Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

R | 123 mins | Horror, Romance | 1992

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HISTORY

Early production reports, including those in 28 May 1991 HR , 14 Jun 1991 Screen International and 17 Jun 1991 Var news items, identified the film by the title, Dracula: The Untold Story . The early title alluded to Francis Ford Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart's incorporation of Dracula's real-world inspiration, Vlad "The Impaler," into Bram Stoker's tale. Additionally, the title suggested a "complete" telling of Stoker's novel, something that had not been attempted by previous film adaptations. Production notes in a 27 Sep 1991 Screen International identified the complete U.S. title as Bram Stoker's Dracula . Additionally, the abbreviated title Dracula is commonly used.
       The film drew inspiration directly from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel. Many earlier Dracula pictures, on the other hand, were adapted from the stage play, which Hamilton Deane first adapted from Stoker's novel and John L. Balderson later revised for a 1927 Broadway production. The most notable of these early play-based film adaptations is the 1931 Dracula , directed by Tod Browning and starring Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi in a reprisal of his stage performance (see entry). Like other adaptations, Browning's film significantly abridged the narrative and excised central characters. Coppola's version, however, reintroduces characters typically lost in film adaptations, including Lucy's suitors, Arthur Holmwood and Quincey P. Morris, and Dracula's gypsy helpers, the Tartars. Additionally, the film maintains the bulk of the novel's storyline, including Dracula's visit to London and subsequent flight back to Transylvania following his exposure by Van Helsing.
       While Sadie Frost's credit reads "Introducing," the actress had appeared in numerous earlier motion picture and television productions. In ... More Less

Early production reports, including those in 28 May 1991 HR , 14 Jun 1991 Screen International and 17 Jun 1991 Var news items, identified the film by the title, Dracula: The Untold Story . The early title alluded to Francis Ford Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart's incorporation of Dracula's real-world inspiration, Vlad "The Impaler," into Bram Stoker's tale. Additionally, the title suggested a "complete" telling of Stoker's novel, something that had not been attempted by previous film adaptations. Production notes in a 27 Sep 1991 Screen International identified the complete U.S. title as Bram Stoker's Dracula . Additionally, the abbreviated title Dracula is commonly used.
       The film drew inspiration directly from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel. Many earlier Dracula pictures, on the other hand, were adapted from the stage play, which Hamilton Deane first adapted from Stoker's novel and John L. Balderson later revised for a 1927 Broadway production. The most notable of these early play-based film adaptations is the 1931 Dracula , directed by Tod Browning and starring Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi in a reprisal of his stage performance (see entry). Like other adaptations, Browning's film significantly abridged the narrative and excised central characters. Coppola's version, however, reintroduces characters typically lost in film adaptations, including Lucy's suitors, Arthur Holmwood and Quincey P. Morris, and Dracula's gypsy helpers, the Tartars. Additionally, the film maintains the bulk of the novel's storyline, including Dracula's visit to London and subsequent flight back to Transylvania following his exposure by Van Helsing.
       While Sadie Frost's credit reads "Introducing," the actress had appeared in numerous earlier motion picture and television productions. In addition to his role as "Van Helsing," Hopkins appears in the film's opening Draculea backstory sequence as a Church authority (identified as Caesar in American Zoetrope cast listings). Hopkins also voices the narration for the Captain of the Demeter's log. However, he is uncredited onscreen for these roles. Also, Gary Oldman is identified only as "Dracula" in the film's closing credits. However, when his character stamps paperwork solidifying his purchase of the Carfax Abbey property his signature reads: "Vlad Draculea." A 27 Nov 1992 BAM (Bay Area Music) news item disclosed that Lux Interior (pseudonym of Erick Lee Purkhiser) of the punk band, The Cramps, performed the post-production screams and dubbing work for Gary Oldman. He does not receive onscreen credit for this work. The end credits contain the acknowledgement: "Electronic Cinema in cooperation with Sony Corporation."
