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Encyclopedia > Dracula (1931 film)
Dracula
Directed by Tod Browning
Produced by Tod Browning
Carl Laemmle Jr.
Written by Novel:
Bram Stoker
Stage Play:
Hamilton Deane
John L. Balderston
Screenplay:
Garrett Fort
Tod Browning (uncredited)
Starring Bela Lugosi
Helen Chandler
David Manners
Dwight Frye
Edward Van Sloan
Music by Philip Glass (1999)
Cinematography Karl Freund
Editing by Milton Carruth
Maurice Pivar
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) February 14, 1931 (New York premiere)
Running time 75 min.
Country Flag of United States United States
Language English
Budget $355,000 (estimate)
Followed by Dracula's Daughter (1936)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Dracula is a 1931 horror film produced by Universal Pictures Co. Inc. and based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Charles Albert Browning, Jr. ... Carl Laemmle Jr. ... Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ... American screenwriter John L. Balderston (1889 - 1954) specialised in writing plays and horror and fantasy scripts for movies. ... Frankenstein 1931 Written by Garrett Fort Garrett Elsden Fort (June 5, 1900 - October 26, 1945) was an American short story writer, playwright, and prolific Hollywood screenwriter. ... Charles Albert Browning, Jr. ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp. ... Helen Chandler as Mina Harker in Dracula (1931). ... David Manners as Jonathan Harker in Dracula (1931). ... Dwight Frye in Bride of Frankenstein Dwight Iliff Frye (February 22, 1899–November 7, 1943) was an American stage and screen actor. ... Edward Van Sloan (November 1, 1881 - March 6, 1964) was a film character actor remembered for his roles in Universal Studios horror films. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Karl W. Freund (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was a German cinematographer who worked on over 100 films, including Metropolis (1927), Dracula (1931), and Key Largo (1948). ... Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is one of the major American film studios that has production studios and offices located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles... February 14 is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Draculas Daughter is a 1936 horror film, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. ... // Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff Ingagi, starring Sir Hubert Winstead Mata Hari, starring Greta Garbo and Lionel Barrymore City Lights starring Charles Chaplin Best Picture: Cimarron - MGM Best Actor: Lionel Barrymore - A Free Soul Best Actor: Wallace Beery - The Champ Best Actor: Fredric March - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. ... DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is one of the major American film studios that has production studios and offices located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles... Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. ... Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ...

Contents

Cast

Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp. ... Alternate meaning: Dracula (orchid genus) Dracula is a fictional character, arguably the most famous vampire in fiction. ... Helen Chandler as Mina Harker in Dracula (1931). ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... David Manners as Jonathan Harker in Dracula (1931). ... Jonathan Harker is a fictional character in the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. ... Dwight Frye in Bride of Frankenstein Dwight Iliff Frye (February 22, 1899–November 7, 1943) was an American stage and screen actor. ... Dwight Fry as Renfield in the 1931 adaptation of Dracula. ... Edward Van Sloan (November 1, 1881 - March 6, 1964) was a film character actor remembered for his roles in Universal Studios horror films. ... Professor Abraham Van Helsing is a fictional character in Bram Stokers 1897 novel, Dracula. ... For other uses, see Dracula (disambiguation). ... Lucy Westenra is a fictional character in the novel Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. ... Gerrard (Leopold Ambrose Plumtree) & Thelma Todd in Another Fine Mess - 1930 Charles K. Gerrard, also known as Charles Kavanagh (20 December 1883 - 1 January 1969) was a Irish-born, American motion-pictures actor, and the elder brother of actor and film director Douglas Gerrard. ...

Plot summary

At Walpurgis Night, after a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Jack Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead. Walpurgis Night in Sweden. ...


Deviations from the novel

This list is not exhaustive, but intended to convey a sense of the differences between the film and the novel: Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ...

  • The setting is shifted to circa 1930.
  • Renfield goes to Transylvania and is victimized. He is found, insane, aboard the Demeter.
  • Dracula does not "youthen."
  • The characters of Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris are omitted.
  • Dr. Seward is Mina's father, not Lucy's suitor.
  • Dracula does not have multiple coffins.
  • Dracula must sleep by day.
  • Dracula is killed by Van Helsing, with a wooden stake.

