Dracula

Film, video and television productions based on the novel by Bram Stoker:

Nosferatu the Vampire (1922) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Originally Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (German)
Director F.W. Murnau; writer Henrik Galeen; featuring Max Shreck

Dracula (1931) [SHOW] [HIDE]

English and Spanish versions of film. English: director Tod Browning; writers Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston,; variably featuring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan. Spanish: director George Melford; writ. Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston, Baltasar Fernández Cué; featuring Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Pablo Álvarez Rubio

The Dracula sequels (1936–1945) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Three films variably featuring Gloria Holden, Otto Kruger, Edward Van Sloan, Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Paige, John Carradine, Onslow Stevens, Glenn Strange

Horror of Dracula (1958) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Also called Dracula
Director Terence Fisher; writer Jimmy Sangster; featuring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough

The British Dracula sequels (1960–1974) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Three films variably featuring Peter Cushing, David Peel, Yvonne Monlaur, Martita Hunt, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson

Dracula (1979) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Director John Badham; writer Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston, W.D. Richter; featuring Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance, Kate Nelligan

The Dracula spoofs (1979–1995) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Two films. 1979: director Stan Dragoti, featuring George Hamilton, Richard Benjamin. 1995: director Mel Brooks, featuring Leslie Neilsen, Steve Weber, Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Also called Dracula
Director Francis Ford Coppola; writer Jame V. Hart; featuring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Cary Elwes, Tom Waits

Shadow of the Vampire (2000) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Director E. Elias Merhige; writer Steven Katz; featuring John Malkovich, Willem Defoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes

Dracula 2000b (2000) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Director Patrick Lussier; writer Joel Soission, Lussier; featuring Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Jeri Ryan

Dracula (2006) [SHOW] [HIDE]

Director Bill Eagles; writer Stewart Harcourt; featuring Marc Warren, David Suchet, Sophia Myles

MOVIE COMMENTARY

Marc Warren as Dracula

Marc Warren is Dracula as an aging punkster in the classy British TV production of Dracula in 2006.

Dracula in the blood

For yet another, and very different, modern take on Dracula, you could check out the 2006 TV version of Dracula made for Masterpiece Theatre.

But you may find it hard to recognize your favourite villain in this piece. The aristocratic old gent is replaced by a pouting youngster, played in a punkish vein by Marc Warren, who is actually close to forty but looks like a spoiled brat of about twenty-two.

The story line is rather novel too, placing at the centre a subplot about a character with syphilis trying to eradicate his disease. He seeks the services of a blood-worshipping religious cult that has grown up around Dracula.

There might actually be an interesting interpretation of Dracula somewhere here, connecting the apprehension of sexual wantonness in the original story with today's fear of blood-borne diseases, especially AIDS. But it's handled too confusingly in this conceptually murky production.

The character of Johnathan Harker is practically written out of the story and the figure of Van Helsing, essayed by the accomplished David Suchet (of Poirot fame), is also twisted beyond recognition. Van Helsing is now a prisoner of the cult, discovered only in the latter part of the film and rescued just in time to save London—and the world—from the wicked count.

The acting, staging and cinematography are all quite fine (if very dark), as expected in a high-class British production.

But ultimately this supposed update of the Dracula story disappoints. So many of the main characters are dead by the end, fulfilling the pessimistic foreboding tone of the drama. And yet we get the idea we're supposed to feel uplifted—at least until the before-the-curtain-dropping "twist" that we saw coming a crooked mile away.

By that time we're neither surprised nor gratified, and definitely  not scared. Just tired.

We were infected by Dracula a long time ago but medicine does not offer a cure for what ails us. If we even want one.

— Eric

MOVIE COMMENTARY

missing graphic
Dracula (2006, DVD)
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Related pages:

Author
Bram Stoker

Novel
Dracula

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Dracula
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