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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing quality blu ray for an amazing film A+++
First and foremost this is my favourite movie of all time and has been from the age of 6.. im only 20 years old but nonetheless the universal monster movies have captured my heart from the word go... but none moreso than this timeless classic... it would have to be bela lugosi's definitve portrayal of dracula that i can account to me being enchanted by the film... so i...
Published on 7 Oct 2012 by GERARD HEANEY

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why the missing Spanish version ???
I echo A Customer's review.. This is a great dvd with one major flaw: the missing Spanish version of Dracula that is included on the Region 1 edition of this release. The accompanying documentary & commentary even refers to this little seen version.. really rubbing that salt into the wound. Why Universal deemed that we Brits didn't deserve to see this version is a...
Published on 30 Mar 2008 by Jay65


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A genuine classic, 15 Sep 2000
By A Customer
The first (and many regard as the best) major production of the spine-chilling classic, this set a trend for horror film making in the decades that followed.
Using as it's basis both the original novel and the script for a broadway play, it starts with Renfield visiting Dracula in his castle in Transylvania where he quickly falls under his spell.
After that the action moves to London, where the count has bought on old ruin which reminds him of his home in Transylvania.
Notable for it's elaborate set pieces and Bela Lugosi's genuine Hungarian accent, it was let down somewhat by an dull ending.
"Dracula's Daughter" followed, which Lugosi refused to appear in because of fear of being type cast.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The English and Spanish versions of the Universal classic, 15 May 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Bela Lugosi simply is Count Dracula; his brilliant performance in this 1931 classic, the first supernatural-based "talkie," defined the role, and - somewhat unfortunately - the role defined him for the rest of his career. Lugosi was born to play Dracula, and the influence he and this film continue to have in the movie business is really amazing. When you go back and watch the film today, though, a number of problems pop up for those with a discerning eye - these do not lessen the impact of the film, but they do make you conscious of the fact that Dracula could actually have been an even greater film than it was. This fact is brought home even more forcefully when you watch the Spanish version of the film, for it really is a much better film than its English counterpart. If only Paul Kohner had been allowed to produce the English version, combining the virtuoso performances of Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye with the superior story quality and atmospheric powers of the Spanish version, Dracula might well still be in theaters today, enjoying a 73-year run.
Dracula was blessed with a top-notch group of actors and actresses. It's hard to believe that Bela Lugosi was not the first choice for the role of the Count, but at the time he was a relatively unknown immigrant actor. His accent, mannerisms, and unparalleled, unquantifiable presence made him perfect for the role. He had already played Dracula hundreds of times on stage, but Lon Chaney, Sr., would have played the part had he not died of cancer a few months before Dracula started production. By that time, the movie budget was down to almost nothing, and almost nothing is basically what Lugosi got paid for his amazing work. Dwight Frye is superb as poor Renfield, Dracula's reluctant henchman and servant eventually torn between serving his master and saving the life of Mina (Helen Chandler), the damsel in distress. Frye's ability to vividly project the manic madness of Renfield stands as the best supporting acting job I've ever seen; Renfield constantly steals the show from everyone but Dracula himself.
Since this film basically defines Dracula and vampires themselves in the realm of popular culture, it's amazing to go back and see just how big a difference there is between Bram Stoker's novel and this 1931 production (the movie doesn't even begin to compare with the novel). The very opening, for example, wanders far afield from Stoker's vision - here we see Renfield rather than Jonathan Harker making the trip to Dracula's castle in Transylvania in order to finalize the Count's move to jolly old England. This major switch does much to further endear Renfield to our hearts, but it does tend to make Jonathan Harker into an ineffective character. Then you have the very appearance of the villain - Bela Lugosi's suave, hypnotically charming Count Dracula is a far cry from the hideous vampire of Stoker's novel. The film has a few continuity problems and really quite silly gaffes here and there, although these do not get in the way of the story, but there were obvious problems with direction and budgeting. The economic burdens of the Great Depression took a chunk out of the Dracula budget, and you end up with a film of one hour fifteen minutes that should have run a good deal longer. There are minor continuity problems, a few scenes that seem to be cut off prematurely, and several questions and ideas not adequately answered or resolved.
The Spanish version of Dracula is a real treat indeed. Running a half hour longer than the English version, this movie did not leave nearly as many gaps in the storyline and actually added much insight into the work as a whole. The Spanish cast and crew shot their own version of the movie on the same sets, working through the nights to produce their own very different version of Dracula. Lupita Tovar is wonderful as Eva Seward, and the cast and crew really come together to outperform most of their English-speaking counterparts. The men playing Dracula and Van Helsing tend to overact a bit at times (and Carlos Villarias had the misfortune to be someone other than Bela Lugosi attempting to play Count Dracula), but the Spanish version is a superior film that possesses a warmth and sense of humanity somewhat lacking in the rather cold and calculated atmosphere of the American version.
