Dracula
1931*****

| 75 MINS | BW | UNIVERSAL |


SYNOPSIS

Renfield travels through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe to finalise the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula.

After arriving at castle Dracula, Renfield is drugged by the Count, who is a vampire, and turned into a quasi-vampire who obeys Dracula's every command. They return to England by ship, and upon arriving only Reinfeld is left with the rest of the crew murdered. Reinfeld is then committed to Dr Seward's sanitarium which is adjoined with Carfax Abbey.

At a London theatre some nights later, Dracula meets Dr Seward. Seward introduces Dracula to his daughter Mina, her fiance John Harker, and a family friend Lucy Weston. Dracula sets his attentions on Lucy and feasts on her blood. She soon dies. With Lucy dead, Dracula's begins to prey on the innocent Mina.

Professor Van Helsing, who is working at Dr Seward's sanitarium, notices that Dracula does not cast a reflection in a mirror. He suspects that Mina may have become Dracula's latest victim. Van Helsing takes Mina into his protection and swears that he will track Dracula down and destroy him.

Van Helsing and Harker see Renfield heading for Carfax Abbey, having just escaped from his cell. They spot Dracula with Mina in the abbey, and Harker shouts to her. Thinking that Renfield has led them there, Dracula strangles him and tosses him down the staircase.

With sunrise approaching, Dracula is forced into his coffin. While Harker searches for Mina, Van Helsing impales Dracula with a wooden stake. Dracula moans in pain and Mina returns to normal. Mina and Harker leave Carfax Abbey with Van Helsing staying behind.



REVIEWS

Classic-Horror.com: Dracula is badly paced and riddled with continuity errors but it is also atmospheric, chilling and contains one of the most influential performances in cinema.

Classic-Monsters.com: Surely any film which can define a character so vehemently in the eyes of the world deserves its place among the greats.

Filmsite.org: This successful, atmospheric 1931 adaptation, although somewhat flawed by its slow dialogue and static, stage-bound nature, helped to launch a long series of horror-pictures for the studio


QUOTE

Count Dracula: Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.


CREDITS

  • Directed by Tod Browning
  • Produced by Tod Browning
  • Cinematography Karl Freund
  • Production company Universal Pictures



  • NOTABLE FACTS

  • The film was shot in sequence to cut costs.
  • Dracula never displays fangs in this film.
  • When Bela Lugosi died, he was buried wearing the cape he wore for this film.



  • CAST

    Bela Lugosi -- Count Dracula | Helen Chandler -- Mina | David Manners -- John Harker | Dwight Frye -- Renfield | Edward Van Sloan -- Van Helsing | Herbert Bunston -- Doctor Seward | Frances Dade -- Lucy | Joan Standing -- Maid | Charles K. Gerrard -- Martin (as Charles Gerrard)



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