4.0 11
Director: John Badham

Cast: Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence


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The sexy 1978 film production of Dracula hits DVD for the second time with this release from Universal Home Video. Controversy has surrounded the picture ever since the original laserdisc release, when director John Badham desaturated the original vibrant photography to try and finally realize his original stark vision for the film. This disc finds the helmer…  See more details below


The sexy 1978 film production of Dracula hits DVD for the second time with this release from Universal Home Video. Controversy has surrounded the picture ever since the original laserdisc release, when director John Badham desaturated the original vibrant photography to try and finally realize his original stark vision for the film. This disc finds the helmer tweaking away once again, though the results are actually quite startling. While the theatrical film struck a chord right at the height of the garish disco era, this new version's look and feel evokes the classic mythos far more effectively than the released print (though the colorful psychedelic love scene is still intact). The good news for the black-and-white detractors is that at least this time, the film is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen format, (updated from Image's previously cropped 2.15:1 disc) and its anamorphic face-lift is impressive to say the least. The disc has the benefit of a few new bonus features that prove Universal's dedication when it comes to their reissues, starting with the inclusion of Badham's audio commentary. The newly recorded track finds the director a few years older and wiser as he looks back at a film from his early career. Coming straight off of Saturday Night Fever, Badham was shocked to find himself directing a quite frail Sir Laurence Olivier and a stern leading man (Frank Langella) whose battles with the producers are now legendary. The 40-minute "Revamping of Dracula" featurette delves even more into the production and contains interviews with Langella, John Williams, and others, while the photo gallery is packed with incredible production designs as well as behind-the-scenes photos and promotional advertising. This release might scream of the same kind of questionable revisionism that rocked the Star Wars set, but it does right in giving the film much more love than what was there before, and that is certainly a good thing.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This oft-criticized take on the classic Bram Stoker story is probably its most controversial adaptation. W.D. Richter's screenplay toys with the source material in some interesting ways -- like making Lucy a proto-feminist -- but it suffers from a muddled third act and reduces Harker to a nonentity, a flaw compounded by Trevor Eve's lackluster performance. These flaws keep this version of Dracula from reaching classic status, but the film remains worthwhile because it gets several other things right. Frank Langella makes an excellent Dracula, creating a figure whose seductive nature is a key part of what makes him frightening. Sir Laurence Olivier matches him note for note as Van Helsing, bringing a delightful theatrical touch to his sparring matches with the evil count. Best of all, John Badham directs the proceedings with a true flair for gothic melodrama and gives the film a tremendous sense of atmosphere. His work is aided immensely by a thunderous (and rather atypical) score from John Williams and the lush, moody cinematography of Gil Taylor. Ultimately, the pros outweigh the cons in this version of Dracula and it remains worthwhile for fans of old-fashioned horror.

Product Details

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Universal Studios
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Special Features

Feature commentary with director John Badham; "The Revamping of Dracula"; Photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Frank Langella Count Dracula
Laurence Olivier Abraham Van Helsing
Donald Pleasence Jack Seward
Kate Nelligan Lucy Seward
Trevor Eve Jonathan Harker
Jan Francis Mina Van Helsing
Janine Duvitski Annie
Ted Turner Swales
Kristine Howatih Mrs. Galloway
Peter Wallis Priest
Joe Belcher Tom Hindley
Anthony Haygarth Renfield
Frank Henson Demeter Sailor
Sylvester McCoy Walter
Gabor Vernon Captain of Demeter