In a sense, you get three versions of 1931's Dracula here: the standard English language version, that same version featuring a new musical score composed by Philip Glass (and played by the Kronos Quartet), and the Spanish language version. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Many fans are not enamored with the Glass score, but I think it works very well at times, particularly in those silent moments when we watch Dracula creeping up to the bed of his next female victim. If you could combine the best of all three versions of the film, you would get not only the ultimate Dracula film but the ultimate horror film of all time. Each version is well worth watching.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars And the winner is...Dracula, 5 Aug 2008
By 
P. Kenton "JaundicedEye" (Aberystwyth, Ceredigion United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Firstly let me start with the Tod Browning/Bela Lugosi English language version (ELV). It's a landmark film being the first conventional version of Dracula, the first major film of the post-Chaney Hollywood horror era, the film that unleashed Bela Lugosi on an unsuspecting world, and the film that established just about every convention of vampire films for decades to come. Compared with Nosferatu, this was a massively influential film up to and including the Hammer era. All of which is a bit strange, because it's not a very good film. Once the action leaves Transylvania and transfers to London (and it's newly acquired suburb of Whitby), the stagey, pompous dialogue and the glacial pace make for quite a boring film. The torpor isn't even relieved by it's being especially atmospheric - most of the action takes place in brightly lit conventional drawing rooms.
All of these flaws are present in the Spanish language version (SLV), which is basically a straight copy of the ELV (or vice versa - both were filmed on the same sets and are based on the same stage play). However, the SLV is better on a number of counts (excuse the pun). Firstly the photography is superb. Much of the film is taken from one or more good quality prints (only a small central section when Drac arrives in London comes from a really poor print) and the use of atmospheric exteriors adds to the visual enjoyment. Secondly, there are one or two additions (e.g. the conclusion of Lucy/Lucia) that flesh out the plot in a more satisfying way. Then there's the violence. We're not talking Dawn of the Dead here, but the ELV is ridiculously coy about the `nasty' stuff. Here also we get much more coffin-based action than in the ELV. Finally, the female costumes would have given the Hays Code lot a heart attack. Many people consider the SLV the better of the two versions, but it's not. All of the above doesn't compensate for the two things the SLV lacks.
Compared to the hypnotic feral intense slit-mouthed leer of Lugosi, Carlos Villar looks like an overweight chump. Most of the time he looks like someone's dad playing at being frightening. He just isn't any good compared with the competition. Lugosi is one thing that makes the film worth watching in the first place. The other is Dwight Frye's Renfield. Pablo Alvarez Rubio plays Renfield as a stock film lunatic whilst Frye's Renfield is a stomach-churning OTT psycho - by turns intensely murderous and pathologically terrified. You only have to compare the laughing-in-the-hold scene when the ship has docked in Whitby to see the difference. Rubio is instantly forgettable, but the sound Frye makes will stick with you until they screw the lid down on your box of your native soil.
Is the 2-disc region 1 set worth it? If you are upgrading from video or buying for the first time (AND you have a region 1 capable player) then it's not so expensive that you shouldn't give it a go and make up your own mind. If you already have a good print DVD of the ELV, then I'd only consider this if you are a real horror film enthusiast (in which case why are you reading this - you already have it). People just looking to see the first real Dracula should stick with the ELV, it IS the better of two mediocre films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic., 27 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Dracula [DVD] (DVD)
Listen to them. The children of the night. What music they make.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get the US release, 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: Dracula [DVD] (DVD)
There is nothing wrong per se with this DVD, but the US release contains the Spanish version, shot on the same sets as the English one but with different actors, which is a nice extra. Also, if you are looking for this DVD after reading David Skal's book, the American release is the one he is talking about, so that would probably be the one you want.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars creaky but ground breaking, 11 May 2004
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A Romania vampire leaves his Carpathian home to seek fresh blood in the streets of London.
As Universal's original and ground-breaking monster movie, Dracula is a pivotal moment in cinema and of undoubted historical importance, but it never was a very good film and as a piece of entertainment is now pretty much unwatchable.
A few moments of lasting quality arrive in the opening sequence in Transylvania; a delirious mixture of eccentric painted backdrops, cobwebbed gothic sets and moody expressionist lighting. Tod Browning's otherwise flat direction briefly rises to the occasion; his camera prowling among the undead as they rise from their cellar tombs to play cat and mouse with hapless estate agent Dwight Frye as he unwittingly secures the vampire's transfer to teeming London. Lugosi's performance may seem pantomime now, but he has such a magnificently evil, corpulent presence that it's easy to see how he remains the definitive screen Count.
Unfortunately, once the action moves to England things go downhill rapidly. Bram Stoker's source novel is largely jettisoned and the film degenerates into a stilted drawing-room melodrama, all too obviously cribbed from the stage version where Lugosi originally cut his teeth, so to speak. This probably suited the constraints of budget and sound technology in those early talky days, but it kills the film stone dead, with acting, plotting and dialogue that would barely survive a modern end of term school production.
One for film buffs only; though the film's influence and landmark importance must be respected.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prompt delivery, 12 April 2013
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This DVD was ideal for my yr 9 English group looking at horror they didn't even mind that it was black and white
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like the genre, it is worth to have it, 8 Jan 2013
By 
Conti Raffaella "maitrepierre" (Rome, Italy) - See all my reviews
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I am a Dracula fan, so I could not miss this. I do like the F.F. Coppola's one best, but this is okay.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dracula, 16 Oct 2012
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If you don't know of this story then get reading as it was one of the definitive horror monsters of the 1930's.
This is the 2 disk universal legacy series ntsc import.....i love the hardback covers which gives it a prestige to it :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 18 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Dracula [DVD] (DVD)
very good
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