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Count Dracula 1977

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(67) IMDb 5.8/10
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Widely acclaimed re-telling of the classic story from the 1970s. Generally regarded as being one of the better adaptations of Bram Stoker's classic tale, this version features a standout performance by Louis Jourdan as the Count, and benefits by remaining faithful to the original storyline. Jonathan Harker (Bosco Hogan) travels to Transylvania to help the Count prepare for his move to England. After succumbing to the Count's powers, Harker is kept prisoner in Dracula's castle before returning to England, determined to destroy the vampire.

Starring:
Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 32 minutes
Starring Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon, Louis Jourdan, Jack Shepherd
Director Philip Saville
Genres Horror
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO
Rental release 3 September 2007
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Andy B on 29 July 2007
Format: DVD
As a child I could never understand why so many versions of Dracula strayed so far from the novel. As much as I loved Chris Lee's films etc film makers seemed determined to avoid the original plot.
When I settled down that Christmas years ago to watch the BBC's Dracula I was over joyed to see such a faithful adaptation and a brilliant one at that. All the classic characters are there (including Renfield), they filmed in Whitby, its gory, sexy, romantic and frightening. It's done with style and class. It is a proper vampire film unlike all these Super hero martial arts vampire flicks today.
I bought it when it appeared on DVD a few years ago. I am glad to see it coming out again and hope it reaches a whole new audience.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By G. Pace on 19 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The BBC has always maintained a pretty solid reputation of providing great drama and adaptations of the classics and this 1977 version of stokers novel is a prime example.
"Count Dracula" is regarded by many as the most faithful working of the horror story to date and although lacking the menace of Christopher Lee's vampire, Louis Jourdan makes very good casting indeed.
But what really makes this adaptation so good? - well firstly the cast is a good one. Frank Finlay seems to be having a great time in the role as Van Helsing, while Judi Bowker and Susan Penhaligon make good vampire fodder. Also Jack Shepherd plays Renfield to perfection. But what i really love about this production are the outdoor locations. The shots of Mina and Lucy going up the huge flight of cliff steps at whitby and sitting on the clifftop bench overlooking the sea is just how you envisage stoker's novel- just as in the scene where Dracula first seduces a sleepwalking lucy in the clifftop churchyard in the dead of night. Also the confrontation between the vampire hunters and an undead Susan Penhaligon in londons Highgate cemetry is quite chilling, especially the scene where they drive a stake into her as it looks very convincing.
Lame special effects such as rubber bats and a dreadful mist effect coming though a bedroom window don't particularly help the production but one must think of the time this was made. All in all, a very good effort and this certainly ranks high above recent attempts at the dracula story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs F. Lock on 25 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Made at a time when the BBC wasn't afraid to truly frighten viewers with its Horror output, this remains the only filmed version of Dracula that is faithful to the story and spirit of the book. Louis Jourdan has just the right balance of sauve and creepy, and although he doesn't appear older in the castle than in London I believe that is the only significant change from the original text, other than what's necessary to show events which were originally presented as a series of letters and newspaper cuttings.
This is also the only version to retain and underscore entwined elements of the plot which make no sense as handled in most Dracula movies; Renfield's foreknowledge and Dracula's intentions in coming to England. The vampires original intent was to convert Renfield to a fully and consciously sentient immortal vampire like himself, (opposed to the way simply feeding on Lucy to the point of death turned her into a soulless revenant). Mina had been intended as the victim whose death would complete the conversion process for Renfield. This part of the plot is so vital to the story, and to explaining the character and actions of Dracula, only Hollywood's desperation to insert a "love interest" into everything however inappropriate could have led to its being changed in the traditional telling of this story
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Countess Spider on 27 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
After the disappointment at the BBC's 2006 version of the Bram Stoker novel, an antidote is now on offer in the form of the Beeb's previous visitation to the tale back in 1977 and one regarded by many as the best adaptation ever. Directed by Philip Saville, Count Dracula stars Louis Jordan as the titular vampire with Frank Finlay as arch nemesis Van Helsing. The BBC promised at the time that this would be the most faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker's work ever and at a running time of two and a half hours (later serialised into three episodes for repeats) it certainly proved the case.

Jordan acquits himself with an understated performance that has had many praise him as one of the very best Counts. He wisely avoids the "Drrrracula" accent that Lugosi turned into a cliché and simply allows his French flavoured tones to signal his character's otherness. Jordan's youthful for his age looks also give the impression of a man older than he apparently seems.

Frank Finlay is memorable as Van Helsing, but any awards for supporting actors must go to Jack Shepherd as Renfield. Like Jordan, Shepherd avoids the usual over the top performance that most actors have invested in the part. This is a strangely calm lunatic, seemingly reasonable rather than ranting but with a power behind those eyes; a perfect foil for Jordan's Dracula. In the scene where Dracula kills Renfield in his own cell, the Count suddenly appears sat next to his servant and asks calmly why he betrayed him. More like someone giving counselling than about to take revenge.

An this is another point about Gerald Savory's script. While it stays close to the novel, it does not stick too close for its own good.
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