I must confess I have never seen Dracula! Omg-I know right?! What kind of Classic Film fan am I? Well, one that admits that she hasn't seen the film that literally defined what we know about vampires today. Um, yeah, I know they aren't real...or are they?
I watched this film recently with my husband. I am lucky in that he enjoys classic films as much as I do. Okay, maybe not AS much, but he likes them and not many men his age do, so I count my blessings that we can watch a film like this together and we can both enjoy ourselves.
It stars Bela Lugosi, my classic film actor spotlight of the month. I wondered if he would live up to the hype of what I have heard about this film. Can I tell you that he did! He really did! My hubby thought some scenes were a little cheesy but I was in Bela heaven the whole time! He really just light up the screen (or maybe it was those eyes that were literally lite up in the close ups) and he seemed comfortable with the Count. Its something I have not seen too much before in the actors that played this after him. It is as if he embraced the monster that was Count Dracula, instead of romanticising him, he made him a literal creature of the night who thought only of his own survival.
This film is the first adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula" written in 1897. Director Tod Browning had Lon Chaney up for the coveted role but passed away before the making of the film. Lugosi played the part on Broadway in New York and that is when Hollywood became aware of him and his talents.
It also stars Helen Chandler as Mina, David Manners as John Harker, Dwight Frye as Renfield, and Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing. What an amazing casts of characters and actors. I highly recommend clicking on the links and reading more about them. You may find some of their stories after the making of this film to be sad or shocking or puzzling.
Simply put-Dracula makes his way to America to find a new "life" for himself as well as a new bride to add to his growing collection. Aside from Lugosi's outstanding performance as the undead, I was blown away by both Frye (Renfield) and Van Sloan (Van Helsing). Their performances are still being mimicked to this very day! I mean over eighty years later and people are still basing their performances in spooky films on the likes of Lugosi, Frye, and Van Sloan. I think that speak volumes!
I hope you are able to view this film before Halloween. I cannot think of a more perfect film to watch during the spookiest time of the year!