For other uses, see Dracula (disambiguation). ... Quincey Morris is a is a fictional character in Bram Stokers novel Dracula. ...

Description

The first official Dracula film was directed by Tod Browning, with a screenplay based on the stage play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. The title role was played by Bela Lugosi. Also starring in the film were David Manners as Jonathan Harker, Helen Chandler as Mina Murray/Harker and Dwight Frye as Renfield. The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... Charles Albert Browning, Jr. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Dracula is a 1924 stage play adapted by Hamilton Deane from the novel of the same name by Bram Stoker, and subsequently revised by John L. Balderston. ... American screenwriter John L. Balderston (1889 - 1954) specialised in writing plays and horror and fantasy scripts for movies. ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp. ... David Manners as Jonathan Harker in Dracula (1931). ... Helen Chandler as Mina Harker in Dracula (1931). ... Dwight Frye in Bride of Frankenstein Dwight Iliff Frye (February 22, 1899–November 7, 1943) was an American stage and screen actor. ...


Bram Stoker's novel had already been filmed (without permission) as Nosferatu in 1922 by expressionist German film maker F.W. Murnau, but enthusiatic young Hollywood producer Carl Laemmle Jr too saw the box office potential in Stoker's gothic chiller. Unlike the German counterpart, this would be a fully authorized version (since Murnau's film had fallen under the wrath of Stoker's widow, who had tried to destroy all prints of Nosferatu) and it would also be a spectacle to rival the lavish Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, and, like those films, Laemmle insisted it must star Lon Chaney (despite him being under contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Tod Browning was then approached to direct this new Universal epic (Browning, incidentally, had already directed Chaney as a (fake) vampire in the lost 1927 silent movie London after Midnight), however, a number of factors would limit Laemmle's plans: Firstly, Chaney himself (who had been diagnosed with throat cancer in 1928) had sadly succumbed to his terminal illness. Furthermore, studio financial difficulties, coupled with the onset of the Great Depression, caused a drastic reduction in the budget, forcing Laemmle to look at a cheaper alternative (this meant several grand scenes that closely followed the Stoker storyline had to be abandoned). Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (A Symphony of Horror in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1922 by F.W. Murnau. ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... Carl Laemmle Jr. ... In 1923, a silent film version of Victor Hugos novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame was released, starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lon Chaney (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930), nicknamed The Man of a Thousand Faces, was an American actor during the age of silent films. ... For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... London After Midnight can refer to: London After Midnight (film) - A lost silent horror film. ... The Great Depression was a time of economic down turn, which started after the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. ...


Already a huge hit on Broadway, the tried and tested Deane/Balderston Dracula play would become the blueprint and the production gained momentum. However, the question of who would play the Count remained. This would fall to the (then) current broadway Dracula, Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi, but not without controversy. Originally Laemmle had stated he was not at all interested in Lugosi, in spite of the warm reviews his stage portrayal had received, and instead sought to hire other actors, including Ian Keith. Against the tide of Studio opinion Lugosi lobbied hard and ultimately won the executives over, thanks in part to him accepting a salary far less than his co-stars. Alternate meaning: Dracula (orchid genus) Dracula is a fictional character, arguably the most famous vampire in fiction. ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


The eerie speech pattern of Lugosi's "Dracula" was said to have resulted from the fact that Lugosi did not speak English, and therefore had to learn and speak his lines phonetically. This is a bit of an urban legend. While it is true that Lugosi did not speak English at the time of his first English-language play in 1919, and he had learned his lines to that play in this manner. By the time of his filming this role, Lugosi spoke English as well as he ever would. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... An urban legend or urban myth is a kind of modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. ...


