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I was vaguely aware of the character, through HBO airings of LOVE AT FIRST BITE. I can recall a trip to my grandpa's where one Saturday morning, the Lugosi 1931 happened to be playing on the tube. The instant I saw him come down those stairs and announce "I AM................DRACULA", I was hooked.
I can remember seeing THE HALLOWEEN THAT ALMOST WASN'T when it initially aired, and later NBC's premiere of the Langella DRACULA.
By autumn and Halloween season of that year I was scouring TV Guide for anything Dracula related. I caught the Palance version, the Disney MYSTERY IN DRACULA'S CASTLE, and David Niven's OLD DRACULA. I somehow didn't really count the Niven film as a true Dracula movie, same with the Disney film.
The following summer my folks let me stay up late for a television airing of DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, my introduction to Christopher Lee's Count. I next saw DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, and SCARS OF DRACULA.
Lee was easily my favorite, with Bela a very close second. That ranking remains the same to this day.
I had also caught BILLY THE KID VS DRACULA
, and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN.
I'd read comic book variations of the character, and of course, read the novel.
I love a wide variety of Dracula interpretations: from Bela, to Udo Kier. George Hamilton and Duncan Regehr. Yet I am as picky about certain elements of Dracula films as I am about the Bond gun-barrel logo.
A friend of mine once told me his favorite Dracula movie was FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.. That's like saying my favorite Bond movie is PATRIOT GAMES.
He was the first Dracula I saw that sported fangs. An amazingly scary Count.
I love that version.
Max Schreck captures the repulsiveness of Stoker's Count. I've had many public domain copies of NOSFERATU, but should really get a good version. One with the accurate Count Orlock in the title cards. All versions I've seen refer to him as Dracula.
Lee is my favorite with Bela second.
That said, I demand more praise for Gary Oldman too. It was a fascinating approach, far more in keeping with the source material. Langella and Jordan played Dracula rather well too.
Nosferatu was great, both the silent movie as well as the Klaus Kinski version.
Not too sure about some of the more recent "let's tell the REAL story" Dracula adaptations, though.
I still have yet to watch the Luke Evans Dracula film in it's entirety. Somehow the idea of a Vlad the Impaler CGI action origin story turned me off.
If you're in the U.S., pick up the Blu-Ray from Kino, which has two versions of the film and the original titles with English subtitles. If you're in the UK, the Blu-Rays from either BFI or Masters of Cinema are recommended.
In any case, Blu-Ray is the way to go. Since their storytelling is entirely visual, silent films lose much of their power when presented with poor image quality. On Blu-Ray they really come alive.
The Evans film is dreadful. The Oldman film one of my all-time favourites. His version is the best, along with Palance and Lugosi.
Count Dracula should be one of the tallest -- if not the tallest -- character in a Dracula film.
You know who would've made an outstanding Drac? Timothy Dalton.
Agreed. He would have been fantastic.
Eureka/The Masters of Cinema Series have a fantastic version of Nosferatu. I had their DVD version but a few years ago upgraded to the blu-ray version. A great package with a 56-page booklet full of writings and photos. Well worth getting hold of.
Really? A visually stunning piece of cinema that only (as far as I can remember) fails by miscasting Keanu Reeves. And is the closest to the source material I've seen.
I second @Lancaster007's words completely. I also love the score, along with everything else. Keanu, ... well, yeah. I'll give you that. But what exactly stinks?
To this date, Christopher Lee seems to be the only actor actually made up to resemble the character as described in the book in Jess Franco's COUNT DRACULA.
The 1977 Louis Jourdan version is also quite faithful to the book as well, except for Jourdan's 'look'.
Dracula AD 1972.
I kid you not.
Nothing wrong with that. The Satanic Rites Of Dracula is one of my favourite Dracula films.
I don't have a single favourite Dracula or film, but a 3 way tie between Dracula (1931), Dan Curtis' Dracula (1973) and Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979). Lugosi:Dracula was mysterious, Palance:Dracula was feral and Kinski:Dracula was tragic.
Jack Palance is the other. An even greater Dracula, and initially wanted for the Scaramanga role. He would have been fantastic, and probably more in keeping with Fleming s character.
Any other connections people can think of?