10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dracula ressurrected in Brazil
The moment I received my restored version of HORROR OF DRACULA in my home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I called on the phone some special old friends of mine. They were High School companions who saw the movie with me in the 50's. They came to my place with their wives for a Reunion after so many years. It was also the occasion to screen this classic movie in the glorious...
Published 16 months ago by McColl
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My long journey is drawing to a close
Jonathan Harker takes employment with Count Dracula.
In fact, he is on a mission to kill the vampire. But the Count gains the upper hand and Harker soon finds himself as one of the walking dead.
Dracula has taken an interest in his fiancée, Lucy, and it is left to Harker's colleague, Dr. Van Helsing to protect her. He has difficulty convincing...
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dracula ressurrected in Brazil,
The moment I received my restored version of HORROR OF DRACULA in my home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I called on the phone some special old friends of mine. They were High School companions who saw the movie with me in the 50's. They came to my place with their wives for a Reunion after so many years. It was also the occasion to screen this classic movie in the glorious original colours with all the splendour of a digital image. When we finally came to the last scene, there was a wonderful déjà-vu sensation among us. We have been watching one more time the disintegrating face of Dracula, just as it was shown at movie Theatres in Brazil 54 years ago. What happened with this movie, occurred with many other Hammer pictures which were shown originally in our Country without the usual censored cuts.
120 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-witness account,
I'm truly astounded to read reviews of a Blu-ray written BEFORE the film has even been released - especially the one which damns the film based purely on misleading screen-grabs and pre-emptive complaints from people with an obvious axe to grind posted on the net.
Of the reviewers here, with the exception of Matt and myself, I believe that no one else has actually watched the Blu-ray - so how they feel entitled to post a review is beyond me.
I was the person who found the extra footage in Japan and so, like Matt, I was sent a review copy which I have watched several times.
My verdict? Magnificent.
Well done Hammer.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fangtastic extras included are ....,
...Four Brand-New Featurettes:
* "Dracula Reborn". New 30 min. featurette about the film's creation and history, featuring, among others: Jimmy Sangster, Kim Newman, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Rigby and 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, featuring interviews with key staff at the BFI, Molinare and Deluxe142. Also covers the February 2012 world premiere of Hammer's interim restored version including "vox pop" interviews with fans after the event.
* "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.
* New commentary by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn and author & critic Jonathan Rigby.
* All 4 surviving "Japanese reels" (6 - 9) unrestored (40 mins).
* The World Of Hammer episode: Dracula And 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).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror Landmark,
This review is from: Dracula [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Though I am considerably new to Horror films, and in particular, Hammer ones, I already have a great fondness for them. This one has got to be one of the best. Well acted in glorious gothic settings and Victorian-like streets, this film is a masterpiece and worth every penny. Christopher Lee is the definitive Dracula - a seemingly charming and gracious man who turns out to be the most frightening of villains, and Peter Cushing is marvellous as Van Helsing.
It may not be totally loyal to the book, but films do not translate easily from novels, and I think this version was translated extremely well. The film isn't as scary as it was once considered, but that is a small downward factor. If you want to watch a good version of Dracula, I think you'd be hard pressed to beat this.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer At Its Best!,
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Heaven,
I too don't get those criticising this magnificent Blu Ray release.
The film has probably not looked this good since it was first released. I lied my way in to see it in the cinema when it got a re-release in a double bill with The Mummy back in 1963 maybe? First 'X' movies I had seen. I wondered what all this Adults Only stuff was about after watching The Mummy. Then Dracula began. I was scared sh**less by it.
Now of course it still chills, but is without doubt one of the best vampire movies ever made.
The colour palette is superb, with the reds jumping out the screen even in simple shots like the, after the titles, carriage's red Swiss cross coming at you from the gorgeous greens and browns of the forest. Same with Mina's red lipstick when she returns from her night with Dracula. After the disappointment of Curse of Frankenstein which looked better on the last DVD release, this Blu Ray is a must have for all Hammer fans, all fans of great British cinema, and all those who love a great vampire tale!
Superb! Well done all involved.
Let's hope some of the Hammer titles issued on A Universal pack a few years ago, Curse of the Werewolf, Kiss of The Vampire, Brides of Dracula etc get as good a treatment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Dracula as you've never seen it before.,
Unavailable for many years in any video format, this 1958 version has long been considered the finest screen version of Bram Stoker's classic novel. While it is not totally faithful to the original novel, it is an intelligently-conceived script that captures the essence and all the horror of Stoker's creation. It also proved a star-making role for Christopher Lee whose performance more than surpasses the overrated 1931 Bela Lugosi incarnation.