To many film lovers and critics alike, Lugosi's portrayal is widely regarded as the definitive Dracula. Lugosi had a powerful presence and authority onscreen. The slow, deliberate pacing of his performance ("I... bid you... welcome!" -- "I never drink... wine!") gave his Dracula the air of a walking, talking corpse, which terrified 1930s movie audiences. He was just as compelling with no dialogue, and the many closeups of Lugosi's face in icy silence jumped off the screen. Lugosi's speech pattern would be imitated countless times by other Dracula portrayers, most often in an exaggerated or comical way. However, Dracula would ultimately become a role which would prove to be both a blessing and a curse. Despite his earlier stage successes in a variety of roles, from the moment Lugosi donned the cape on screen, it would forever see him typecast as the count. For other uses, see Body (disambiguation). ... The word typecasting (past participle typecast) can mean more than one thing: typecasting (programming) typecasting (acting) in acting This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


According to numerous accounts, the production is alleged to have been a mostly disorganized affair, with the usually meticulous Tod Browning leaving legendary cinematographer Karl Freund to take over during much of the shoot. Moreover the despondent Browning would simply tear out pages from the script which he felt were redundant, such was his seeming contempt for the screenplay. It is possible however, given that Browning had originally intended Dracula as collaboration between him and Lon Chaney, his apparent lack of interest on set was more down to losing his friend and original leading man, rather than any actual aversion to the subject matter. Karl W. Freund (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was a German cinematographer who worked on over 100 films, including Metropolis (1927), Dracula (1931), and Key Largo (1948). ...


When the film finally premiered on Valentine's Day 1931, newspapers reported that members of the audiences fainted in shock at the horror onscreen. This publicity, shrewdly orchestrated by the film studio, helped ensure people came to see the film, if for no other reason than curiosity. Dracula was a big gamble for a major Hollywood studio to undertake. In spite of the literary credentials of the source material, it was uncertain if an American audience was prepared for a serious full length supernatural chiller. Though America had been exposed to other chillers before, such as The Cat and the Canary this was a horror story with no comic relief or trick ending that down played the supernatural. Saint Valentines Day or Valentines Day is on February 14. ... The Cat and the Canary is the 1927 silent horror film adaptation of John Willards play of the same name. ...


Nervous executives breathed a collective sigh of relief when Dracula proved to be a huge box office sensation, and later that year Universal would release Frankenstein to even greater acclaim. Universal in particular would become the forefront of early horror cinema, with a canon of films including, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man. Frankenstein is a 1931 horror film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and very loosely based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. ... Boris Karloff as Ardath Bey AKA Prince Imhotep in The Mummy. ... The Invisible Man is a movie produced by Universal Pictures in 1933 and directed by James Whale. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Wolf Man is a 1941 horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner, starring Lon Chaney Jr, Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Bela Lugosi, and Maria Ouspenskaya. ...


Today, Dracula is widely regarded as a classic of the era and of its genre and has been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. The National Film Registry is the registry of films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress. ...


Sequels

This DVD cover for the film shows Lugosi in the role which would type-cast him for the rest of his career.

Five years after the release of the film, Universal released Dracula's Daughter, a direct sequel that starts immediately after the end of the first film. A second sequel, Son of Dracula, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. followed in 1943. Despite his apparent death in the 1931 film, the Count returned to life in three more Universal films of the mid-1940s: 1944's House of Frankenstein, 1945's House of Dracula and 1948's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. While Lugosi had played a vampire in two other movies during the 1930s and 40's, it was only in this final film that he played Count Dracula onscreen for the second (and last) time. DVD cover showing actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the film Dracula. ... DVD cover showing actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the film Dracula. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... Draculas Daughter is a 1936 horror film, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. ... Son of Dracula is an American horror film released in 1943 and directed by Robert Siodmak. ... Lon Chaney, Jr. ... House of Frankenstein was an American horror film produced in 1944 by Universal Studios as part of its ongoing series of monster films. ... House of Dracula was an American horror film released by Universal Studios in 1945. ... Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is a 1948 comedy/horror film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. ...


1998 score by Philip Glass

Due to the short-lived limitations of adding a musical score to a film's soundtrack, during 1930 and 1931, no score had ever been composed specifically for the film. In 1998 minimalist composer Philip Glass was commissioned to compose an original score for the classic film. The score was performed by the Kronos Quartet under direction of Michael Riesman. This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Kronos Quartet in 2006. ...