       It is popularly believed that the historical Wallacian prince, Vlad III Dracula (1431-1476), was the inspiration for Stoker's title character. The film overtly makes this connection by incorporating Vlad III into the narrative, establishing him as a historical figure, and showing his transformation into the vampire Dracula. In her book Vampires , Charlotte Montague explains Dracula was the second son of Prince Vlad II Dracul (1393-1447). Vlad II was anointed with the name "Dracul," which literally translated means "dragon," after his induction into the royal society the "Order of the Dragon." As his son, Vlad III took the name Dracula, or "son of the dragon." The historical Dracula waged war against the overwhelming Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire, as the movie depicts. During these battles he earned yet another name "Vlad Tepes," or "Vlad the Impaler," because Dracula and his forces employed impalement as torture and intimidation techniques. Interestingly, Montague reveals that "Dracul" also translates to "devil," which feeds into both the mythology of "Vlad the Impaler" and the classic incarnation of Stoker's Dracula. Finally, the backstory sequence that opens the film and establishes the historic foundation for the Dracula-Mina love story is also rooted in history. Dracula was married to a woman that threw herself from their castle into the river below. However, Montague suggests that the princess did this to avoid being captured by the Turks besieging her castle, rather than out of grief over the believed death of her husband. After the death of his first wife, Dracula converted to Catholicism, remarried a Hungarian countess, fathered two sons, and eventually died in a battle near Bucharest in 1476.
       According to a brief 16 Nov 1992 Var news item, what eventually became the Coppola-directed motion picture Bram Stoker's Dracula was initially intended to be a cable television movie with Michael Apted scheduled to direct, under producer Robert O'Connor . However, once Coppola and Winona Ryder joined the project, Apted's and O'Connor's roles were minimized and both were re-designated executive producers. The article further claimed that Apted and O'Conner contributed little to the final product and, instead, received their credits for "stepping aside." Bram Stoker's Dracula was the first film Coppola and Ryder made together. A 28 Feb 1991 HR article explained that Ryder was originally cast in Coppola's previous film, The Godfather Part III , in which she was set to play Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) daughter "Mary." However, Ryder pulled out just before production and was replaced by Coppola's own daughter, Sofia Coppola. A 20 Nov 1992 EW article explained that Ryder presented Coppola with a copy of Hart's script during a meeting in Coppola's office, which the director scheduled with Ryder to let her know he was not angry with her for backing out of Godfather, Part III . This same EW article reported that Coppola produced an early conceptualization film comprised of storyboard illustrations, clips from other movies like Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast , and reproductions of works by symbolist painters like Gustav Klimt set to music. Coppola used the film, along with examples from art books and the suggestion to think "weird," to convey to the design team the look and tone he wanted for the picture.
       The 28 Feb 1991 HR article identified a number of vampire projects under production consideration at the time, including four Warner Bros. projects: Innocent Blood, Red Sleep , an untitled sequel to the 1987 Joel Schumacher-directed The Lost Boys , and an adaptation of Anne Rice's novel Interview With a Vampire . In the end, only Innocent Blood and Interview With a Vampire (see entries) were produced. However, a The Lost Boys sequel, subtitled The Tribe , was released straight to home video under the Warner Premiere banner in 2008. Additionally, Paramount Pictures was working on two vampire projects: Nightland and a sequel to the 1979 George Hamilton Dracula spoof Love at First Bite titled Blue Blood , neither of which was ultimately produced.
       According to a 14 Jun 1991 Screen International news item, Coppola released Oldman from the title role and was instead seeking a screen newcomer as his replacement. It is unclear exactly when Oldman returned to the project. A 18 Nov 1991 Var news item identified Laura Dern and Juliette Lewis as early considerations for the role of "Lucy." However, the piece suggested the actresses passed on the role because it was too "racy."
       A 17 Jun 1991 Var article projected the film's production budget at $30 million. However, a 20 Nov 1992 EW article as well as the website, Box Office Mojo , priced the production budget at $40 million. According to a 27 Sep 1991 Screen International news item, Dracula was the first film in a three-year first-look deal between Coppola's American Zoetrope banner and Columbia Pictures.
       A 28 Feb 1991 HR article suggested that production was to begin shooting in Jun 1991. A 28 May 1991 HR news item later announced that shooting for the film, still identified as Dracula: "The Untold Story" , was scheduled for Aug 1991 in Los Angeles. Production finally commenced on 14 Oct 1991 in Culver City, CA, according to a 22 Oct 1991 HR production chart. A 7 Aug 1991 DV news item reported rumors that Coppola's film might be preemptively cancelled due to excessive cost. However, Coppola and then-Columbia chairman Frank Price denied the rumors and expressed anticipation for the future collaboration.
