Fantasy / Horror

IMDb Rating 7.6


Downloaded 976 times
12/27/2018 8:08:09 AM

72 min
P/S 45 / 170

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Arriflex1 7

Tod Browning&#39;s film of the Stoker novel didn&#39;t so much eclipse Murnau&#39;s NOSFERATU (1922) as shove it into antiquity. One big reason was the technological advancement of sound. Roughly three years old by 1930, the public embraced the talking picture wholeheartedly over silents. <br/><br/>The other big reason for Dracula&#39;s success was that the star of the stage play had been cast as the star of the film. And movie history was made. Bela Lugosi&#39;s Count Dracula is now a eighty-one year old icon, outlasting all other interpretations before or since. The twist is that this Dracula looks nothing like Stoker&#39;s creation (read the book). Lugosi, either through his work with the playwrights or later at Universal with Browning, devised the most insidious form the character would ever take- a handsome, courtly, well-groomed, civilized aristocrat, so gracious and attractive that he projected an aura of well-being over the viewer. This was worlds away from the Murnau/Max Schreck approach of head-on abomination in NOSFERATU. <br/><br/>Sensibly, no one in their right mind would stay within viewing distance of Schreck (or Kinski in NOSFERATU, THE VAMPYRE and Dafoe in SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE) after the first glimpse. But Lugosi&#39;s Count would have you chatting and drinking wine- until he began to drink of you. That cape and those evening clothes are the perfect deception. Browning&#39;s Dracula is sometimes stagy and tentative in its continuity (it feels at times that the director was unsure where to go next in the progression of scenes). But Karl Freund&#39;s photography summons up a persistent mood of heavy gloom and enveloping dread. <br/><br/>Two other assets in the film are Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing and Dwight Frye as Renfield. Van Sloan was Universal&#39;s resident Learned Man, appearing as an Egyptologist in THE MUMMY (1933), and perhaps most famously as Dr. Waldman in FRANKENSTEIN (1931). A career-long character actor, Dwight Frye was an eccentric talent who appears to have worked exclusively at Universal. He had his best role as Renfield, producing a still blood-curdling, sneering laugh that seemed to come from the depths of a hellish insanity. If you haven&#39;t seen this Dracula please do so. The Count awaits.

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Reviewed by ACitizenCalledKane 7

While Tod Browning&#39;s Dracula is not the definitive take on the most famous vampire of all time, it is possibly the most memorable one. This is not due to Browning&#39;s technical achievements or directorial wizardry, by ANY means. It is due to Bela Lugosi&#39;s career-defining portrayal of the title character. Born in what is now Lugoj, Romania, Lugosi brings to the part the flavor of his homeland, making him more believable as Dracula. This other-worldly aesthetic helped to make his performance what many consider the ultimate incarnation of Stoker&#39;s Dracula. Having played the Count in Hamilton Deane&#39;s Broadway version of Dracula, which started in 1927, Bela Lugosi was more than prepared for the role when it was time to commit it to film. Still struggling with the English language, however, he had to learn his lines phonetically. European accent in tact, he was able to deliver such memorable lines as, &quot;I bid you welcome,&quot; &quot;Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make,&quot; and, of course, &quot;I am Dracula.&quot; His performance alone is reason enough to watch this monster movie classic. If only the rest of the film was as spectacular as Lugosi. Dwight Frye&#39;s Renfield, while perhaps a little too over-the-top, is still another highlight to the film, and even Edward Van Sloan&#39;s Van Helsing is enough to challenge the might of Count Dracula. The rest of the film is rather flat to me. Now, I know it was made in 1931, and that, at the time, it horrified audiences, but I still stand by my opinion that the overall movie pales in comparison to Bela Lugosi&#39;s performance. Everyone else just seemed to be going through the motions, and it seems especially evident while Helen Chandler and David Manners are on screen. They just aren&#39;t convincing. I&#39;m not saying that their performances ruin the film. It is still a classic, and certainly worth a viewing, but if you are in the mood for a vampire movie that is worthy of Bram Stoker&#39;s name, look no further than F. W. Murnau&#39;s Nosferatu. It is much more convincing and even scarier than Tod Browning&#39;s Dracula, despite being nine years older and silent. All in all, though, one cannot overlook the stellar performance of Bela Lugosi in the role he was born to play!

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Reviewed by SmileysWorld 9

I suppose we all have differing opinions on what is scary and what isn&#39;t.For my money though,this film tops my list.I have seen many a horror film,but few have made me shiver as this one did.The creepy silence virtually throughout the movie,coupled with Bela Lugosi&#39;s intimidating presence and Dwight Frye&#39;s chilling performance as Renfield(remember the eyes and the laughter?)give me chill bumps on top of chill bumps just thinking about it.Yes,the movie has flaws, but they are few and far between.Hey,it was 1931 after all,and movie making was still in it&#39;s infancy.I have seen the various opinions on this film,good and bad,and while it may not top a lot of people&#39;s list when it comes to scariest movie ever,it sure tops mine.Bone chilling!

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