Monday, June 1, 2009

Dracula (1931)

"Dracula", as everyone knows, is the story of Count Dracula, the vampire.  He travels to London and puts a young woman under his thrall.  Professor Van Helsing knows all there is to know about vampires and he soon discovers what Dracula really is.  His mission is to destroy Dracula and save the girl under his thrall.

"Dracula" is the first talking horror film.  It is incredibly eerie, especially the first 15 minutes.  The first 15 minutes has some of the best stuff Universal has ever produced.  Movies back in 1931 did not have musical scores and this really helps "Dracula".  There are long scenes without any sound except for rats squeaking and armadillos rustling.  Just hearing these sounds and seeing the image of Dracula is frightening.

"Dracula" is Bela Luogsi's most famous role.  He will forever be known as Dracula.  When a person thinks of Dracula, Lugosi comes to mind.  Lugosi and Dracula are one in the same.  His performance is nothing short of brilliant.  His hypnotic eyes and spider like fingers just add to the great performance.  The way he speaks is even amazing.  Not only does he have that very distinguishable accent, but his pace is so strange and unworldly.  

Dwight Frye is also amazing in the movie.  He plays Dracula's minion, Renfield.  His lunacy is incredible.  How he goes on and on about how much he prefers to eat spiders over flies is just one example of how crazy this character really is.  It really is one of the best performances in film history.

"Dracula" could have easily been forgotten over time.  It is a bit slow and dated.  It is really like watching a stage play on film.  But thanks to the hauntingly eerie performance from Lugosi, "Dracula" will be remembered for all time.

A-  I recommend it.

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