       According to a 20 Nov 1992 EW article, the production acquired the nickname "Bonfire of the Vampires," due to negative rumors about production hardships and budgeting issues. The article confirmed the rumor that Coppola fired veteran set designer Dante Ferrette and "hired a young nobody to start designing sets from scratch, just six weeks before shooting." It also confirmed that for a time Oldman and Ryder did not get along with one another. The EW article also included the following production details: production designer Tom Sanders recalled seeing a river of blood flowing between two Sony Studios sound stages on the Culver City lot. According to Sanders, the blood, which leaked from the Dracula set, drew complaints from passers-by making their way across the lot. Additionally, the 20 Nov 1992 EW article reported that Coppola hired acting coach Greta Seacat to serve as a mediary between him and female cast members Ryder and Frost when addressing issues of sexuality and nudity, subjects the director admitted he did not feel comfortable discussing with young females.
       Coppola's twenty-seven-year-old son, Roman, who served as the film's second unit director, also researched early-era special effects for use in the production. Roman is credited with acquiring the 1905 hand-cranked Pathé camera used to reproduce the late nineteenth-century film-look for certain shots. In a 24 Nov 1992 Village Voice interview with Manohla Dargis, Coppola explained that he wanted to channel the classic visual effects of early filmmakers like Murnau and Pabst. He explained that many effects were "in-camera opticals, or [done] with mirrors." The production could not film the London-set scenes in London because of budget constraints. These scenes were also shot on the Pathé camera to give them an antiquated film-look and the "feel of old London."
       A 3 Sep 1992 DV news item reported that two days of extra shooting began on 3 Sep 1992 for an extra scene, suggested to be an opening sequence featuring co-star Keanu Reeves and new cast member Jay Robinson. Another late-production scene with Anthony Hopkins was shot a month prior. The news item also revealed that composer Anton Coppola, uncle of the director, led a 100-piece orchestra in the recording of the film's score on 2 Sep 1992. A 30 Mar 1993 DV news item, citing Best Sound Effects Recording winners Tom C. McCarthy and David E. Stone, revealed that Dracula's sound was initially set at Sony/Columbia and finished in Coppola's personal mixing room in Napa, CA.
       Early production gossip in a 18 Nov 1991 Var item suggested that the production was on its way to receiving a possible NC-17 MPAA rating, due to risqué scenes between Gary Oldman and Sadie Frost (who plays Mina's seductive best friend, Lucy). Coppola did not address these scenes in the 20 Nov 1992 EW article, in which he claimed he did not edit much out of the film in reaction to MPAA viewings. The director elaborated that the MPAA asked him to cut out some of the explicit drawings in the illustrated version of Arabian Nights viewed by Mina and Lucy. Additionally, Coppola identified three specific scenes that were either trimmed down or cut out of the picture entirely because they were too "excessive": a scene in which Ryder is submerged in a room of blood; a scene in which Dracula dissolves into a giant blood clot; and, a scene in which one of Dracula's brides runs down a corridor carrying a baby which she is about to devour. A 7 Jun 1992 LAT article added that the production reduced the amount of blood in the film and added additional footage after an advanced screening in San Diego reportedly moved viewers to vomiting. However, a "person close to the production" attributed the amendments to an attempt to clarify the story structure and the 20 Nov 1992 EW article discredited claims that test screening audience members were throwing up in the aisles. The 7 Jun 1992 LAT article reported that audiences at the San Diego screening were divided over the film "either loving or hating it."
       In a 8 Nov 1992 LAT letter to the editor Coppola refuted and responded to claims made by Jane Galbraith in a 25 Oct 1992 review of an early version of the film. The director pointed out that the early version did not contain all of the scenes and dialog included in the final version of the film and that additional scenes were shot around Sep or Oct 1992 as part of "routine 'cleanup' of shots."
       A 3 Sep 1992 Var news item announced that the film would premiere ahead of schedule on 10 Nov 1992 at Mann's Chinese Theater, thus avoiding a debut conflict with Spike Lee's biopic Malcolm X (see entry). The premiere benefitted the American Film Institute.
       The film was officially released on Friday the 13th Nov 1992. It opened to impressive box office numbers and mixed critical reception. According to Box Office Mojo , the film debuted at number one, in 2,491 theaters, with a total weekend gross of $30,521,679. The site puts the final domestic gross at $82,522,790 with an additional foreign gross of $133,339,902. While the film was a financial success, critical reception was varied. For example, in a 9 Nov 1992 DV review, critic Todd McCarthy praised the film's technical majesty, describing it as a "sumptuous engorgement of the senses." However, McCarthy also cited the familiar plotting, Coppola's "coldly magisterial style," and Gary Oldman's plain looks as hindrances to the film's central love story. Andy Klein, in a 30 Jul 1993 Reader review similarly chastised the narrative's "idiot plot mechanics," adding to his list of grievances: lack of scares, inconsistent casting, and the various manifestations of Dracula that fail to coalesce into a comprehensible character. Nonetheless, Klein classified it a "classic example of an interesting failure" in great part due to the film's unique style. Critics generally praised the film's visual aspects, including costuming, production design, makeup, and cinematography.
