Posted on 12/15/12 01:42 PM
This old classic which broke new land for a new genre of horror movies (vampire movies), is definitely essential, a must for calling yourself movie-literate. Bela Lugosi became a household name in 1931 as count Dracula.
It's was the first vampire movie, though, which is important to point out.
Today, we're used to other measures of horror and fright in movies, so this original version of Dracula may not scare the hell out of you exactly the way it did to people once it was first released, but it's interesting to watch because it's made right in the beginning when they started to used sound in movies. It's very theatrical in it's character and not that faithful to Bram Stoker's book which the character is based on.
The director Tod Browning used a certain technique, filming Lugosi from the underside, with dark settings, and by that highlighting Lugosi's pale skin and black piercing eyes. You can see many similarities with german expressionism, with the using of lights and shadows.
The dark and foggy victorian environments are just according to the book, and idealistic for any horror movie.
Dracula is the "monster figure" that's been portrayed the most times, but I claim that Bela Lugosi's is the most iconic. His white pale skin, pitch black hair, dark piercing eyes and east-european accent are just perfect for the role.
Helen Chandler is the name of the actress that plays the vulnerable Mina, whom count Dracula is sneaking around her window (in shape as a bat).
Favorite quote is;
-"I never dreenk vine..." (He prefers the REAL THING, blood, of course ;)
I'm not sure if it's true, but rumors say that Bela Lugosi was actually buried in his Dracula cape.