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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Dracula [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 21 July 2017
Classic and well acted.
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on 7 October 2012
First and foremost this is my favourite movie of all time and has been from the age of 6.. im only 20 years old but nonetheless the universal monster movies have captured my heart from the word go... but none moreso than this timeless classic... it would have to be bela lugosi's definitve portrayal of dracula that i can account to me being enchanted by the film... so i was VERY excited when the news broke that they where finally restoring these gems for blu ray but a bit wary as to what the quality of them would be (i need not have worried) the transfer is stunning on this (and the rest available) and the film looks as though it was made yesterday... we can finally appreciate this film as it was fully intended to be seen and heard by director tod browning.. the picture quality has to be seen to be believed and the sound is phenomenal as well.. i couldnt have asked for a better release of this movie... also the spanish version is also included and has been restored in the same vain as the english and it too looks stunning... the special features are an amazing bonus with a documentary on the making of the movie and one on lugosi.. there is a commentary by horror historian david j skal and also a score that can be listened to which some people may prefer as the film has no music in it apart from the opening title..

all in all Buy this blu ray as you wont be dissapointed

take care
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on 14 March 2017
It's easy to see why this is such an iconic film. The atmosphere in the scenes and the acting of the cast is amazing. I especially enjoyed Dwight Frye as Renfield his expressions and tone were incredible as well as his being able to switch between an ordinary guy and a crazed servant and of course the Legendary Bela Lugosi's Dracula. There's a good reason Lugosi's is the most iconic portrayal of the character he just radiates so much charm or intimidation depending on the scene I can't recommend this movie enough.
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on 29 January 2003
If you're a fan of Dracula, and particularly this 1931 version, then you should definitely seek this out. Restoration has produced an excellent print with no visible signs of damage. The sound, while never going to be DTS, is perfectly fine.
Extras -
The DVD shows of its true strength as a format with the extras Universal have provided. First, there's an entertaining 45 minute 'making of' documentary, which provides a fascinating insight into the movie's conception and production. There's also a commentary track by film historian David J. Skal, and though while scripted, tells us more than enough about the action on screen. There's the trailer and some production photographs, and last there's the opportunity to have a new orchestral score played with the film as you watch (the original features no music, except the opera scene).
Why not 5 stars?
The Region One version features the complete Spanish version of the movie, shot at the exact same time on the same sets (and reportedly superior) and is referred to frequently throughout the documentary and commentary. Why Universal, after taking so much care over this Region Two verson couldn't have provided us with this further look into Dracula's history is a shame.
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on 12 March 2017
Really not sure why everyone is so enamoured with this film. Bela Lugosi is rigid and dull. Renfield and Mina are the better characters in this, with a better range and much better lines. But I really do think this has been over-hyped just because it's a silver screen 'classic.' Other films from the era were much better.
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on 14 March 2017
The image everyone has of Dracula comes from this movie.Bella Legosi is the grand-daddy of all Draculas it has everything you would expect from a universal studios film.You've never seen a Dracula until you've seen this.
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on 30 April 2014
This and Karloff in Frankenstein show how well 30' Hollywood would manipulate a horror band wagon. But were these early talkies to ply on the wings of Lon Chaney and German Expressionist (and Hitch' original Lodger)? Dont know - but this is better than I remember from attempts to watch as a "young" man.
It is stagey, and the original actress / nepotism in the docs is a distraction - but worthy rather than essential.
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Bram Stoker's vampire novel has been remade dozens of times, but perhaps the best adaptation is the classic Bela Lugosi version. Fairly faithful to the novel and dripping with gothic atmosphere, what really makes "Dracula" stand out is the bone-chillingly charming performance by Lugosi.

A solicitor, Renfield (Dwight Frye), is travelling to Count Dracula's castle for a real estate deal, despite the locals freaking out and crossing themselves whenever Dracula's mentioned. He soon finds out why -- the Count (Lugosi) is a vampire, who enslaves a mad Renfield to his will. Soon after, a ship with a dead crew (and Renfield and Dracula in the hold) arrives in England.

Soon Dracula has moved into his new home, Carfax Abbey, and is insinuating himself with the Seward family -- and especially with pretty Lucy Westenra, who dies of blood loss and is reborn as a vampire. Only the intervention of the mysterious Dr. Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) can stop Dracula's attacks in London.