       In an AMC Filmsite article on horror films, author Tim Dirks identified Dracula as the most frequently portrayed horror character, with nearly two hundred identified performances, according to Guinness World Records . Coppola took on another classic horror movie monster two years later as the producer of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (see entry).
       In a 26 Jan 1992 LAT article, former Bantam Books executive Esther Margolis explained the "special" case of Columbia's exclusive book deal with her Newmarket Press: because Bram Stoker's novel is in the public domain, copyright restrictions no longer apply. However, Columbia signed a publishing deal with Newmarket that gave the publisher the right to use the film's artwork and studio logo on the book cover. Margolis estimated a first publishing run between 200,000 and 300,000 copies to coincide with the film's release. Margolis also revealed that her company was publishing a "behind-the-scenes" coffee table book highlighting the film's "lavish production values."
       Topps trading card company published an official four-part comic book adaption, titled Bram Stoker's Dracula . Authored by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Mike Mignola, the mini-series incorporated the look of the film's characters. At least some copies of the comic books came with Topps-brand Bram Stoker's Dracula trading cards and behind-the-scenes photos and interviews.
       In 1993, a video game adaptation also titled Bram Stoker's Dracula released in the U.S. to PC and a number of home video game consoles. According to the video game site Giant Bomb , the game was developed by Psygnosis, Traveller's Tales, and Probe Entertainment and published by Sony Imagesoft and Psygnosis. A pinball machine was also created.


The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Michael Thielvoldt, a student at University of Texas at Austin, with Tom Schatz as academic advisor.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BAM (Bay Area Music)
27 Nov 1992.
---
Daily Variety
7 Aug 1991.
---
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
9 Nov 1992.
---
Daily Variety
30 Mar 1993.
---
Entertainment Weekly
20 Nov 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 May 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 1992
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jan 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
7 Jun 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Oct 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Nov 1992
p. 1.
New York Times
13 Nov 1992
p. 1.
Reader
30 Jul 1993.
---
Screen International
14 Jun 1991.
---
Screen International
27 Sep 1991.
---
Variety
17 Jun 1991.
---
Variety
18 Nov 1991.
---
Variety
3 Sep 1992.
---
Variety
9 Nov 1992
p. 62.
Variety
16 Nov 1992.
---
Village Voice
24 Nov 1992.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Visual eff/2d unit dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d unit 1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir, Miniature unit
2d unit 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, Miniature unit
Steadicam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Cam asst, Miniature unit
Video asst
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit
Chief lighting tech, Miniature unit
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech, 2d unit
Asst chief lighting tech, Miniature unit
Key grip
Key grip, 2d unit
Key grip, Miniature unit
Best boy, Miniature unit
Best boy grip
Best boy grip, 2d unit
Dolly grip
Dolly grip, 2d unit
Still photog
Filmed with
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Design collaboration
Art dir
Art dept coord
Illustrator
Illustrator
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Assoc ed montage, American Zoetrope unit
Asst montage ed, American Zoetrope unit
Apprentice montage, American Zoetrope unit
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Prop master
Prop master, 2d unit
Asst prop master
Const coord
Gen foreman
Leadman
Head painter
Stand-by painter
Greensman
Staff shop supv
Sr set des
COSTUMES
Cost des
Assoc cost des
Asst cost des
Asst to cost des
Men's ward
Men's set cost
Men's cost, 2d unit
Women's ward
Women's set cost
Women's cost, 2d unit
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus supv and ed
Orch cond
Asst mus ed
Mus contractor
Copyist
Dir, Los Angeles Master Chorale
Spec vocal performances
SOUND
Sd des
Asst sd des, American Zoetrope unit
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Spec sd eff ed, American Zoetrope unit
Supv foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Addl sd eff
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley walker
Foley walker
ADR group coord
Prod mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Scoring, foley & ADR services by
Culver City, California
Temp sd mix ed, American Zoetrope unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec makeup eff created and applied by
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Spec makeup eff asst
Visual eff supv
Spec mechanical eff supv
Spec mechanical eff foreman
Chief sculptor
Visual eff asst
Spec eff foreman, 2d unit
Chief model maker, Miniature unit
Spec visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Fantasy II Film Effects
Visual eff supv, Fantasy II Film Effects
Cam op, Fantasy II Film Effects
Opt supv, Fantasy II Film Effects
Matte artist supv, Matte World
Dir of matte photog, Matte World
Exec in charge of prod, Matte World
Matte cam op, Matte World
Visual eff supv, (Colossal) Pictures
Visual eff photog, (Colossal) Pictures
Eff prod, (Colossal) Pictures
Eff prod, (Colossal) Pictures
Opt supv, (Colossal) Pictures
Addl visual eff by
Addl visual eff by
VCE Inc.
