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3.9 out of 5 stars
Brides Of Dracula [1960] [DVD]
Format: DVDChange
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2013
It is difficult to know how to review this Blu-ray release. I guess it depends on whether this is a first time buy, you have owned the previous UK release or the R1 release.

Let me start by saying that the original master that Universal had was destroyed in a fire some time ago. For this Blu-ray a different print has been used, which seems to have been in marginally worse shape than the one used for the R1 dvd. It therefore makes it very difficult to make an adequate comparison as Final cut have obviously had their work cut out to bring this up to a releasable standard. If you have owned the R1 dvd prior, one of the first things you will realise is that this (BD)is presented in a different ratio 2:1 which crops a significant section from the bottom of the screen. Secondly, there is a high dose of grain on this release. Some would say that's a good thing, others not. But at times is overpowering (obviously that's just my opinion).

Colour saturation on the bd is different from the R1 release, but is extremely pleasing and there is a increase in detail with it being in HD. However on comparison with the R1 dvd , you may wonder if it is an improvement at all.

This BD wins considerably over the previous UK dvd release, which was heavily cropped in the 4:3 ratio

The BD offers some limited extras which are interesting in the main. However there is no commentary or subtitles for the hard of hearing.

To sum up, stay clear of the Uk dvd. If you want a choice either seek out the R1 dvd which looks smoother, is vibrant and in the correct ratio, or opt for this BD. The image is pretty good,with marginally increased clarity due to the transfer in HD and is also vibrant, but be aware suffers heavily (and this is just my opinion) from having way to much grain and is in a ratio that is generally agreed to be incorrect.

EDIT: Opinions of the Blu-ray seem to vary depending on which edition of the film you owned prior or have seen. Higher ratings seem to be coming from those who have not experienced the original restoration that was release as the R1 Universal box set.On the other end of the spectrum there are those that despise this release for the reasons mentioned.

For those that are interested. Final cut have presented this BD in the style of Studio canals Hammer titles packaging, but minus the slipcase.It does however feature artwork which represents one of the original Uk posters.

EXTRA NOTE: the same transfer used for the R1 dvd was also used by KOCH MEDIA R2 german dvd release. This edition still doesn't have extras but is in the correct ratio and has fantastic artwork.
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on 20 January 2013
This film was the second in Hammer's Dracula cycle. The legendary Peter Cushing returns as Van Helsing, but sadly Christopher Lee did not return as Dracula. It was reported that the reason for his absence was that he was afraid of being typecast and he wanted to try other roles. He would return six years later in Dracula Prince Of Darkness, which lacked Peter Cushing. Instead, in Brides Of Dracula, we are introduced to Baroness Meinster and her son, Baron Meinster, who turns out to be a vampire. I am not sure why, but he always reminds me of the singer Billy Fury, because he looks very similar to him! This film was directed by Terence Fisher, who was one of Hammer's best directors and he directed some of their best films. I always enjoy seeing thie film and I was very pleased when it finally came out on DVD. It is well made and very well-acted and one of Hammer's finest films. I still missed Christopher Lee, though, because Baron Meinster is just not as sinister and scary as Dracula was. The picture quality of this disc is good and the sound is as good as can be expected for a film of this age. I have one moan, though, in that this version is not presented in widescreen, which is disappointing but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of this film. I can recommend this film to any Hammer Horror fan, or fans of Peter Cushing or classic horror fans. I would have given it five stars, but I have deducted a star because of the pan and scan presentation of the film. It is still worth buying though and a true classic of the genre.
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on 1 December 2013
The Brides of Dracula is the sequel to Dracula or Horror of Dracula- and one wonders just what the publics reaction was, with the non appearance of Dracula himself? One is reminded of Halloween III, and the furore around there being no Michael Myers, an argument that rages 30 years on and has given a very good horror film a score of 4 on IMDB.

Brides doesn't need Christopher Lee though. It has its very own vampire played wonderfully by David Peel who quit the business after this film was made aged only 40 to become an antiques dealer and estate agent. I feel he gives the vampire a real presence.

Peter Cushing returns as Van Helsing- another wonderful performance, has Cushing ever given a below par performance?

Brides runs along well- with many interesting characters that keep getting introduced to us even with only twenty minutes to go. Check out a wonderful cameo by Miles Malleson, who between scenes would make Cushing laugh hard.

My one problem with the film though was Yvonne Monlaur's performace as the French woman stranded. She is actually French, but I felt she was putting on the accent, which means for me that she isn't the greatest actress out there. Thankfully her role is limited more as the film goes on.