Technically "Dracula" wasn't the first adaptation of "Dracula" -- that honor belongs to "Nosferatu" -- but it was the first to actually tackle the storyline in Stoker's book. And to date, it's perhaps the only to portray everyone's favorite vampire with the necessary atmosphere -- ominous, dignified and creepy.

Tod Browning sets it in all the necssary places -- crumbling castles, savage mountainous villages, foggy London streets, and sumptuous Victorian drawing rooms with eerie noises from outside. Granted, a fair amount of stuff is changed -- Jonathan Harker is partially replaced by the mad Renfield -- but none of these really detract from the storyline.

And Browning pours the creepiness on thickly, such as Dracula's seduction of young women, which keeps up the whole idea of vampiric sexuality. But Browning also knows how to pour on the subtle horror, without blood or violence -- like any scene with Renfield.

The script is just as great as the direction, with some unspeakably good dialogue ("For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you're a wise man, Van Helsing"), usually from Dracula. But the best scenes and dialogue are made up of highlights from the novel (such as Dracula saying dreamily, "Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!").

But the star of all this is Lugosi himself, one of the two quintessential vampire actors (the other being Christopher Lee). While he doesn't resemble the book's Dracula, his hypnotic stare and charming, intense manner make him an ideal vampire count. And Frye deserves a nod for one of the nastiest, maddest, creepinest performances in cinema history. Sort of a nuttier, bug-eating Gollum ("Not when I can get nice fat spiders!").

But what does it lack? Well, if you can play American DVDs, then you'd be well advised to either get the "Dracula Legacy Collection" or the 75th anniversary version from the United States, since both of these have the gorgeous Spanish-language edition. This was shot during the hours when the English-speaking "Dracula" cast were asleep. Same sets, same marks, much the same cinematography, but a bit more fleshed out, and very well acted.

The original "Dracula" is still the best, more than seventy years after it was made. Dripping with Gothic atmosphere and seductive charm, this is a magnificent piece of work.
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on 21 July 2017
A classic. Fascinating and Bela Lugosi really is amazing.
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on 30 November 2008
The original Universal production of Dracula, released in 1931 and starring Bela Lugosi in the title role, is far more impressive for its influence on the American horror film genre than for the actual quality of the film itself.
Far more so than James Whale's Frankenstein (which appeared later the same year), Tod Browning's version of Bram Stoker's vampire tale comes across as a truly arthritic production when viewed today. Apart from the opening scenes in Dracula's Transylvanian castle, the bulk of the film is so static that it can seem to the viewer as though they are watching a filmed play (which, given the origin of Garrett Fort's script, is essentially the case). Action is almost non-existent in this movie, with all the major set-pieces of the book (including Dracula's eventual demise) referred to by the actors but never seen. And the actors are hardly flawless either. The pick of the bunch must by Dwight Frye as Renfield; though his performance is not exactly subtle, he at least gives it plenty of energy and gusto. Edward Van Sloan's buzz-cut Dr. Van Helsing is more faithful to the book's wise, old professor than the interpretations given in later versions by Peter Cushing (nimble action man) and Anthony Hopkins (battle-scarred nutcase); but he's also one of the dullest versions on film, with only his one face-to-face scene with Lugosi's Dracula carrying any real dramatic charge. As for Lugosi himself, his appearance is certainly iconic, and it's not difficult to see why his memorable turn was thought to be the definitive Dracula for many decades; however, only the most convinced apologist would maintain that it is a great cinema performance. Stagey, hammy, and with some truly bizarre line-readings (`I have chartered a ship...to take us to England. Ve vill be lea...ving tomorrow...eve...ning'), today it comes across as frankly very weird; though a memorably odd-looking and foreign presence who enlivened some of the best horror movies of the period, Lugosi was certainly not an actor to rival Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) or Claude Rains (The Invisible Man), and though often excellent in meaty supporting roles (Island of Lost Souls, Son of Frankenstein), he could rarely carry a film himself.
All in all, the 1931 Dracula must be judged especially disappointing, for so many films closely related to it (such as the simultaneously-shot Spanish version, Whale's Frankenstein, and especially Browning's controversial Freaks from the following year) do a far better job of engaging the audience. Despite what many senior (and predominantly American) critics would have you believe, this is not the definitive adaptation of the novel; that title belongs to Terence Fisher's 1958 version.
Also included here is a good documentary, `The Road to Dracula', previously featured on Universal's 1999 VHS release of the movie.
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