Dracula

( 13 )

Overview

"I am....Drac-u-la. I bid you velcome." Thus does Bela Lugosi declare his presence in the 1931 screen version of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Director Tod Browning invests most of his mood and atmosphere in the first two reels, which were based on the original Stoker novel; the rest of the film is a more stagebound translation of the popular stage play by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane. Even so, the electric tension between the elegant Dracula and the vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing Edward Van Sloan works as ...
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After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, ... who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead. Director: Tod Browning. Writers: Bram Stoker (novel), Hamilton Deane (Screenplay). Video is in great condition. Starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, Helen Chandler as Mina, David Manners as John Harker, Dwight Frye as Renfield, Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing, Herbert Bunston as Doctor Seward, Frances Dade as Lucy, Joan Standing as Maid, Charles K. Gerrard as Martin. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"I am....Drac-u-la. I bid you velcome." Thus does Bela Lugosi declare his presence in the 1931 screen version of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Director Tod Browning invests most of his mood and atmosphere in the first two reels, which were based on the original Stoker novel; the rest of the film is a more stagebound translation of the popular stage play by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane. Even so, the electric tension between the elegant Dracula and the vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing Edward Van Sloan works as well on the screen as it did on the stage. And it's hard to forget such moments as the lustful gleam in the eyes of Mina Harker Helen Chandler as she succumbs to the will of Dracula, or the omnipresent insane giggle of the fly-eating Renfield Dwight Frye. Despite the static nature of the final scenes, Dracula is a classic among horror films, with Bela Lugosi giving the performance of a lifetime as the erudite Count both Lugosi and co-star Frye would forever after be typecast as a result of this film, which had unfortunate consequences for both men's careers. Compare this Dracula to the simultaneously filmed Spanish-language version, which makes up for the absence of Lugosi with a stronger sense of visual dynamics in the lengthy dialogue sequences. In 1999, a special rerelease of Dracula was prepared featuring a new musical score written by Philip Glass and performed by The Kronos Quartet.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Monica McIntyre
Though the vampire legend has successfully seeped into all corners of modern media from PBS's Sesame Street to prime time's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, few bloodsuckers remain as recognizable or creepy as Bela Lugosi in Tod Browning's Dracula. One of the crown jewels in Universal's marvelous cycle of horror films from the 1930s, this classic stars Lugosi as the dapper vampire from Transylvania biting his way by night to immortality. Having played this role in Hamilton Deane and John Balderston's Broadway stage adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel, the Hungarian-born Lugosi was the obvious choice for this 1931 film, especially since Browning's longtime collaborator, Lon Chaney, had recently died. The story is familiar: Dracula and the mad Renfield Dwight Frye travel to London and clash with the forces of reason and respectability, especially Professor Van Helsing Edward Van Sloan. But despite Browning's exquisite, expressionistic mise-en-scène, Lugosi steals the show. The film made him a huge star, and filmmakers quickly typecast him due to his convincing, trancelike mannerisms.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Tod Browning's Dracula (1931) has made the most lasting impression of all versions of the Bram Stoker classic, although it was neither the first version (there were numerous silent-movie vampire tales) nor, for many viewers, the best version (many aficionados cite F.W. Murnau's 1922 Nosferatu). There are at least three reasons for the film's lasting importance. First, the opening sequences in the foothills of the Carpathians, and the subsequent set-up shots in Dracula's castle, are rendered in classic German Expressionist style by cinematographer Karl Freund, establishing a Gothic creepiness and tangibly dark and perverse tone that stick with the audience long after the setting shifts to England. The success of these atmospheric shots would influence horror filmmakers for decades to come. Second, Bela Lugosi's interpretation of Dracula would define the role. His suave, faded gentry style and unusually cadenced line deliveries would become the touchstone for many imitators. Lugosi gives his character just a hint of the sexual carnivore in his pursuit of the pretty maidens of England, themes that Werner Herzog and Francis Ford Coppola would develop more fully several decades later. Freund played a key role in defining Lugosi's sinister character by shining tiny pinpricks of light into his eyes, giving them an eerily otherworldly, penetrating quality. Third, the set designs are outstanding, from Dracula's Transylvanian castle to the London insane asylum housing Renfield, giving the film a perfectly Gothic horror quality. The film's second half deteriorates into a drawing-room drama, with too much chat and not enough horror. However, there is little doubt that the film's opening act, with its brilliant sets and stunning camerawork, together with Lugosi's elegantly sinister performance, make Dracula a memorable and influential classic.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/1992
  • UPC: 096895500336
  • Original Release: 1931
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bela Lugosi Count Dracula
Helen Chandler Mina Seward
David Manners John Harker
Dwight Frye Renfield
Edward Van Sloan Dr. Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston Dr. Seward
Frances Dade Lucy Weston
Charles Gerrard Martin
Joan Standing Maid
Moon Carroll Briggs
Josephine Velez English Nurse
Lupita Tovar
Pablo Alvarez Rubio
Tina Saint
Michael Visaroff Innkeeper
Eduardo Arozamena
Daisy Belmore Coach Passenger
Manuel Arbo
Barry Norton
Carmen Guerrero
Helga Liné
Tony Isbert
Technical Credits
Tod Browning Director, Producer
Miton Carruth Editor
Garrett Elsden Fort Screenwriter
Karl W. Freund Cinematographer
Charles Hall Art Director
Carl Laemmle Jr. Producer
Maurice Pivar Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Really flies...right in your face! Everything about Bela and Dr

    Really flies...right in your face! Everything about Bela and Drac is here, and you can watch another movie (ED WOOD) to get more. Delightful and just in time for Halloween.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    The best Dracula, for sure. 

    The best Dracula, for sure. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    o bid you...wellcome

    this is my second favorite dracula movie ever. the acting is great.

    barns and noble does not have the movie i recomend

    i recomend the spanish version of dracula

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2003

    BEST DRACULA YOU CAN GET!!!!!!!!!!

    Bela Lugosi is the best Dracula you can get! I think this movie would not be as good if did not have......DWIGHT FRYE AS RENFIELD! Renfield is soooooooo funny.He is a bug eating Crazy guy.He has funny lines like,''Fly's....fly's poor peauty things!who wants to eat fly's.'' This is a cool Movie ...........BUY IT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ONE OF UNIVERSAL'S BEST!!!

    Although there have been numerous versions of Bram Stoker's vampire tale,none is more enduring then this 1931 original.Towering ominously amoung the shadows of the Carpathian Mountains,Castle Dracula strikes fear in the hearts of the Transylvania villagers below.Bela Lugosi,starring as the screen's most popular vampire Count Dracula,together with horror specialist Director Tod Browning,create the film's eerie and chilling mood.Dracula remains a vampire classic today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2001

    I AM.....................DRACULA.

    Although there have been numerous screen version's of Bram stoker's classic tale,none is moreenduring than this 1931 original.Bela Lugosi,starring as the screen's moast popular vampirre Count Dracula,together with horror specialist Director Tod Browning,create the film's errie and chilling mood.ALSO STARS HELEN CHANDLER as a young maiden Mina who falls into the clutches of the vampire.DRACULA remains a masterpiece not only of the genre,but for all time.The Universal Monster collection.A must see for everyone!NOT RATED!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 17, 2011

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    Posted November 5, 2008

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    Posted July 28, 2009

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted June 22, 2010

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