Technical Credits
John Badham Director
Brian Ackland-Snow Art Director
Roy Arbogast Special Effects
John Bloom Editor
Robin Gregory Sound/Sound Designer
Julie Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Walter Mirisch Producer
Peter Murton Production Designer
Tom Pevsner Associate Producer
W.D. Richter Screenwriter
Gilbert Taylor Cinematographer
Anthony Waye Asst. Director
Albert J. Whitlock Special Effects
John Williams [composer] Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Ship of the Damned [3:56]
2. Lone Survivor [6:08]
3. Dracula's Baggage [5:40]
4. Welcoming Party [8:10]
5. Midnight Encounters [6:05]
6. Innocent Victim [5:42]
7. Business at the Castle [5:29]
8. Van Helsing's Arrival [3:38]
9. Intimate Dinner [7:41]
10. A Father's Gift [4:32]
11. United for Eternity [6:50]
12. Family Reunion [4:05]
13. Casting Out Evil [2:24]
14. Wild Work to Be Done [4:00]
15. King of His Kind [5:17]
16. Healing Lucy [5:18]
17. Supernatural Love [5:33]
18. Last Voyage [9:13]

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Dracula 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
A_Daywalker More than 1 year ago
If you get past the hokey 70's style, the movie is unforgettable! If Bela Legosi made Dracula a classic evil character, Langella made him the most sensual. He makes you wish you could offer up your neck for a bit of chewing on and sucking! Ummmmmm... Wish he were REAL.... I'd throw away the garlic powder in the kitchen! HE has bedroom eyes, and a sultery voice most women dream of... Ooooo....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frank Langella is the sexiest and most effective modern Dracula ever. His eyes, his voice, his seduction, well, he IS Dracula.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This version was barely a blip on the radar when it came out, but I saw it 3 times, at least, in the theaters. This film takes a few liberties with the story, but then, most retellings do. I don't mind though, because it is visually lush, with deliciously detailed sets, awe-inspiring locations, stirring, mournful music and a very compelling and original interpretation of the main character. This is the tragic Count Dracula...maybe written by DuMaurier or a Bronte sister. This is also the Count with the velvet voice, the astonishingly soulful (souless?) eyes, the quiet yet commanding manner. This is the Count I would leave the window open for, quite frankly. It is my favorite version: Not particularly scary, but very tense...both with impending menace and with measured and heavy sensual energy. It is a love story, really. I've loved it for years. I now own it. Great 'making of' featurette (In which Badham attempts to explain away the gaffe of the vampire-reflection scene he left in, and the 'artistic' reasoning behind the bleached-out color...boo hissss). The ending is a bit weak, but that is just my bias showing. Better than Coppola's by far. Langella IS Dracula.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was young I saw the Broadway Dracula Play though I didn't see it with Frank Langella but with actor Raul Julia of The Addams Family movies playing Dracula and it was a great play! I saw this movie and though it's not really that faithful to Bram Stoker's book I still liked this movie and thought that Langella was superb! If you can get past the fact that they switched the names of the two female characters and made the character that was actually Mina in the book become Lucy and vice versa, well you will probably like this movie and If I remember correctly the same switch of characters names was also done in the play.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Putting aside that, it was confusing to see them trade off names--the real Lucy is now Mina...If you get can get past that, you can follow...by far, the most seductive of all the Dracula's, Frank Langella is superb. I saw it at the movie theatre in 1979..I went back to see it twice. I didn't understand why it wasn't a box office success..but this sort of thing happens. Look at the movie "Somewhere in Time". I saw this movie at the movie theatre 11 times! it wasn't a box office success, but it has become a real cult classic and people have been buying-first, the VHS-- and for years now, the DVD's. So, you never know.. I think this movie is definately worth having in your collection. I know that it is not the way it was written...but neither was the 10 Commandments, or Ben-Hur...none of the great films have ever stuck to the REAL thing... Read: The Bridges of Madison County-- A very weak, non-emotional, non descript book...However, buy the film of the same name with Clint Eastwood and you will fall in love with it. Great film. You never know...
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Throughout history Dracula has filled the hearts of men with terror and the hearts of women with desire.This stylish new production of the classic gothic horror tale stars Frank Langella,as the blood-sucker himself,Count Dracula.Laurence Olivier stars as the devout vampire Hunter Van Helsing who is Dracula's nemesis,and Kate Nelligan as Miss Lucy who becomes Dracula's desire.A great cast,fine direction,and a superbly atmospheric musical score makes this film the ultimate DRACULA.A must see.