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Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD]

Onslow Stevens , John Carradine , Erle C. Kenton , Karl Freund    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: £10.00
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Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] + Frankenstein [DVD] [1931]
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Product details

  • Actors: Onslow Stevens, John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler
  • Directors: Erle C. Kenton, Karl Freund, Tod Browning
  • Writers: Bram Stoker, Dudley Murphy, Dwight V. Babcock, Edward T. Lowe Jr., Garrett Fort
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Hungarian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 9 April 2007
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001ZWN40
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,618 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Although there have been numerous screen versions of Bram Stoker's classic tale of Dracula, none is more enduring than the original 1931 version. Towering ominously among the shadows of the Carpathian mountains, Castle Dracula strikes fear into the hearts of the Transylvanian villagers below. Bela Lugosi, starring as the screen's most popular vampire, Count Dracula, together with horror specialist director Tod Browning, create the film's eerie and chilling mood. Dracula remains a masterpiece not only of the genre, but of all time.

House of Dracula, the 1945 follow-up to Todd Browning's classic chiller, stars John Carradine as Dracula. The Count seems to want to give up his blood-sucking ways when he appears at the office of Dr Edelman. The Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr) and Frankenstein's Monster also seek cures for their afflictions in this, one of the best known horrors from Universal's "combined monster" series of the 1940s.



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twice bitten... 9 Nov 2005
Verified Purchase
Watching this black and white, original Universal horror icon, you can see why it is a classic. Bela Lugosi IS Count Dracula, and the famous scenes really are very memorable.
It's a shame then that the rest of the film is not much cop. It's slow, lazy and dull. It's spiced up a bit by Dracula's arch-nemesis Van Helsing, but apart from that the rest of the characters are instantly forgetable.
As Dracula's castle is grand, sweeping and gothic, back in England it's rigidly dull, and extremely slow-plotted, even over its hour ten minute length.
The stand out moments - the first time Van Helsing discovers Dracula doesn't cast a reflection is brilliant, and whenever Lugosi awakes from his coffin - really make you glad you have this film on DVD, but can't make the rest of the film seem better.
Meanwhile House of Dracula is a worthless piece of film that does little to nothing to further enhance Universal's horror icons - but in fact tries to dispel the mythological legends as just people with a disease. And so this film concerns itself with a Doctor who is trying to cure Dracula and the Wolfman.
That set up ruins the whol horror premise, as we are not meant to understand these creatures - they are supernatural. And this film tries to explain them, and obviously fails. The inclusion of the Wolfman played by Lon Chaney was inspired, but the extended cameo of Frankenstein's monster was pointless.
As usual for this series of DVDs, the extras are pretty in-depth, and intelligent to watch. More interesting than the actual films!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you don't want the full set 13 Nov 2004
The Region 2 release contains Tod Browning's seminal 1931 Dracula (the first sound version of the story) with, for some reason, the 1945 House of Dracula and not, say, the Spanish version of Browning's film or its immediate (and superior) sequel Dracula's Daughter.
The Bela Lugosi Dracula isn't actually all that good as a film - because it was adapted from the vaudeville stage version, the action tends to be stiff and the dialogue stilted. Nevertheless, there are some fine and memorable moments - Renfield's entry into Dracula's castle, his bat-driven coach ride, the discovery of the shipwreck with its murdered crew. However, most of the film is given over to lengthy explanations and it is clear that Browning was uncomfortable with the new medium of talking cinema. Over all this Lugosi's performance shines like a beacon. The disc also contains Philip Glass's new score for the movie performed by the Kronos Quartet, and a genuinely illuminating documentary about the background to the film (much better than the extras we're accustomed to on other discs).
The companion, House of Dracula, was Universal milking both its Dracula and Frankenstein franchises dry. There isn't very much to commend the film - script and acting are generally poor, and the story has been cobbled together with a view to overloading one piece of action upon another. Onslow Stevens tries his best as the kindly doctor corrupted by Dracula's influence, and there are some original elements (the use of light and shadow, the introduction of a science-based approach to the monster myth, the juxtaposition of beauty and disfigurement in Jane Adams's hunchbacked nurse), but these are really small compensation for the overall feeling of not trying hard enough.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Region 2 Cop Out!! 25 Feb 2005
Whilst for value for money and just the fact of being able to own these wonderful originals is fantastic, I really DON'T understand why Universal are not releasing these sets in the same way as in the USA.
The boxsets statside have ALL the movies from the franchise, not just two or in the case of one of the region 2 releases just one of the movies.
Personally I brought the sets from the states and am extremely happy with them, but come on Universal stop trying to sell your European fans short!
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love the films, hate this disc 13 May 2004
because the same package in region 1 also contains an extra disc, and includes the Spanish version of Dracula, plus Dracula's Daughter and Son of Dracula. If you've any sense you'll buy the Monster Legacy DVD Collection as a whole, which contains all of the old Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein movies, and cost me £35 including shipping. The above disc is really poor value and completists will be very disappointed. Your choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Universal horror 6 Feb 2007
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Take Bela Lugosi away from Tod Browning's Dracula and it would collapse completely. Even with him it doesn't hold up at all well, making 70 minutes feel like seven hours as it crawls its flatfooted way through the plot points with barely a trace of style or imagination, making for possibly the dullest classic ever made. George Melford's Spanish version shot simultaneously on the same sets and included on the US DVD (but not, unforgiveably, on this Region 2 issue) is infinitely superior thanks to beautifully fluid direction and a better script, but even that eventually runs aground in endless dialog scenes and is hindered by the absence of Lugosi. Aside from the absence of the Spanish version, the R2 DVD does at least have a decent selection of extras.

House of Dracula is another one of the Universal's classic monster mashes, but and enjoyable one with good doctor Onslow Stevens finding himself with Dracula, the Wolfman and the Frankenstein Monster among his patients. But having spent so much time killing Dracula and curing Talbot (his lycanthropy is psychosomatic, apparently), it suffers from a rushed ending that barely has time to fit the good doctor going mad, reviving the Frankenstein monster, killing his loyal hunchbacked nurse before everything goes up in flames: in fact, he's so rushed off his feet that even Lionel Atwill's police chief and the rioting villagers only get a couple of shots, turning up just in time to run away. The real star of the show is John Carradine's Dracula, one of the most interesting screen interpretations, seducing his victim through music with a sad dignity that reminds you that sometimes the Devil really is a gentleman.
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