love interest for Count Dracula, Mina never actually says Dracula's name.
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Like The Godfather Part III (1990), this movie was made in part in the hopes of rescuing Francis Ford Coppola's production company Zoetrope from bankruptcy, which this movie did.
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The film takes place in 1462 and from May to November 1897.
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Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola's original list of possible actors to play Dracula included Daniel Day-Lewis, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, Aidan Quinn, Christian Slater, Keanu Reeves, Nicolas Cage, Michael Nouri, Dermot Mulroney, Gabriel Byrne, Costas Mandylor, Nick Cassavetes, Adrian Pasdar, Hugh Grant, Rupert Everett, Ray Liotta, Sting, Kyle MacLachlan, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, and Hart Bochner.
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Amongst the moving picture displays in the scene where the Prince and Mina first converse is a shadow figure show depicting the battle between Vlad's army and the Turks.
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In the scene preceding Dracula's entrance to Mina's room in the form of green mist, the gang is breaking up boxes of soil in order to throw holy water on them and exorcise the demonic dirt. Van Helsing is splashing the water, holding a crucifix and speaking in Latin. In the process of his Latin exorcism lines he utters the word Wallachia. Wallachia is the place in which Vlad Tepes (better known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula) was believed to have been killed. Vlad (1431-1476) ruled over Wallachia, now a part of Romania, from 1456 to 1462. After he was defeated by the Ottoman Turks, he was captured by the Hungarians, who locked him up for almost fifteen years. After his release he again became ruler of Wallachia in 1476. The same year, however, he was killed, exactly how is uncertain. His severed head though was sent to the Ottoman sultan in Constantinople.
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Although this movie was never at risk of getting an NC-17 rating instead of an R (for which producer and director Francis Ford Coppola and Columbia Pictures were aiming anyway) from the MPAA, Coppola and the studio agreed to cut some of the more ultra-gory images from the final movie.
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Diamanda Galás provided vocal effects for the three brides of Dracula.
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The main title music is reminiscent of the music of James Bernard, the composer of many of the Hammer Film Productions horror movies of the late '50s, '60s, and early '70s, particularly the Sir Christopher Lee "Dracula" movies.
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This movie was released to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the release of the novel, and with the 80th anniversary of the death of Bram Stoker.
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This is the first major U.S. motion picture to be edited entirely on a non-linear edit system.
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The audiobook of "Dracula" is read by Richard E. Grant (Dr. Jack Seward).
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To keep the budget manageable, Columbia Pictures insisted that this movie be shot in Los Angeles, and not on-location.
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Drew Barrymore was considered for the role of Mina Murray.
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Comic book artist Jim Steranko served as project conceptualist for this movie.
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James V. Hart started writing the screenplay in 1977. According to him, Sir David Lean was the first choice to direct this movie, but was unavailable as he was working on Nostromo, which was eventually shelved after his death.
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The song that is heard during the end credits is "Love Song for a Vampire" by Annie Lennox.
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Interestingly several elements in the film can be seen to derive from Carl Th. Dreyers movie "Vampyr" from 1932. Most noticeably shadows travelling across walls ahead of their characters, the scenes with Miss Lucy ill in bed from her infectious bites and even the characteristic cello line played in the opening, all appear to have been partly inspired by Dreyers film.
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One of three vampire movies made by the Coppola family. Vampire's Kiss (1988) starred Nicolas Cage (Nicolas Kim Coppola) and featured Marc Coppola; Dracula's Widow (1988) was co-written and directed by Christopher Coppola, and also co-starred Marc Coppola; and Francis Ford Coppola produced and directed this movie, with Anton Coppola conducting, and Roman Coppola as second unit director and visual effects director.
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Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves's attempts to sound English are mocked in "Sigourney Weaver" by American songwriter John Grant: "I feel just like Winona Ryder / In that movie about vampires / And she couldn't get that accent right / And neither could that other guy."
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Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) is seduced by Dracula's brides, one of whom is portrayed by Monica Bellucci. In The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Reeves' character, Neo, is again seduced by a character played by Bellucci.
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Charlie Sheen auditioned for the role of Jonathan Harker.
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When the wind blows out the candles in Professor Abraham Van Helsing's study, he quotes Othello, saying "It is the cause, it is the cause my soul" (from Act 5, scene 2 of the play). Sir Anthony Hopkins played the eponymous character in Othello (1981), in which he delivered the same line.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
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Gary Oldman is the only actor who played the title role of Dracula in a major movie or television adaptation who went on to win an acting Oscar.
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Sadie Frost received an introducing credit. However, this was her sixth motion picture.
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Michael Keaton was considered to play Dracula.
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Fifth Francis Ford Coppola movie for Tom Waits, after One from the Heart (1981), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983), and The Cotton Club (1984).
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This film marks one of the relatively rare appearances of the character Quincy Morris, here played by Billy Campbell, in a film adaptation of the Dracula story. In the novel, Morris is essential to the resolution of the plot. Most film and television adaptations either create composites of Quincy Morris with Jack Seward and/or Arthur Holmwood, or they leave the character out entirely.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman appeared in Hannibal (2001).
