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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Iconic Dracula Gets A Blu Ray Makeover
Dedicated To M.Scott my friend & continued supporter of my reviews.

Dracula 1958.
Directed by Terence Fisher.
Produced by Anthony Hinds.
Written by Jimmy Sangster, Based on Bram Stokers (Novel).
Starring.
Christopher Lee.
Peter Cushing.
Michael Gough.
Melissa Stribling.
Release date(s) 8 May 1958.
Running time...
Published 8 months ago by Timelord-007

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who Put the Ham in Hammer?
Perhaps more than a little dated over 50 years on, Dracula remains a milestone in the Hammer catalogue and indeed in the history of British horror. Despite the fact that Hammer continually found ways to restore the count at the beginning of any of the subsequent sequels, the disintegration scene at the end of this one is still by far the best finale although I believe...
Published 5 months ago by Eddie


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Iconic Dracula Gets A Blu Ray Makeover, 15 July 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] (Blu-ray)
Dedicated To M.Scott my friend & continued supporter of my reviews.

Dracula 1958.
Directed by Terence Fisher.
Produced by Anthony Hinds.
Written by Jimmy Sangster, Based on Bram Stokers (Novel).
Starring.
Christopher Lee.
Peter Cushing.
Michael Gough.
Melissa Stribling.
Release date(s) 8 May 1958.
Running time 82 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English.

Cast.
Peter Cushing as Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.
Christopher Lee as Count Dracula.
Michael Gough as Arthur.
Melissa Stribling as Mina.
Carol Marsh as Lucy.
Olga Dickie as Gerda.
John Van Eyssen as Jonathan.
Valerie Gaunt as Vampire Woman.
Janina Faye as Tania.
Barbara Archer as Inga.
Charles Lloyd-Pack as Doctor Seward.
George Merritt as Policeman.
George Woodbridge as Landlord.
George Benson as Official.
Miles Malleson as Undertaker.
Geoffrey Bayldon as Porter.

Blu-ray Disc Restored Version.
Format: Colour, Widescreen, PAL, Mono.
Language: English.
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English.
Region B/2.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1.
Number of discs: 3.
Classification: 15.
Includes DVD version.

Blu Ray Extras.
"Dracula Reborn". New 30 min. featurette, featuring contributions from Jimmy Sangster, Kim Newman, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Rigby & Janina Faye (Tania in the film).
"Resurrecting Dracula". New 20 min. featurette about the film's restoration, from the BFI's 2007 restoration through to the integration of "lost" footage.
*"The Demon Lover, Christopher Frayling on Dracula". New 30 min. featurette.
"Censoring Dracula". New 10 min. featurette on the original cuts to the film ordered by the British Board of Film Censors.

A new commentary by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn & author & critic Jonathan Rigby.
All 4 surviving "Japanese reels" (6 - 9) unrestored (40 mins).
The World Of Hammer episode: Dracula & The Undead.
Janina Faye reading a chapter of Stoker's novel at the VAULT festival.
Stills Gallery of over 100 fully-restored and rare images.
Booklet by Hammer archivist Robert J. E. Simpson (PDF).
Original shooting script (PDF).

Recovered Scenes.
In September 2011, Hammer announced the Japanese release had been found in the National Film Center at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The first five reels of the film held by the center were destroyed in a fire in 1984, but the last four reels were recovered.

The recovered reels include the last 36 minutes of the film & includes two extended scenes, one of which is the discovery of a complete version of the film's iconic disintegration scene, The announcement mentioned a HD telecine transfer of all four reels with a view for a future UK distribution release.

On 29 December 2012, Hammer announced that the restored film would be released on a three-disc, double play Blu-ray Disc set in the UK on 18 March 2013, This release contains the 2007 BFI restoration along with the 2012 high-definition Hammer restoration which includes footage which was previously believed to be lost.

The set contains both Blu-ray Disc and DVD copies of the film as well as several bonus documentaries covering the film's production, censorship & restoration processes.

Trivia.
1)While shooting the scene in which Dracula buries Mina, Christopher Lee fell into the hole in the ground on top of the stunt woman.
2)Apart from assorted snarls & hisses, Count Dracula never actually speaks to anyone other than Jonathan Harker throughout the entire film.
3)According to Christopher Lee's autobiography, he received only £750 for his portrayal of Dracula, He also states that the film eventually grossed US $25 million dollars.
4)Top billed Peter Cushing turns up 25 minutes into the film.
5)Body count 5.

Plot Synopsis.
Jonathan Harker takes employment with Count Dracula, to catalog his vast library but is secretly on a mission to kill the Count, who is in fact a vampire.

