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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 10 February 2015
Bela was THE Dracula. I guess because he had that look about him and his accent was of course Hungarian so spot on for the part. Although it was set in the 1930's as opposed to when the book was written i.e. in the 1800's it was still brilliant. Very scary without even showing any fangs or neck biting or wound marks or gory stakes through the heart scenes. I guess because it was in black and white it kind of adds to the atmosphere. The only silly bit was that big bat flying about, on a bit of string!! I loved this film in spite of it being so old. The restoration was very good.
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on 25 June 2011
I LOVE old black and white horrors. Especially one SEXY dracula by the name of Bela Lugosi.This talky IS absolutely FANTASTIC. I've had to watch this film downstairs and also sleep downstairs because its that scary.
Bela Lugosi is in my eyes THE TRUE KING OF HORROR mind you Boris Karloff would be my second picking.
Dwight Frye who does Renfield is FANTASTIC in this film.
If you like a good scare then get this film its far better than the 1920s version
Nosferatu its good too but! BELA RULES
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on 2 June 2013
If you are into horror and never watched Dracula then be prepared to be impressed. After watching 'Dracula' after 'Nosferatu' you can really see how they kept to the horror classic but added more aesthetically pleasing aspects, upped the acting, and added more bits for the whole story to make sense.

I didnt give this 5/5 stars as it really isnt my favourite vampire film but still lived up to its praised reputation as a classic horror great.
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on 3 February 2015
He came to define Stoker's villain for a generation and it is a very weighty and worthy performance in a film that owes more to the 1920s stage play than the original novel. Later, others would give us different slants on The Count - Lee, Langella, Oldman, but Lugosi, a native Rumanian, never lost his accent and this and his bold looks did genuinely un-nerve people. Tod Browning directs with style.
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on 24 December 2012
I`ve always loved the old Universal Horror movies, and this new re-masted blu ray looks and sound fantastic, much better the my old dvd copy. There are also the special features, which include, Dracula: The Restoration (HD, 9 min) — A short but terrifically informative video on the extensive restoration process that went into bringing the film back to its former glory. All in all, a great Movie, and a great disc.
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on 28 January 2010
When Universal Studios released Dracula in 1931, it sent shockwaves throughout the movie industry. The film started off the famous 'Horror Cycle' which saw the studio produce so many greats of the genre of which I am a big fan (and a few bad ones as well!). It also created nearly every stereotype and cliché associated with the Dracula legend. And yet it has not aged well, and many limitations hold the film back.

Starting with the strong points: Bela Lugosi is without any shadow of a doubt, the greatest Dracula of all-time. He could convey in a single, hypnotic look what Max Schreck could do only with heavy makeup and wonderful photography, what Christopher Lee could do only with gore galore and Gary Oldman could only do with all of modern film-making on his side and more. People sometimes forget that the legendary line 'I never drink...wine' is not from the book, but from Bela Lugosi (in the book he says 'I have already dined and I don't smoke'). His accent is captivating and his very movement draws you in and makes you want to expose your neck. While many movie fans are tempted to praise Boris Karloff higher for his role as the creature in Frankenstein, I will always prefer Lugosi in Dracula who turns in one of the greatest performances of all-time.

Dwight Frye is also a winner as Renfield. Like Lugosi, he is the best version yet seen of this demented madman with a laugh that will send shivers down your spine. His line about the rats is also a classic. It is perhaps little wonder that Frye was immortalised in song by Alice Cooper in the 1970s in the famous 'Ballard of Dwight Fry' (sic).

Edward Van Sloan is also a very fine Van Helsing and although the acting style of the day has aged somewhat he nevertheless puts in a fine showing.

Tod Browning may have to play second fiddle to James Whale in the pantheon of horror directors, but his work is also noteworthy here.

Sadly, despite these fine points, there are numerous faults although very little of it can be blamed on the film. The acting (apart from Lugosi, Van Sloan and Frye) is awful. It is wooden, bland and looks like a first take read from a dummy card. But then this was only four years into the 'talkie' era when studios still made films with title cards in-between lines as so many cinemas did not have the technology to play sound. All the established screen actors simply did not know how to talk and stage actors who were drafted in found it difficult to adapt to the screen.

The other major fault is the story and script which is based on the stage-play rather than the book. This was due to financial reasons as the studio's budget in the great depression was limited, and the elaborate tale dreamed up by Universal in the 1920s, did not fit the world post Wall Street crash. As a result, the film lacks all of the panic and frenzied crescendo of the book and the film nearly dies a death once the ship docks in Whitby (which is in London all of the sudden!). The ending is also a huge anti-climax due to the sensibilities of the day.

The extras on the DVD are enough for me to want to replace my old VHS copy and are a worthy treatment for such a memorable film.

To sum it all up it must be said that you must appreciate the circumstances in which the film was made. When you can look past that, you will see Dracula as he was meant to be seen, not with a ridiculous hair-do or over-done blood but able to make your skin crawl with a single glance. What I wouldn't give for a time machine that could take Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye into the modern era to make this film now as it was meant to be made.

Lugosi never lived this part down and was buried wearing a Dracula cape. Re-watching his performance, you half expect him to rise from the grave as the un-dead to drink your blood while you sleep. He came to the screen with the immortal line: 'I am Dracula'- truer words were never spoken.
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on 16 May 2015
For its age a gripping film, but patchy. Some sets were marvellous, some anything but. Some actors amazing - some anything but. However it has a magic and an atmosphere that you can't dismiss. As a film it takes itself seriously. It doesn't set out to be a frightener, but it has it's moments.
I wouldn't be without it.
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on 27 September 2014
Listen to them. The children of the night. What music they make.
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on 29 January 2014
A definitive performance from Lugosi and the best version along with Nosferatu. This version has an alternative backing music option, composed by Philip Glass and played by The Kronos Quartet, which is perfect for the film and very fitting overall (available to buy on CD).
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on 15 September 2000
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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