So, not as good as the original Dracula, but definetly a worthy sequel.
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As a big fan of hammer horror I must admit my shame that I couldn't bring this film to mind until I started watching and then remember "Brides of Dracula" from a late night TV showing a number of years ago.

PLOT:
A student teacher stumbles her way into a delicate balance of good and evil which is destroyed when she releases a young Baron being held prisioner by his mother and discovers his horrible secret.

VIDEO:
considering the age and condition of some it's contemporaies, Brides has a beautiful clean and fresh looking print and this came as a very pleasant surprise. As many others have commented, this is a 4:3 pan & scan print of a widescreen film. However, thanks to old fashioned filming techniques of centralising the action, there is only one or two incidents where the true nature of the print is revealed.

AUDIO:
Lovely clear audio track that pumps through the speakers with no complaints at all. Music, effects and dialogue all perfectly mixed and reproduced.

SUMMARY:
Although I was disapointed by the lack of a widescreen print, there was nothing to dislike about this film at all - a fine print even if it is ever so slightly cropped and certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of another wise excellent slice of Hammer Horror.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2007
This is a fantastic film, well-deserving its cult status as one of Hammer's best-loved classics. The direction, production and acting are all first rate and it is a shining example of the best of the horror genre from the 1960s. It should get 5 stars, but...

Why do we consumers get constantly ripped off by the companies producing these DVDs (and before that, VHS tapes)? To release this film after the long wait in a format which completely wastes Terence Fisher's excellently atmospheric direction is not just a shame, it is an artistic crime.

The problem is that the companies don't care one little bit, as long as they make their money. Another problem is that enough consumers either are ignorant of these travesties or THEY don't really care either. Those who DO know and DO care should refuse to buy this DVD, or return it to the company who made it, complaining. Maybe then, they would listen. Maybe...

All I can say is thank heavens for Amazon and others enabling reviewers to warn potential customers about being ripped off. At least with a bit of knowledge as to what we SHOULD be getting but are ACTUALLY being given, people can make an informed decision about spending their money on a bad product or not. Rather than buy this and then have to re-purchase the inevitable "special edition" (i.e. what it should have been in the first place) I will cross my fingers, put up some garlic bulbs, say a prayer and wait.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2008
I love how Van Helsing carried on from the original although it would have been nice to see Christopher Lee. This is my favorite Peter Cushing film. I live in America and originally I bought the R1 DVD included in "The Hammer Horror Series" boxset from universal but I had nasty results with the disks, Brides of Dracula being part of it so I bought a Multi Region DVD Player and bought this DVD and now am able to view one of my favorite Hammer/Peter Cushing films.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2013
Picture quality of this BLU RAY is outstanding and in the film screen anamorphic ratio of 2.1 and the colours really come to the fore and the grain has been left alone in the digital processing which enhances the overall cinematic look....sound is fine and clear.....BUT for those with a HARD OF HEARING problem I have to report that there are NO SUB TITLES and this is NOT acceptable and Final Cut have made a serious error of judgement in presuming everyone has good hearing.....it cheapens the product...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2009
I dont know what I was expecting when I first watched this film. I say first watched, as it it possible that growing up in the UK I have some kind of late night weekend BBC television memeory of seeing this film, but those were innocent days when we knew less and expected less. In short, when watched today and compared against latter day productions it looks decidedly amateurish. But hay, in those days we were proud of this home grown stuff. Amateurish, the cuts between cameara angles look difficult, the editing is not tight enough, often a second too late, the actors are trying hard but they could have been better organised. What the hell, this was the hammer that we loved, we gorged on the material, and were blind to all the failings, and there had never been anything like it before. Sure, in Hollywood they were producing vincent price far slicker, but that was all some stuff, there over the water. How should we judge hammer today? Difficult to take something that was innovative in day, out of context. You should just love it.
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on 23 March 2015
I understand why some people can get a little hot under the collar when some films are released with the incorrect ratio. And I especially understand why when it comes to the release of a Hammer film. However, this is THE BRIDES OF DRACULA people! On Blu Ray! You've got to love it. I think the picture quality is great. I've loved this film for as long as I can remember, watching it on late night telly or some dodgy VHS copy waiting for the day blu ray would be invented. Well the boffins finally caught up with my wishes and now I (and you) can enjoy afresh all those vibrant colours, detail and atmosphere that only Hammer could deliver. Okay the bottom of Sir Peter Cushing's chin is missing in one shot but I can live with that for the sheer pleasure of having THE BRIDES OF DRACULA released on Blu Ray - Hurrah!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2014
one word of advice for hammer lovers : just get a multi region DVD player and grab the universal collection . There you will find "the brides of dracula " in its correct aspect and with a better picture quality than this bluray .
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