Yet Dracula gains the upper hand & soon Jonathan Harker finds himself as one of the walking dead as Dracula then takes an interest in Harker's fiancée, Lucy Holmwood in a bid to turn her into a vampire.

The only one who may be able to protect them is Dr. van Helsing, Harker's friend & fellow-student of vampires yet Arthur Holmwood is unconvinced of the dangers or even the existence of vampires.

Soon, however, Arthur's wife Mina is targeted by Count Dracula and he and Van Helsing race to find his lair before she is lost to them forever & is determined to destroy Dracula, whatever the cost.

Timelord Thoughts.
At last Terence Fisher's Dracula (1958) is the most iconic vampire film of all time which combines horror vampire eroticism & great performances in what could be one of Hammers best horror movies ever made.

Director Terrance Fisher combines a multitude of elements together that superbly create a stylish gothic horror vampire movie with tight pacing & editing at a 82 minute running time as director Fisher creates an uneasy atmosphere which is enhanced by James Bernard's atmospheric score.

Christopher Lee plays the role of Dracula & makes the part his own, charming,seductive & menacing as Lee imbodies all these elements together into the character without hardly uttering a line of dialogue who's portrayal of Dracula is of hot-blooded instinct & seduction.

While Peter Cushing is the definitive Dr. Van Helsing who delivers a believable cool, calm scientific rationalism & is the best interpretation of the character to date as Van Helsing & Draculas destiny are entwined & fates sealed forever.

This is a excellent Blu ray transfer that restores 2 missing sequences & has undergone a superb remastering process which results are amazing & is a superbly remastered print that looks & sounds better than ever & is well worth upgrading to Blu Ray.
Timelord Rating.
9/10
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Very Best Hammer Horrors, 6 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] (Blu-ray)
This film was first released in 1958. It was the first of Hammer's Dracula series and the second Hammer film to feature Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee together, though Cushing gets top billing here. I have always loved this film, it is a true horror classic and one of the greatest Hammer Horrors, if not the greatest. This edition is in my mind the best version of this film released to date in this country and features two different versions of the film - the earlier BFI restored version of the film and the 2013 version. The BFI version features no extra footage, whereas the 2013 version includes extra footage in the seduction of Mina and the death of Dracula scenes, both of which are of reasonable quality. This footage was originally censored by the BBFC in 1958 and was thought to be lost forever, until it appeared in a fire-damaged Japanese print recently. Despite the damage to this footage, the restoration has eliminated most of this and so it is now quite watchable. However, I do disagree with some of the other reviews, who claim the 2013 version is inferior, because of the new blue-tinting that has been added to some of the darker scenes. This is not distracting too much to the film, though some of the detail and brightness is lost in these scenes, but I do not believe that the overall picture quality of the new version is any better or any worse than any other version of this film. I still think this is a pretty much definitive edition of the film and probably the best that we will ever see here and it is the most complete that it has ever been. So, if you love Hammer, or classic horror in general, then this is a must-buy. An almost perfect DVD/Blu-Ray set and no Hammer collection would be complete without it. A true, all-time classic. Buy it now!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer At Its Best!, 29 Jun. 2002
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dracula [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The 1950s was the best time for Hammer films, producing some great successes notably The Quatermass Xperiment and The Curse of Frankenstein. This version of Bram Stoker's Dracula is wonderful for its time for a number of reasons. First, the pairing of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Second, the atmosphere the film generates, and finally the script which was beautifully written. The final scene of Dracula's destruction has never been surpassed. Incidentally, this video version has an extra scene which had been omitted from its original release in 1957. This was due to a reference made by Van Helsing to the use of drugs which was still taboo in those days of course. Overall, any Hammer film fan cannot afford not to buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's finest vampire film in a very respectable Blu-ray restoration, 19 Mar. 2014
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] (Blu-ray)
Hammer's groundbreaking 1958 version of Dracula (aka Horror of Dracula) is still one of the very best despite the many liberties Jimmy Sangster's concise and highly effective script takes with Bram Stoker's novel to whittle it down to an hour-and-a-half. It's not just the names that have been changed around and the cast of characters greatly reduced to Hammer's budget levels (admirably disguised here by Bernard Robinson's excellent production design). John Van Eyssen's Jonathan Harker is no longer a lawyer, but here is posing as a librarian to get into Dracula's castle with an ulterior motive - presumably on the grounds that the audience knows going in just what Dracula is so there's no point putting the hero through all that mystery when there's staking to be done. The budget doesn't stretch to the voyage and arrival of the ghost ship Demeter or even a Renfield for that matter, and this Dracula has no social interaction with his intended victims in Whitby or London - in fact, he never even leaves the continent. Nor is the vampire fascinated with Harker's intended - here he simply seeks her out as revenge. Yet the changes work surprisingly well, and even throws in a few good twists like the location of Dracula's hiding place.

