Film 189 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1931’s “Dracula”. This Tod Browning horror is based on Hamilton Deane & John L. Balderston’s play of the same name as well as Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name. The version I watched has the 1998 Philip Glass and The Kronos Quartet musical score. To me, this film wasn’t overly fun to watch. I watched the entire film and was bored for the majority of the film. Bela Lugosi has the constant expression on his face that looks like he’s always mad about everything, the acting wasn’t great and some of the casting is a bit questionable. Why did they cast an American to play a Dutch professor but give him a German accent? Why is his assistant a Yorkshire man being played by an Irishman? This is my third look at Bela after seeing him kill black cats in “The Black Cat” and act as gypsy fortune teller in “The Wolf Man” and for the third time, I wasn’t overly impressed with his performance. It just feels like he does the same performance in ever film I’ve seen him in. When the film was released in 1931, The Film Daily had this to say about Bela Lugosi’s performance in the film, “Bela Lugosi creates one of the most unique and powerful roles of the screen”. Do I need to watch more of his work to see why he people rave about him? Overall, this film is OK but nothing special. Fun Fact of the Film – Within 48 hours of its opening at New York’s Roxy Theatre, “Dracula” sold around 50,000 tickets. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1931’s “Dracula”
Film – Dracula
Year – 1931
Director – Tod Browning & Karl Freund
Written by – Garrett Fort
Based On – “Dracula” (play) by Hamilton Deane & John L. Balderston and “Dracula” (novel) by Bram Stoker
Staring – Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
My Rating – 5/10
Length – 71 min (1h 11min)
Genre – Horror
That background image looks like The Ultimate Warrior’s logo
We open with a group of people in a carriage talking about something
They stop at a local village but one man wants to continue on so he can go to Castle Dracula tonight
Rentfeild seems to be doomed
Out come the dead from their coffins
There’s my connection, I’ll be getting on that
He doesn’t realise that Dracula is the driver
He realises now as Dracula has disapearred and a bat is now the driver
I can’t see a thing
Were those armadillos?
Dracula introduces himself to Rentfield before showing him around
Don’t mind the giant spider web. You’ll get use to them here
Why does Rentfield have a walking stick if he doesn’t use it?
Dracula and Rentfield discuss a lease for Carfax Abbey in London where Dracula is heading the next day
Must… Suck… Blood!!!
Dracula just admitted he’s straight edge
Rentfield faints when he sees a bat
Dracula arrives and tells his three wives to leave
In the middle of the sea on the Vesta heading to England
Rentfield is now a slave to Dracua and both of them are on the ship
They arrive in England and all the crew aboard the ship are dead
I thought we were in London! How did we end up in Whitby?
Now were in London – The text on the screen told us
I don’t want your flower…. I WANT YOU!!!!
Dracula heads to a theatre and is given a box seat
Dracula meets with Seward and gets introduced to Mina, Lucy and Harker
Harker says Carfax Abbey is nothing but a rundown pile of junk
Is it me or Harker looks like the bass player for Fall Out Boy?
At Lucy’s bedroom, her and Mina chat about Dracula
Lucy seems to be in love with Dracula
That night, Dracula enters Lucy’s room and feasts on her blood while shes asleep
Why do hospitals having operating rooms with seats to see the operation?
Meanwhile, Rentfield is obsessed with eating flies and spiders
30 minutes in and we meet Van Helsing
He says the undead have arrived in London
Thanks for explaining what vampires are and what they do
Rentfield arrives and says he wants to be sent away
He wants to be sent away because he thinks his cries might disturb Mina and give her bad dreams
So… Dracula can turn into a bat but has a wolf cry!?!?
Van Helsing shows wolfbane to Rentfield to scare him
Is it me or Bela Lugosi always have the expression on his face that makes him look pissed off?
INTERMISSION – HAVING LUNCH
And I’m back and Dracula has entered Mina’s room
Now Mina is dead… I think so because she’s talking to Harker about last night
Van Helsing overhears this and begins investigaing Mina’s comments
Mina has been bitten and this causes Dracula to arrive for a visit
We don’t say “hi” with handshakes or hugs… we nod our heads and smile
Harker and Van Helsing realise that Dracula doesn’t have a reflection when they look in a mirror
They show Dracula the mirror and he destroys it before leaving
Did Harker come from a game of croquet? Who are his socks so high and his trousers rolled up to his knees?
Mina heads outside to see Dracula
Bad idea – Mina just got attacked by Dracula
Rentfield heard everything and still demands to be sent away
Everyone leaves to check on Mina while Rentfield has fun with a unconsious maid
Meanwhile, Lucy is wondering around a park scaring children
Van Helsing questions Mina about Lucy’s whereabouts
I have no idea what Mina just said – I wasn’t paying attention
Harker says he is taking Mina away to London since vampires don’t exist
Another night arrives and Dracula awakens
Harker is convinced to leave Mina behind keep her with Van Helsing
Rentfield overhears everything again while Van Helsing tells Harker that they have to kill Dracula
Worst…. Doctors… Ever – That or the cells they use to keep Rentfield locked up aren’t built well
Rentfield rants on about being promised rats while Dracula watches on
Why does the doctor have the same acting trades as Eric Idle?
Dracula confronts Van Helsing and says Mina is his
Also, is Van Helsing German? – After a bit of research, he’s actually Dutch – But the guy playing him is from Minnesota
Dracula tries some mind trick but fails
Mina demands the nurse remove all the wolfbane before saying she loves “nights and fogs”
Who needs a nurse when you have a boyfriend?
Mina starts talking to the bat while Harker tries swatting it away
The bat tells Mina to tell Harker to get rid off all the religious crosses in the house and on Van Helsing
Mina is about to attack Harker but Van Helsing arrives to save him
She finally confesses everything about Dracula
So the doctor is being played by a Irishman… Why is he putting on a fake Yorkshire accent?
Dracula arrives to see the nurse who allows him to see Mina
Rentfield has escaped… again and is running around Carfax Abbey
Dracula has Mina and has taken her to his lair
Harker and Van Helsing have found Mina and look on before plotting their attack
Dracula kills Rentfield by choking him and throwing him down some stairs
Dracula then takes Mina away while Harker and Van Helsing chase after him
Van Helsing has found their coffins. They know they that they have to sleep during daylight
Mina isn’t in her coffin!
Time to finish Dracula off one and for all!
Van Helsing has killed Dracula and Mina is back to normal