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Stylish adaptation with more emphasis on romance than horror; in itself an above-average movie, but quite harmless.
An overlooked classic with all the elements of a great film. Frank Langella shines as Dracula portraying the role as more human and romantic. The cinematography is stunning communicating a dark gothic look to the picture. John William's talents are used to their fullest as he delivers his most majestic and beautiful score to date. The films story of the king of vampires diverts from previous tellings, but that is what makes "Dracula 1979" so special.
Lavishly produced Dracula adaptation is a mixed bag, but there are enough positives to outweigh the weaker elements. On the plus side, Frank Langell is wonderfully suave and also quietly menacing as The Count. The production design is terrifically atmospheric, aided by moody photography by Gilbert Taylor (the same guy who shot "Dr. Strangelove," "The Omen," "Flash Gordon," and the original "Star Wars"). There's also a strong supporting cast that includes Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing, Kate Nelligan, Donald Pleasence, and the seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. Top that off with a John Williams score and a smart script by W.D. Richter (the guy who directed cult classic "Buckaroo Banzai") and it's hard to imagine this film going far wrong. On the downside, the film is not particularly scary and instead is more of a bland gothic romance where the characters all seem rather cold, which weakens the the romantic elements and results in the audience never fully engage the romantic drama. Still, it's a gorgeous production that is a must see for fans of the oft filmed Bram Stoker tale.
Overall the plot is a bit undercooked, but Langella's performance is legendary for a reason.
John Badham shot this lavish, beautifully staged rendition of a popular theatrical production of Dracula. It's easy to tell that no expense was spared in the costumes, set pieces, or backdrops (Universal even sprang for a John Williams score).While this film shows little faithfulness to the Bram Stoker novel that it's rooted in, it does have some bold notes of Gothic melodrama and it features striking turns from Frank Langella as the Count and Laurence Olivier as Abraham Van Helsing. This movie was largely passed on by both audiences and critics at the time, but it has built up a minor cult audience in the ensuing decades and there are definitely aspects of it that make it stand apart from all the many, many Dracula movies out there.
I had not sat down to watch this since I saw it in the theaters back in 79. There were several moments in the theater where I felt they captured some of the chills that should be part of this. Seeing the new muted color version on DVD I was even less impressed. There are still some fine elements, but with this cast one would have hoped for magic and all we get are a few nice moments.
Ambitious 1979 version of the classic tale has distinguished Count shipwrecked upon travelling to Britain and encountering Van Helsing. Langella does well in the title role; based more on the stage adaptation (which Langella played) rather than the novel. Unfortunately released around the same time as Werner Herzog's Nosferatu.
I liked this take on Dracula, and this was my first viewing. Frank Langella gives an interesting take, his Dracula is more a seducer than a killer. I like the style of it as well. And you have Donald Pleasance and Sir Laurence Olivier rounding out the cast, so definitely worth a watch for fans of the character.
Whenever i think classic Dracula... i think Frank, sorry Bela.
An ok telling of the vampire classic but out of the many Dracula movies we've seen this is the lest recommended because its more of the setting through a romance that becomes more dangerous in the less violence way and more scary through the darkness of the film, the imagery is very tense but the stry along with acting is very mild and doesn't quite live up to its expectations even as a love story set in a time where violence and dangerous things are happening and one vampire is set to take the woman he loves away from her family. This isn't a bad movie but I wouldn't say its a great movie either, its flawed and has many mistakes along the way while you watch it that effect the story and somehow ruin the experience even through its a 70's showcase of what the story will be and how the love conquers all in the plot. Its not a thriller or a real case telling of Dracula either its a hardcore kind of silly romance that stays on one path through scary imagery and dark settings through a dark visions of the 70's and never gets away from that, and its also quite boring in some scene that presents a flat narrative also. "Two Thumbs Down"I couldn't get into this movie, its an ok movie that the first in romance horror, but very misleading in parts also.