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Countess Dracula
     

Countess Dracula

Director: Peter Sasdy, Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Eles

Cast: Peter Sasdy, Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Eles

 

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Polish actress Ingrid Pitt became a cult figure for her portrayal of the notorious Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory in this Hammer horror film. Bathory finds that bathing in the blood of virgins restores her youthful beauty, and she enlists her servant (Nigel Green in a standout performance) to kidnap her own daughter, Ilona (Lesley-Anne Down). Bathory assumes

Overview

Polish actress Ingrid Pitt became a cult figure for her portrayal of the notorious Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory in this Hammer horror film. Bathory finds that bathing in the blood of virgins restores her youthful beauty, and she enlists her servant (Nigel Green in a standout performance) to kidnap her own daughter, Ilona (Lesley-Anne Down). Bathory assumes Ilona's identity to seduce a young man (Sandor Eles), but without a supply of blood, she turns old in a hurry. The real Bathory had no such problems, reportedly slaughtering over 600 young girls before being sealed alive in her room. Pitt and Green are excellent, although director Peter Sasdy -- who helped adapt this story from Valentine Penrose's book The Bloody Countess -- moves the story along at a rather leisurely pace. Still, the performances and typically sumptuous "Hammer look" should make this film appealing to fans of historical horror. Maurice Denham, Patience Collier, and Nike Arrighi co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This is one of the more underrated films from the latter days of the Hammer Films dynasty. Countess Dracula is often unfairly viewed by fans and critics as a poor relation to The Vampire Lovers but it's an effective little chiller in its own right. Jeremy Paul's script plays fast-and-loose with the facts of the real-life case that inspired this story but it delivers a well-modulated mix of chills and sauciness at a fast pace. It also uses its 'royals-victimize-the-peasants' storyline to make some surprising and effective commentary on the vicious-cycle mentality of the English class system. The heroes are a bit colorless but Countess Dracula makes up for this flaw with some delightful villains: Ingrid Pitt tears into the lead role with melodramatic vigor, creating a character who can be seductive, pathetic and terrifying all in the same scene, and Nigel Green is appropriately imposing (and sardonically witty) as her fearsome royal accomplice. Best of all, Countess Dracula boasts stylish direction from Peter Sasdy, who stages the film's melodramatic twists and turns with grisly flair. Along the way, he creates some genuinely chilling setpieces, including a creepy moment where Countess Bathory tricks and kills a gypsy girl and the film's macabre wedding day finale. In the end, Countess Dracula's mix of campiness and grue is not for all tastes but fans of gothic soap operas will find plenty to enjoy here.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2014
UPC:
0654930316092
Original Release:
1972
Rating:
PG
Source:
Synapse Films
Region Code:
1A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:33:00
Sales rank:
33,233

Special Features

Audio commentary with actress Ingrid Pitt, director Peter Sasdy, screenwriter Jeremy Paul and actor Jonathan Sothcott; Immortal countess: the cinematic life of Ingrid Pitt - featurette; Archival audio interview with Ingrid Pitt; Still gallery; Theatrical trailer; Reversible cover artwork

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ingrid Pitt Countess Elizabeth Nadasdy
Nigel Green Capt. Dobi
Sandor Eles Imre Toth
Maurice Denham Master Fabio
Lesley-Anne Down Ilona
Patience Collier Julia
Nike Arrighi Gypsy
Peter Jeffrey Capt. Balogh
Leon Lissek Sergeant
Jessie Evans Rosa
John Moore Priest
Joan Haythorne Second Cook
Marianne Stone Kitchen Maid
Anne Stallybrass Pregnant Woman
Paddy Ryan Man
Albert Wilkinson Circus Midget
Charles Farrell Seller

Technical Credits
Peter Sasdy Director
Philip Harrison Art Director
Raymond Hughes Costumes/Costume Designer
Bert Luxford Special Effects
Alexander Paal Producer
Jeremy Paul Screenwriter
Henry Richardson Editor
Harry Robinson Score Composer
Kenneth Talbot Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Countess Dracula
1. Chapter 1 [7:50]
2. Chapter 2 [6:22]
3. Chapter 3 [9:33]
4. Chapter 4 [5:19]
5. Chapter 5 [7:56]
6. Chapter 6 [9:16]
7. Chapter 7 [7:10]
8. Chapter 8 [7:22]
9. Chapter 9 [8:59]
10. Chapter 10 [7:02]
11. Chapter 11 [7:42]
12. Chapter 12 [8:27]

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