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Dracula's Daughter [DVD]
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In this sequel to 'Dracula', vampire-hunter Dr Van Helsing (Edward van Sloan) believes that he has rid London of the undead when he finds himself unexpectedly arrested for murder. A series of bodies have been found drained of all blood, and their discovery coincides with the arrival in the city of the mysterious Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden), who has been to Van Helsing's psychiatrist, Dr Garth (Otto Kruger) for consultation. From her strange behaviour Garth and Van Helsing deduce that the countess is a vampire, and are forced to trail her to Transylvania when she kidnaps Garth's beautiful fiancée.
This cut-rate sequel to Dracula, sans Bela Lugosi, turns out to be an unexpectedly sleek and stylish movie. Gloria Holden, tall, dark, and continental, is the aristocratic title character fighting her nature and seeking a cure for her affliction. A sympathetic psychiatrist, Dr. Garth (Otto Kruger), encourages her to "face her fears," but when she lures a pretty young streetwalker to her room to model for a painting, the temptation of her fleshy offering proves too much to overcome. Edward Van Sloan reprises his role as Van Helsing, held by the police for the murder of Count Dracula (the film opens on the final scene from Dracula) but released in the nick of time to help Garth, now at the mercy of the bitter and vindictive vampire. Director Lambert Hillyer makes the most of his low budget, with austere, angular sets and an almost abstract sense of the foggy city night. Holden's mysterious face and tall, willowy body make her an even more striking vampire than Lugosi, and Irving Pichel's offbeat servant is like an American gangster with the breeding of a European aristocrat: thick and thuggish, but always proper. The script falls into the usual rut of Universal's later horror films, losing the mood in the busy plot, but the smooth style and Holden's dignified performance lift Dracula's Daughter above most Universal sequels.--Sean AxmakerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Although black and white films may not be as popular, this film is enhnced by it's black and white format. Dracula's Daughter seeks the help of a psychiatrist to aid her in finding release, however this turns sour when the countess kidnaps his secretary/love interest and takes her away from polite London society to the rocky hills of Transylvania. a must for any serious vampire of Horror fans, as an early trailer once stated it's "better than Dracula", if you can believe it.
Gloria Holden, Otto Kruger, Marguerite Churchill, Edward Van Sloan.
This was the first sequel in the Universal Pictures `Dracula' franchise. I first saw these movies in the late 1950's, I was about fifteen and a school friend invited me to stay at his father's house for a couple of weeks during the summer holidays. His father was a keen film collector and had a small movie theatre in his cellar and we spent a rainy week watching his collection of vintage horror films; an illicit thrill as most of the movies were X-Rated (Over 18 in cinemas) in those days. It was that week which started my interest in collecting films and for the past fifty odd years books and films have been a large part of my life and pocket money budget.
This was from the start and still is one of my very favourite vintage horror films and in my opinion is equal to or perhaps even better than the 1931 Bela Lugosi DRACULA. The beautiful and elegant Gloria Holden plays the character of Countess Marya Zaleska, the `daughter' of Count Dracula and despite the five year gap in filming the movie carries straight on where the 1931 DRACULA ends.
In my opinion, Holden's Countess Zaleska is probably the best female vampire character, who wants only to cast off the mantle of evil and destruction that she has inherited from Dracula and find a way to become human again. Her performance is classy and at times powerful but always sensual and is probably one of the few horror film characters of the day to be almost universally audience sympathetic the first tragic anti-heroine of the genre.
Back in the 1980s I replaced most of my collection of 8mm movies with VHS and now I am going through a same process of upgrading everything to DVD.Read more ›
It is rather well done. Ole' Red Eyes himself doesn't feature - only his daughter, as the title suggests, but it has a good atmosphere, and carries on from the original Dracula story with a sort of "What if this had really happened" premise, which I found rather intriguing.
Good stuff - if you are into old horror movies, this is a cut above the rest in my opinion!
This sequel starts at the exact point the earlier film ended, with Dr. Van Helsing (here re-christened `Von Helsing' for some reason, and again played by Edward Van Sloan) being arrested for the murder of Count Dracula (!) by the local police (and though the Hollywood movies of the period were hardly known for faithfully replicating British dialects and geography, I feel it is worth pointing out that residents of Whitby, North Yorkshire, generally don't have Cockney accents). Whilst `Von' awaits trial, Dracula's body is stolen by his vampiric daughter (Gloria Holden), who ritually burns it in an attempt to free herself of blood-lust. When this fails to have any effect, she consults a psychiatrist (Otto Kruger), who hopes that he can treat her instead; however, the psychiatrist is also contacted by the imprisoned vampire hunter, who wants his help to persuade Scotland Yard that he isn't barking mad...
The little-known Holden is a revelation in this cheap, short B-movie, which, unusually for a film of the period, treats vampirism as a curable medical condition rather than a supernatural `curse', and contains themes of lesbianism that must have raised a few eyebrows back in 1936 (Holden's wonderful scene with artist's model Nan Grey is the highlight of the film). But Kruger is a smug, uninterested lead (he's Leslie Howard without the warmth and wit), Van Sloan again makes for a dull vampire hunter, and the rouged Irving Pichel looks absolutely ridiculous as Holden's black-hearted manservant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Five years after Universal launched a Bela Lugosi inspired Dracula upon the film loving world, the sequel arrived - only not with Lugosi's Count Dracula in it. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Spike Owen
A good film. Gloria Holden especially wanting help. In London, Chelsea her room has strange goings on. Hynotised, her victims lives are at stake, which she brings to them. Read morePublished 14 months ago by David