Now, for the first time on Blu-ray, we have an absolutely dazzling, fully-restored version of this classic film which,unlike the previous DVD release, contains rare Japanese footage that was never seen in the original theatrical release. Being an elaborate three-disc release loaded with extras, the viewer can revel in seeing just how much hard work and loving dedication has gone into matching the previously-unseen footage with the quality of the original release. It's an amazing achievement that has to be seen to be believed. The results, particularly in Blu-ray, are not only satisfying but quite astonishing. Even the new DVD version also included in this set is a pleasure to behold. Make no mistake,this is the definitive Dracula as you've never seen it before. Highly recommended.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jewel In Hammer's Crown,
This is the one Hammer fans have been waiting for for years and what a package it is. Not only does the film look and sound amazing (ignore any nonsense you hear about the wrong colour)but it's uncut. Scenes that were though long lost have been found and are back in the movie. For a Hammer Lover like me this really is a dream come true.
The restoration has been done to perfection - I've never seen the film look or sound so good.The extras are top notch especially the commentary which is witty and educational. Even the fact that they used the original British Quad artwork as the cover just shows me how much care has gone into this.
I have an advanced copy that I wasn't expecting and I was like a kid at Christmas when it arrived. If you love Hammer Horror you will be too when this pops through you letterbox.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fidelis et Mortem,
You know the movie, one of Hammer's finest (though to the true aficionado there's no such thing as truly bad Hammer movie), so there's no need to comment on that.
So this version of it then, the blu ray from Hammer/Lions Gate, how does it rate, especially after the slightly disappointing, but still essential, Curse of Frankenstein release? Well, I'm pleased to report it's trebles all round, because this edition of THE Hammer classic is a ungainsayable triumph.
There are two versions of the film itself - first, the 2007 BFI restoration, i.e. the buffed up original English cut that has played since its 1958 release. Then there is the re-vamped (sorry, couldn't resist) Hammer version which re-instates footage originally removed from the English release to mollify the censor.
The restored footage, comprising additional shots from two key sequences, was only relatively recently discovered and recovered from a badly damaged Japanese print. When you view the unenhanced footage from the Japanese print (one of the many worthwhile extras here) and then watch how the additional footage has almost seamlessly been woven into the new Hammer version, you can fully appreciate and salute the work of the restoration team. (I note that the discoverer of this footage has posted his own review here, castigating the ill-informed muppets who posted `reviews' of a blu-ray package before it had been released, without having seen the restoration but instead basing their comments on some screen shots. Well said sir, and thank you for unearthing this filmic treasure - any chance of locating a version of The Mummy with the tongue removal?).
Both versions of the film look wonderful in high def; not pin sharp, no, like some bloodless CGI effects fest, as that was not intended or needed to convey the fairy-tale steeped in dread atmosphere. They are easily the best version(s) of the film yet seen, and the only issue is whether you want to luxuriate in the familiar `censors cut' BFI version or treat yourself to the Hammer version which will allow that extra frisson of pleasure during the seduction of Mina and disintegration scenes.
The rest of the package is equally enjoyable. There is the expected making of documentary, using the now well established format of knowledgeable talking heads (Marcus Hearn, Mark Gatiss) alongside the one (or occasionally two if we're lucky) remaining members of the cast, in this case Janine Faye, who apart from Christopher Lee (sadly not involved) is now the only surviving member of the cast. The documentary also utilises footage of an interview with an elderly Jimmy Sangster in which he ruefully acknowledges that, even then, he was one of a few classic era Hammer people who are left. Another highlight is a fascinating half hour `chat' about the film by cultural historian Christopher Frayling. In it he pays due tribute to Jimmy Sangster's innovative, if budget motivated, approach to the material, and floats the deliberately provocative idea that the film is really about the Holmwood's marriage.
There are two additional featurettes, one on the censorship problems that the film encountered in England and the other about the discovery, restoration and integration of the Japanese footage. This presumably now clears up the perennial myth about Hammer having deliberately shot `stronger' versions of their movies, or at least certain scenes, for the Japanese market and milder ones for us. It appears that Hammer simply had their sole preferred version, from which the English censors then cut what they thought was unsuitable for English sensibilities, while Japan (and other overseas territories) simply got the original uncut version. (But there was that topless Hazel Court shot for the European cut of Man Who Cheated Death, wasn't there. I'm confused again now.)
Anyway, doesn't this suggest the possibility that the Japanese archive may hold full uncut versions of other Hammer movies.
Please investigate, O Hammer high ups.
In the meantime however, this glorious package will keep us going.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Iconic Dracula Gets A Blu Ray Makeover,
This review is from: Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD)  (Blu-ray)
Dedicated To M.Scott my friend & continued supporter of my reviews.
Directed by Terence Fisher.
Produced by Anthony Hinds.
Written by Jimmy Sangster, Based on Bram Stokers (Novel).
Release date(s) 8 May 1958.
Running time 82 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
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.
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1.
Number of discs: 3.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD)  by Terence Fisher (Blu-ray - 2013)