Friday, October 22, 2010

HMP #4 - Dracula

Horror Movie Project #4 - Dracula
Universal Pictures, 1931
directed by Tod Browning
written by Garrett Fort, based on the stage play of the same name by Hamilton Deane & John Balderston, adapted from the novel of the same name by Bram Stoker

Another one with Bela Lugosi, this one much more entertaining. Tod Browning's Dracula is another one of the movies that I was ashamed to have never seen. Lugosi's portrayal of the titular vampire is legendary, with a noticeable and lasting influence on all later incarnations of the character. It's a great movie, but I do think that as far as horror goes, F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens is a much better Dracula movie. Dracula is brilliant, but it was made by a major American studio, and so the horror aspect gets kinda watered down for mainstream appeal. Murnau made Nosferatu in Germany in the 1920's, in the golden age of German cinema, so it doesn't hold back as much. And that film's Graf Orlok (due to copyright issues, all characters had different names) is a less refined, much more monstrous version of Count Dracula.

Overall, Dracula is a fine movie, but since black and white tends to put some people off and it kinda drags at times (as classics tend to do by modern standards), I can't really recommend it to anyone who isn't a fan of classic films, classic horror, or Dracula or Lugosi in general, and most of those people have probably already seen it. If you have seen it and liked it, though, I would definitely recommend Browning's next movie, the cult favorite Freaks.

No comments:

Post a Comment