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In 1951 the British Board of Film Censors introduced the X certificate, which restricted admission to the designated films to people over the age of sixteen. Most British film makers tended to shun X certificate material, but Hammer Films bucked this trend when they achieved considerable box office success with two X certificate films, namely 'The Quatermass Experiment' (1955) and 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (1957). After Hammer's success with their adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel, in 1958 they decided to tackle the other great nineteenth century horror classic, Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. The X certificate classification allowed the director Terence Fisher the freedom to film scenes in which stakes are plunged into the hearts of vampires, and the vampires themselves bare their fangs whilst looming over their victims' necks.
Jimmy Sangster's screenplay is true to the spirit, if not the letter of Bram Stoker's novel. In the book, Jonathan Harker is an estate agent who visits Castle Dracula to sell a London property to the count. It takes Harker quite a while in the novel to discover the truth about his host. Since the movie has a relatively short running time of 81 minutes, in order to speed up the development of the plot Harker is a vampire hunter in the film. He takes a job as a librarian at Castle Dracula in order to hunt down and kill the count. Other changes to the book are less easy to explain. In the novel, Lucy is engaged to Arthur Holmwood, but in this film version Lucy is Arthur's sister.
The music score composed by James Bernard and the cinematography of Jack Asher help to create the film's suspense and underscore the moments of terror. Of particular note is Dracula's first appearance in dark shadow at the top of a flight of stairs. Christopher Lee has genuine screen presence as the count, and he successfully combines menace and sexual allure. As Dr Van Helsing, Peter Cushing is outstanding. He conveys an air of calm authority in scenes like the one in which he questions the innkeeper about the whereabouts of Jonathan Harker, but he is also able to show intense emotion, as in the reaction shot of him looking at the death of Dracula. In conclusion, this is not only a classic of horror cinema, it is a true cinema classic.
The American Warner Brothers DVD subdivides the film into twenty six chapters. The viewer is able to access subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portugese. The cast and crew feature is minimal, only listing four members of the cast, along with the writer, director and producer. 'Dracula Lives Again' provides a brief history of the Hammer Dracula franchise. It contains inaccuracies. For example, we are told that in 'The Brides of Dracula', "Cushing returns as Van Helsing fighting a brother/sister team of vampires." In fact Baroness and Baron Meinster are mother and son rather than brother and sister. The other bonus is the original cinema trailer, which provides an entertaining distillation of the main feature in less than three minutes.
A great movie,Dracula (1958),Starring Mr Peter Cushing and Mr Christopher Lee. Van Helsing,( Cushing)travels to where Dracula lives to find a friend,who has disappeared,and finds him dead with bite marks on his neck. So starts a reign of terror,in the small town,it takes Van Helsing to kill Dracula within his own house. Brilliant dvd. Great service and delivery from this seller.
This is the second of these old Hammer Dracula films i have bought as i first viewed them many yeays ago as a young man so liked the idear to view again this one being the first release and very good. The film i best remember with Christopher Lee playing Dracula is the one where in the final scene he falls from his castle and and ends up impaled on a large crucifix cross with loud emotive clasical music playing at his end but what is this film called as its the one i most wanted but can not remember its title to buy,does any one out there know this films title ???
I like horror films especially actor Christopher Lee. It was very sad about his death last year aged 93 but had a good long life. I had a look for Horror Of Dracula on amazon and it was there. Horror films are very good especially the old one's with Christopher Lee.
I remember seeing this film when I was 17 years old. At that age things make a huge impact. Off course I knew that vampires did not really exist, but started to look behind me all the time It pleased me to see that the film was in such good condition, nice sound, nice colours. It took me right back to my youth, but now on the couch with a glass of wine and not in aan obscure cinema a must for people who like horror!
Peter Cushing and Christopher lee what else can be said about the old Dracula movies BRILLLIANT and kept you entertained ,this is the first one I have of Dracula on dvd the rest are vhs hard to find the dvd,s to replace them but I will persevere and build up my collection ,if like me and you were brought up watching these movies ,take a trip down memory lane n add this to your dvd collection it's worth it.
"Far and away the best Dracula movie yet made" - Matthew Mercy there says it all, really. The later Hammer Draculas grew more and more hackneyed, ending up as absolutely dreadful, but this first one is full of vigour, solid acting and a good storyline.
The Region 1 DVD at £3 is an absolute steal. Very happy buyer here.
This is an excellent adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, it doesn't remain as loyal to the book as other adaptations do but still, it's excellent! Peter Cushing is the best Van Helsing and Christopher Lee is the best Dracula, undoubtedly. On the DVD, the quality of the sound and footage is excellent, no scratches, this is overall and excellent release.
The benchmark Hammer horror with the best Dracula ever and to date the greatest van Helsing. Story telling, characterisation, electric pace and an erotic undertone that never descends into smut. A masterwork.