Friday, October 07, 2005

Dracula

"Dracula" was the first horror film that Universal made~~at least during the sound era!
It wasn't Bela Lugosi's first movie. Lugosi's portrayal of the Transylvanian Terror did put him, blood-sucking vampires, and Eastern Europe on the map for generations of horror fans to come!
(This may be Helen Chandler as Mina but who can tell at that angle?!))
"Dracula" was as much a departure from Bram Stoker's novel as "Frankenstein" was from Mary Shelley's book but out of necessity to be translated to the silver screen.
Fortunately, however, "Dracula" came out before "Frankenstein" did.
Miss Maven considers "Dracula" as a gottahave movie but it does play out like a stage production where "Frankenstein" comes across with much more vitality.
Plus Boris Karloff was the superior actor who gave his Frankenstein Monster an incredible pathos without saying one word.
The Dracula sets were also used for the Spanish-language version starring Carlos Villarias (as Carlos Villar) playing the Count and Lupita Tovar as Eva (replacing Helen Chandler as Mina).
This production is visually more exciting because it frequently used different camera angles and often imaginatively at that.
Miss Maven considers this to be a gottahave, especially since it now comes with sub-titles for those of us who are bilingually challenged!
Note: The Spanish version was one of Lupita Tovar's first movies. (She was not only lucky enough to get the role but the producer as well. Tovar married Paul Kohner the next year.)
Her last role was ironically in "The Crime Doctor's Courage" (1945) as what Miss Maven has affectionately refers to as part of the "dancing vampire" team in that movie.
The suspense in this movie will be why you're sitting there fascinated, wondering if you're really spending time watching it!
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