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Old September 25 2010, 05:48 PM   #10
Greg Cox
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Yeah, the 1931 DRACULA has aged very badly--and that's coming from one of the world's biggest vampire freaks. It's an incredibly creaky, stagebound production redeemed by a great cast: not just Lugosi, but also Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye.

To be fair, the early Transylvania scenes are nicely creepy and atmospheric, but once Dracula gets to London, the movie turns into the old Balderston-Deane stageplay and gets incredibly static. The whole middle of the movie is pretty much a chamber-room drama, with the characters standing around talking about all the interesting things happening offstage. "Look! Out the window! I just saw a wolf running across the lawn!"

Granted, the Carfax Abbey sets at the ends are pretty cool, and the Renfield's death is nicely staged.

P.S. The 1931 Spanish-language version, which was filmed simultaneously with the Lugosi version, is livelier and arguably better directed. And the actress who plays Lucy wears a much skimpier negligee!

Alas, the guy playing Dracula in the Spanish version is no Lugosi.

Last edited by Greg Cox; September 25 2010 at 06:39 PM.
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