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Dracula Details


"I am....Drac-u-la. I bid you velcome." Thus does Bela Lugosi declare his presence in the 1931 screen version of Bram Stoker's Bela Lugosi. Director Tod Browning invests most of his mood and atmosphere in the first two reels, which were based on the original Stoker novel; the rest of the film is a more stagebound translation of the popular stage play by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane. Even so, the electric tension between the elegant Dracula and the vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) works as well on the screen as it did on the stage. And it's hard to forget such moments as the lustful gleam in the eyes of Mina Harker (Helen Chandler) as she succumbs to the will of Dracula, or the omnipresent insane giggle of the fly-eating Renfield (Dwight Frye). Despite the static nature of the final scenes, Bela Lugosi is a classic among horror films, with Bela Lugosi giving the performance of a lifetime as the erudite Count (both Lugosi and co-star Frye would forever after be typecast as a result of this film, which had unfortunate consequences for both men's careers). Compare this Bela Lugosi to the simultaneously filmed Spanish-language version, which makes up for the absence of Lugosi with a stronger sense of visual dynamics in the lengthy dialogue sequences. In 1999, a special rerelease of Bela Lugosi was prepared featuring a new musical score written by Philip Glass and performed by The Kronos Quartet. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:February 12, 1931


Bela Lugosi
as Count Dracula
Helen Chandler
as Mina Seward
David Manners
as John Harker
Dwight Frye
as Renfield
Edward Van Sloan
as Dr. Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston
as Dr. Seward
Frances Dade
as Lucy Weston
Charles Gerrard
as Martin
Lupita Tovar
Michael Visaroff
as Innkeeper
Barry Norton
Carmen Guerrero


Tod Browning
Tod Browning
Carl Laemmle, Jr.
Hamilton Deane
Play Author
Karl W. Freund
Maurice Pivar
Charles Hall
Art Director