Although he doesn't have much screen time, Christopher Lee is inspired casting, a feral, vicious creature rather than a Eurotrash smoothie while a very agile Peter Cushing makes a surprisingly physical Van Helsing, the final fight between the good doctor and the evil count surprisingly energetic and violent before the best of the studio's ashes to ashes, dust-to-dust finales. Although rather sedate by today's standards, this film still has a surprising degree of energy and it's easy to see why it made had such a profound impact on the horror genre for decades to come. The first colour version of the tale, it made a big selling point of being able to see the blood in all its vivid hues of red, although it also makes much play on the vampire's female victims being absolutely gagging for it (perhaps not so surprising with Peter Cushing and Michael Gough as the male leads), setting the groundwork for the tits'n'fangs formula that would become the studio's bread and butter over the next couple of decades. A surprisingly cheap picture, thanks to Bernard Robinson's elegant production design and fine direction from Terence Fisher before the drink got to him, it never looks cheap: if anything, it's rather seductively good looking.

Where Warners' widescreen DVD was overcropped at 1.85:1, Lionsgate's Region B-locked Blu-ray and DVD combo restores it to its original 1.66:1 ratio as well as restoring the original title Dracula (the previous release used the US title Horror of Dracula). But of more interest is that the disc includes two separate cuts of the film - .the 2007 BFI restoration and a 2012 restoration by Hammer that includes footage censored from the film everywhere but Japan. It's worth noting that its only a few seconds worth - Dracula's seduction of Mina is a bit longer and the long-rumoured shot of a decaying Dracula clawing at his own face as the skin peels off - but completists will be delighted. As for the restored picture quality, the first reel is a little disappointingly cold (in one of the accompanying documentaries they talk about not going all-out to reproduce the original Eastmancolor tones, which seems a little perverse in a film famous for its Eastmancolor tones), and the definition occasionally gives away just how much use the original negative has had over the years, but once it gets going it's a very pleasing job.

There's a fine extras package included on both formats: audio commentary by Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby, making of documentary Dracula Reborn (though Christopher Lee is notable by his absence), featurettes Resurrecting Dracula, Censoring Dracula, The Demon Lover – Christopher Frayling on Dracula and Janina Faye Reads Stoker at the Vault Festival, very worn unrestored versions of Japanese reels 6-9 (complete with Japanese subtitles on the side of the screen), episode of clip show The World of Hammer – Dracula and the Undead, stills gallery and (on the DVD only) PDF script and booklet. The only conspicuous absence (apart from Mr. Lee) is the film's trailer, which was included on Warners' DVD but is curiously missing here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye witness account - I promise, 12 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] (Blu-ray)
My only criticism towards this film's restoration comes largely from a horrible over emphasis on colour, in some places. One example I'd like to point out, the first glaring over abundance of red, in case any one can't imagine where in particular, comes from the red chess pieces in Johnathan Harker's room. Quite startlingly overdone, them being a set piece I wouldn't normally have noticed, following which many other enhanced colours came to appear as though the colour setting on my TV was turned up to the top, and then some, in those particular areas of the screen, creating a notable imbalance. Another example comes following Mina Holmwood's blood transfusion, when quite clearly pink blood is shaken from the needle, into some water.

The balance is otherwise very good for most of the movie, with a bit of inevitable and clearly defined grain, largely dependent on other aspects of certain scenes, as it isn't obvious in all places. Several areas of dust and scratches were also left uncleaned, but considering the age of the film, and the condition of the negatives prior to their digitally transferred state, all in all a good job has been done to restore the movie.

Lovely to have a commentary, something I thoroughly enjoyed, and quite probably the biggest highlight of this particular release, for me at least.

The additional scenes, recovered from Japan, albeit less than a minutes worth in length, add something extra that I didn't expect, that being a marked adjustment to the overall tone of the movie. The additional scene that see's Dracula's further seduction of Mina before biting, does show a distinct drop in quality, however the addition of Dracula's clawing at his face, while dying, is fantastically restored, and reveals no dip in quality whatsoever.