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When Mina first meets Dracula on the streets of London, a sign can be seen advertising the play Hamlet starring Henry Irving. When Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, he worked at the Lyceum Theatre in New York with Henry Irving and used him as an inspiration for the titular character.
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Anthony Hopkins had recently won his Academy Award for The Silence of the Lambs (1991) when this film was released. Gary Oldman would go on to win Best Actor for his role in Darkest Hour (2017). Both roles; Hannibal Lecter and Winston Churchill; had previously been played by Brian Cox (in Manhunter (1986) and . Oldman would appear opposite Hopkins the second time he played Lecter in Hannibal (2001). Hopkins did not appear in Darkest Hour (2017), but he has appeared in a film about Churchill: Young Winston (1972), in which he played David Lloyd George.
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Producer and director Francis Ford Coppola screened this movie for close friend George Lucas. Lucas suggested that, in adherence to the vampire mythology, Mina should decapitate Dracula as the ultimate release for him to reach heaven. Coppola agreed, and shot it three weeks before this movie's release.
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A scene that was storyboarded, but not filmed, involved Dr. Jack Seward (Richard E. Grant) and Lord Arthur Holmwood (Cary Elwes) coming across the dead bodies of Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves), Quincy P. Morris (Billy Campbell), and Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Sir Anthony Hopkins) impaled on posts before the climactic confrontation, and then realizing that this is simply a hallucination conjured by Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), using his powers of psychological persuasion.
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In the scene where the heroes burst in on Dracula and Mina, Dracula turns into a bat-like creature, and frightens the heroes out of their wits. Gary Oldman had problems with this scene, feeling constricted in the suit, and not very scary. Francis Ford Coppola told him to whisper something scary into each cast member's ear, which Oldman did with relish. No one knows what he said to them, but they all look absolutely terrified in the scene.
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Though this movie is notable for being more faithful to Bram Stoker's novel than most other adaptations, numerous liberties were taken, including: The pre-title prologue and the subplot about Mina being the reincarnation of Count Dracula's wife are inventions of this movie. The novel never explicitly identifies Dracula as Vlad the Impaler, and Mina has no personal connection to Count Dracula. This alters later scenes taken from the novel, such as when Mina asks Dracula to turn her into a vampire, and willingly drinks his blood. In the novel, Dracula forces Mina to drink his blood, and she is traumatized by the incident. In the novel, Dracula immediately dies and crumbles into dust after suffering the knife attacks by Jonathan Harker and Quincy P. Morris. In this movie, he lives for several minutes after the attacks, and Mina delivers the final death blow. In this movie, Professor Abraham Van Helsing asks Mina for permission to hypnotize her, while in the novel, it's Mina's idea, and she asks Van Helsing to do it. In this movie, Mina seduces Professor Abraham Van Helsing and attacks him. This does not happen in the novel. In this movie, Van Helsing presses a communion wafer against Mina's forehead to defend himself against her attack, while in the novel, he does this to bless her, and does not know it will burn her. In this movie, Count Dracula transforms into large werewolf and bat creatures, while in the novel, he only transforms into a regular wolf and bat. He also is not explicitly shown to have had sex with Lucy, as in this movie. In this movie, when Count Dracula is caught with Mina in her room, Jonathan comes into the room with the rest of the men. In the novel, Jonathan is also present with Mina when the men come into the room, lying in a stupor, unable to move, due to Dracula's hypnotic power over him. In this movie, Count Dracula escapes Mina's room by turning into a hoard of rats and they go out of an open window, while in the novel, he turns into mist and escapes. In the novel, Count Dracula turns into rats at Carfax Abbey while the men are destroying and sanitizing the crates of soil. In this movie, Dracula transforms into a wolf and leaps into Lucy's room and attacks her. In the novel's version of this scene, the wolf is not Dracula, but a wolf escaped from the zoo that's under Dracula's hypnotic control, and it does not attack Lucy. In this movie, the escaped wolf appears when Dracula and Mina are at the cinema house, a scene not present in the novel. In this movie, Count Dracula's brides call Jonathan Harker into the room with the bed, and when he lies down on it, they appear to rise up from beneath it, and they attack him before Dracula appears and scolds them. In the novel, Jonathan awakens from sleep on a sofa, and sees the brides standing before him, and Dracula appears before they have a chance to attack him. The brides also appear semi-nude in this movie, while in the novel, they do not. In this movie, Renfield is shown to be Harker's predecessor, and it's implied that his experience at Count Dracula's castle drove him insane, while in the novel, Harker and Renfield are unrelated, and Renfield's insanity is not implied to have been caused by Dracula. In the novel, none of the gypsies carrying Count Dracula to his castle are shot or killed. In this movie, the blue flame is seen directly in front of Count Dracula's castle, while in the novel, it's seen in the distance on the journey to the castle. The flame appears again later in this movie, though only the one time in the novel.
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