Of the project, Glass said:

"The film is considered a classic. I felt the score needed to evoke the feeling of the world of the 19th century — for that reason I decided a string quartet would be the most evocative and effective. I wanted to stay away from the obvious effects associated with horror films. With [the Kronos Quartet] we were able to add depth to the emotional layers of the film."

The film, with this new score, was released by Universal Studios Home Video in 1999 in the VHS format. Universal's DVD releases allow the viewer to choose between the unscored soundtrack or the Glass score. Universal Studios logo Universal Studios is a famous Hollywood movie studio located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, which is in the San Fernando Valley. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC) and launched... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ...


The Spanish language version

It the early days of sound, it was common for Hollywood studios to produce Spanish-language versions of their films using the same sets, costumes and etc. Unfortunately, many of these versions no longer exist. The Spanish version of Dracula is an exception. Dracula is a spanish-language version of the more famous Tod Browning directed Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. ...


The Spanish version was included as a bonus feature on the Classic Monster Collection DVD in 1999, the Legacy Collection DVD in 2004 and the 75th Anniversary Edition DVD set in 2006.


Notes

  • The documentary on the Legacy collection points out that there were a number of scenes which were cut from the film, the most famous being an epilogue which only played during the films initial run. In a sequence similar to the prologue from Frankenstein, and again featuring Universal stalwart Edward Van Sloan, he appeared as a narrator to re-assure the audience that what they’d just seen wouldn’t give them nightmares. However, Van Sloan would then calmly inform those with a nervous disposition that… "There really are such things as Vampires!"
  • In an interview with author and horror historian David J. Skal, David Manners (Jonathan Harker) told him that he was so unimpressed with the chaotic production, he never once watched the film in the remaining 67 years of his life.
  • In various scenes set in Castle Dracula, several armadillos are seen wandering around the set. The already mentioned documentary states that this is an in-joke on the part of director Tod Browning, who insisted Castle Dracula contain armadillos (an animal much beloved in his place of birth, Texas), regardless of the fact that they don't occur naturally in Central Europe.
  • In 1935, Tod Browning would go on to direct Bela Lugosi once more in another vampire thriller, Mark of the Vampire (which is in fact a remake of his now lost film London after Midnight).

David Manners as Jonathan Harker in Dracula (1931). ... Mark of the Vampire is a 1935 horror film, starring Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, and Lionel Atwill, and directed by Tod Browning. ... London After Midnight is a 1927 silent horror lost film, starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ...

See also

Dracula is a 1979 horror/romance film starring Frank Langella as Count Dracula. ... Universal Horror DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... A gallery of classic Universal monsters Universal Horror is the name given to the distinctive series of horror films made by Universal Studios in California from the 1920s through to the 1950s. ...

External links

  • EOFFTV - The Universal Dracula series
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Dracula (1931)
 v  d  e Universal Pictures horror movie series
Dracula and other vampires
Dracula (1931) | Dracula's Daughter (1936) | Son of Dracula (1943)
Frankenstein Monster
Frankenstein (1931) | Bride of Frankenstein (1935) | Son of Frankenstein (1939) | The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
The Wolf Man and other werewolves
The Wolf Man (1941) | Werewolf of London (1935) | She-Wolf of London (1946)
Multiple monsters (Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein Monster)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) | House of Frankenstein (1944) | House of Dracula (1945) | Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
The Mummy
The Mummy (1932) | The Mummy's Hand (1940) | The Mummy's Tomb (1942) | The Mummy's Ghost (1944) | The Mummy's Curse (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man (1933) | The Invisible Man Returns (1940) | The Invisible Woman (1940) | Invisible Agent (1942) | The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
The Creature from the Black Lagoon
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) | Revenge of the Creature (1955) | The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
Captive Wild Woman
Captive Wild Woman (1943) | Jungle Woman (1944) | The Jungle Captive (1945)
Edgar Allan Poe
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) | The Black Cat (1934) | The Raven (1935)
The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera (1925) | Phantom of the Opera (1943) | The Climax (1944)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
The Mole People
The Mole People (1956)

 
 

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