Dracula (1931)

Dracula (1931)

Tod Browning
Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners

Count Dracula travels to England, where he fixes his attentions on a young woman.

It's a bit daunting to take on one of the heavy hitters in cinema horror. I wasn't a big fan of the '31 version of Frankenstein, so I was worried that I may have a cool reception to this movie as well. I will say that I liked this more than '31 Frankenstein, but it's far from the best adaptation of the story I've seen. Bela Lugosi is good in the title role that made him famous, particularly for the intensity he can deliver with his eyes. I also liked Dwight Frye as Renfield, who appropriated Jonathan's role in the first act, which was one of the few changes to the story I liked. For some reason, Mina is made Dr. Seward's daughter but otherwise mostly retains her original function. I lamented the absence of her suitors, leaving us without a vampire-hunting posse for the finale. Perhaps if it wasn't for the film's iconic status, I might bump it down a rating, but I'm still going to recommend giving this one a watch.

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