Some nice additional extra's too, with a few short docs, two of which that are at least 30 minutes in length.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW was I glad I did, 13 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] (Blu-ray)
This is not a review for the actual film, if you don't know what this 1958 film is about already you wouldn't be on here.
No this is a review about Lionsgate 3 disc set of 2013.
I was uming and aring as to whether to invest in this or not as I already owned "Horror of Dracula" in Warner Brothers Hammer Horror Originals 3 box film set. But having read other reviews and the fact this promised some missing scenes I bit the bullet and bought it the other week.
WOW was I glad I did, firstly and this is a very minor BUT important thing the title IS Dracula and not the Americanised Horror of....
Then you get 2 versions (well 3 but more on that in a moment) theirs the 2007 Bfi Restoration (that Restoration NOT Remastering) for the purists out there this is as good as it gets the whole film has been cleaned up. So you get no scratches nor distortions in the picture or sound from age.
Then you get the 2012 Hammer restoration, this is the one we all wanted the one with the missing scenes in sourced from a Japanese release master copy. Now Hammer have mucked about with the colour palet a tad but IMO unlike some other reviewers I don't actually mind this it didn't upset my viewing pleasure at all. (they probably had to fiddle a bit to get as seamless insertion of the missing footage as possible)
That's the 3rd version I was on about earlier if you go on the bonus disc you will find the unrestored footage of the 4 remaining reels of the Japanese footage (its interesting to see just how bad a condition these were so as to fully appreciate the work done in the restoration) other than that its not really worth watching (unless your a film academic) as the first 5 reels are sadly missing, destroyed by fire, this does pose an interesting question however......Was there any other cut scenes available on those missing reels, tantalising if you look at the featurettes and interviews on the extras disc they do mention 3 cut scenes ( we have the seduction of Mina and the Dracula disintegration scene from the end ) but they also mention about the staking of the Vampire "bride" by Jonathan Harker now as no-one has ever seen this missing footage in living memory it is just a tantalising thought that it may have been there, sadly unless other original reels turn up from somewhere else in the world we will never definitively know the answer.
All in all this was so worth me getting (and at £8.99 new diect from amazon superb value) I may even consider upgrading some of my other DVD Hammer collection, something I had not previouslt even considered bothering with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational., 1 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dracula [VHS] (VHS Tape)
There is no doubt about it; this is the best of all Hammer's Draculas. The actors, Fisher's directing, Robinson's sets, everything is great about this film. However, I do find it would have benefited from a longer running-time, an a few more talky scenes. (This IS Cushing, after all !.) -I realize that's probably an odd thing to say about a Hammer film, but its rollercoaster narrative does move a bit fast at times, I think. I mean, "Revenge Of Frankenstein", made around the same time, had a much more pleasant pace. Still, it's a classic and well worth a "5 star" rating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAMMER HAVE A STAKE IN THIS MOVIE, 21 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] (Blu-ray)
This is the disc only a few years ago HAMMER fans could only dream of having. If you are a fan this is a must have disc i wont go into the story as you will know it but i will say the col is good as is the sound plus loads and loads of fantastic extrasI have seen some reviews by people who have put this disc down well take it from me this disc is fantastic so if you see a review by someone who says they are a HAMMER fan then pulls this discs to bits you know what you should do with that review good god what do they want. 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest Hammer film ... ever, 25 Aug. 2008
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dracula [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is the greatest Hammer film ever made. Starring the two mainstays of British Horror Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Terence Fisher (the best Hammer director) directs with style and James Bernard produced a score that would be used in variations by many Hammer films over the years. For any musicians out there the chord Bernard uses to signal Dracula's presence is an augmented chord...

Christopher Lee is magnificent as Count Dracula. Bela Lugosi may have starred in the role first but Lee is vastly superior in every respect: He has more screen presence (helped by being 6' 5"), is better looking and most crucially unlike Lugosi he can act.
As Van Helsing Peter Cushing is mesmerising. Whether he is carrying out a blood transfusion or dictating into an early phonograph recorder, the script is delivered with absolute conviction. I always end up believing vampires exist after watching this film!

The ending to this film is perhaps the single greatest moment in the entire history of Hammer films. While the special effects look dated now the realisation of the ending is just a great piece of film making.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee must be the best Dracula to hit the screens, 2 May 2014
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Saw Dracula and the Mummy at the cinema as a teenager they were both on the same night my mates and myself found them brilliant and went a couple of nights later to watch them again, Over the years Hammer have shown many horror films on tv but never these two films ,Christopher Lee played the best Dracula and Mummy that I have seen, buying these two films from Amazon was a trip down memory lane and are as good now as they were all those years ago.
John Bridge
Southport
Merseyside
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Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958]
Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] by Terence Fisher (Blu-ray - 2013)
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