Friday, January 20, 2006

John Carradine as Dracula

John Carradine wrote about being Dracula in his introduction to House of Dracula (The Original Shooting Script) [edited by Philip Riley; MagicImage Filmbooks, Volume 16; 1993; pages 11 - 12):
. . . To date, I have the distinction of being the only actor who looked the part as visualized by Bram Stoker in 1897. Dracula was a Magyar. When he first appears to Jonathan Harker he is an old man with long white hair and a moustache. It would have been impossible to speak lines with a mouth full of sharp teeth, so I settled on the long hair and white moustache. The studio [Universal] refused to allow me to keep the long hair, but the moustache remained. For some reason they needed to make the character in the mold of the Wolf Man for the second film [House of Frankenstein, 1944 and House of Dracula, 1945]. I played the character as evil as possible for I learned long ago that if I wanted to continue to eat, villains find steadier work than artists. the The public will remember a villain. The story writer[Curt Siodmak] of the first film at least had talent and credibility. He knew what he was writing about for he came from the are where the legends were told around gypsy campfires. However the scriptwriter knew as much about the characters as his paycheck would allow! They ended up making Dracula a type of dope fiend. Instead of existing as the traditional vampire, he now was seeking out the help of a doctor to cure him of his vampirism by the use of modern medical means. But instead the doctor's blood gets contaminated by the vampire and he becomes evil.
[John Carradine, Martha O'Driscoll and Lon Chaney, Jr., with his sons on the set of House of Dracula]
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful post , thanks Virginia. And also thanks for the rare photo as well.

ghost aka Mike Battles

10:03 AM  

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