Wednesday, November 16, 2011


A London real estate agent travels to Transylvania for a midnight rendezvous with the mysterious Count Dracula. As townspeople give warnings and make way, the agent succumbs to the Count's spell and the two travel to London feast on the blood of the living, while discredited Professor Van Helsing seeks to stop his reign of terror. With the subsequently released "Frankenstein", Tod Browning's "Dracula" asserted Universal Pictures position as the monster movie studio and cemented Bela Lugosi's legend into film history. Based on the Bram Stoker novel, a subsequent stage play, and greatly influenced by F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu", "Dracula" is an atmospheric, slightly stodgy, but incredibly entertaining film. Lugosi's performance as the learned, proper, and creepy Count Dracula ranks as one of the most devilishly enjoyable in film history and Dwight Frye is a hoot as Renfield, the crazed and possessed real estate agent. Edward Van Sloan is great as well as Van Helsing the vampire hunter, and his showdowns with Lugosi are among the highlights of the film. Along with "Frankenstein", "Dracula" is the fundamental film in monster movie history, immensely inspirational, and a treat to watch even to this day.

12/5/11 I rewatched this film accompanied with the Philip Glass score, which he composed for the film in 1998. The film has often drawn calls for a musical score, and while some complained that it tarnished the original, I find it to be a welcomed and nicely realized accompaniment.