Vampire Week–Day 1: Dracula (1979)
There are a lot of movies about Dracula and Vampires over the years and many if not most are pretty damned crappy. Well it is my pleasure to say that the 1979 release of Dracula is a great telling of the Dracula story.
Staring staring Frank Langella in the title role of Dracula, the movie tells the story of the infamous count after relocating to Victorian England. Shipwrecked on the shores of the town he was moving to, Dracula is found on the shore by Mina Van Helsing (portrayed by Jan Francis). Later, to thank Mina for saving his life, Dracula visits the house of Doctor Jack Seward (Donald Pleasance), where Mina is staying while visiting the Doctor’s daughter, Lucy Seward (Kate Nelligan). While visiting Mina has a spell, and while Doctor Seward is quick to suggest a dose of Laudanum, the Count suggests he try to help her, and quickly puts Mina under a hypnotic spell. While under, he commands that she listens to him, and tells her she’ll fell no pain upon waking. Releasing her from the trance, Mina wakes feeling fantastic. Later that night, while Lucy and her lover (and Dracula’s lawyer), Jonathan Harker (Trevor Eve) are fooling around, Dracula appears to Mina in her room, revealing himself to be that Vampire that he is, and drains her of her blood. The following morning Mina passes away while struggling for breath. While everyone is upset, Mina was known to be sickly. Doctor Seward calls for Mina’s Father, Professor Abraham Van Helsing (the great Sir Laurence Olivier), so as to attend her funeral. Upon arriving, Doctor Seward fills in Professor Van Helsing on the nature of his daughter’s death – a great loss of blood. Investigating, Van Helsing starts to suspect a Vampire is the culprit in his death, and does his best to convince Doctor Seward and Jonathan of this also. Meanwhile, Dracula is now casting his spell on Jonathan’s love interest and Doctor Seward’s daughter, Lucy.
Well, I just realized that if I continue as I was above, I would just tell you the entire movie and there would be no need for you to watch it (yeah, right – I don’t write that well). So let me say that I have no problem saying that I think that this is one of the best re-telling of the classic Dracula story. Frank Langella is masterful in his portrayal of the Count. In fact all the actors do a great job in all their roles. Director John Badham does a great job creating moods through lighting and colour – just fantastic.
I think you get the point: I like this movie. Check out the trailer below, and then go find a copy on Blu-ray (or whatever you watch movies on in your dwelling).