Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Challenge #4

Dracula from Universal (1931) is one I have never seen. The sets are quite impressive, and Lugosi certainly earns his place as top of the Dracula pile. Dwight Frye is also an excellent Renfield, likely the best I have seen, easily ranking up with Kinski's portrayal, though the stage-acting style is a bit ham-fisted.

This film is based on a stage play, and greatly reduces the number of characters, and deviates greatly from the novel. It seems that most of those items we like to dispel as part of the vampire mythos are things that were added to this film.

There are many better Dracula films, but this is obviously an important entry and worth watching despite its faults.

Verdict: Had its merits, but deviates greatly from the book. Best Renfield I have seen.

5 comments:

dfordoom said...

I'm a huge fan of Lugosi in general, but strangely not enough not as Dracula.

The Spanish-language version filmed at the same time is actually a slightly better movie. They filmed it on the same sets, beginning at night after filming of Browning's version was over for the day.

Wings said...

It is a classic, without doubt, but also not without its faults.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@DfD - The sets, particularly the spookier ones, were very impressive. I'd like to see the Spanish version. Too bad no hablo EspaƱol.

@Wings - I think really old films are often hard to get into, as our media mindset is so different.

BTW - I thought it was hilarious that the Count's tomb was full of opossums and armadillos. Perhaps rats did not film well?

MrJeffery said...

i love the atmosphere of it.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@MJ - It is visually striking. The scene where Drac kills Renfield, and that enormous staircase, that was apparently real... They didn'y CGI that ;-D

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