Addl visual eff by
VCE Inc.
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup and hair des
Head makeup artist
Sp makeup application
Makeup
Makeup, 2d unit
Head hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist, 2d unit
Mr. Oldman's hairstylist and wigmaker
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Addl casting
Addl casting
Addl casting
2d unit scr supv
Research
Dial coach
Dialect coach
Silverfish op
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Asst to Mr. Coppola
Asst to Mr. Coppola
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Tech supv, American Zoetrope unit
Tech support, American Zoetrope unit
Tech support, American Zoetrope unit
Defensive coord, American Zoetrope unit
Historical consultant, American Zoetrope unit
Roumanian consultant, American Zoetrope unit
Craft service
Process compositing by
Religious consultant
Contact lens consultant
Contact lens consultant
Movement for the brides by
Project conceptualist
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation capt, 2d unit
Animal trainer
Horse wrangler
Puppet coord/Builder
Main shadow des
Mechanical puppet des/Builder
Dracula's armour manufactured by
DGA trainee
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Furs by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
ANIMATION
Addl anim by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker (New York, 1899).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Love Song for a Vampire (From 'Bram Stoker's Dracula')" produced by Stephen Lipson, written and performed by Annie Lennox, courtesy of BMG Ariola Muenchen GmbH
"Exeloume," written and performed by Diamanda Galàs, courtesy of Mute Records Limited, by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dracula: The Untold Story
Dracula
Release Date:
1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 13 November 1992
New York opening: week of 13 November 1992
Production Date:
began 14 October 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 November 1992
Copyright Number:
PA583894
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
123
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31381
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1462, Constantinople has fallen to the Turks. As heathens storm Europe, a Romanian knight from Transylvania known as Draculea rises to meet them. Draculea triumphs over the seemingly insurmountable force. However, before he can report his victory, the Turks send false news of Draculea's death to his kingdom, which pushes Draculea's love, Elisabeta, to leap to her death. After Draculea returns home, a priest tells him that Elisabeta is eternally damned by her suicide. Draculea renounces God and declares that he will rise from his own death to avenge hers "with all the powers of darkness." He then stabs a crucifix with his sword and the chapel floods with blood, which Draculea drinks. In 1897, Renfield, a former law firm clerk, is locked in a cell at London's Carfax District Lunatic Asylum, where he informs an unseen "Master" that preparations are in order. Elsewhere in London, Renfield's employer declares him unfit and reassigns his foreign real estate client, Count Dracula, to a newly qualified clerk, Jonathan Harker. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity requires that Jonathan postpone briefly his marriage to Mina Murray, in order to immediately meet with Dracula in Transylvania, a trip that Renfield had made before going mad. Jonathan makes the journey to Dracula's castle, where he meets the elderly count on arrival. Soon after, the two sit for dinner, but Dracula, who claims he has already dined, does not eat. Instead he recounts his family legacy and falling out with the Church. When Jonathan inadvertently chuckles, Dracula erupts, demanding that it is "no laughing matter." He then asserts the greatness of his bloodline and reveals that he is the last of his kind. Jonathan apologizes for ... +


In 1462, Constantinople has fallen to the Turks. As heathens storm Europe, a Romanian knight from Transylvania known as Draculea rises to meet them. Draculea triumphs over the seemingly insurmountable force. However, before he can report his victory, the Turks send false news of Draculea's death to his kingdom, which pushes Draculea's love, Elisabeta, to leap to her death. After Draculea returns home, a priest tells him that Elisabeta is eternally damned by her suicide. Draculea renounces God and declares that he will rise from his own death to avenge hers "with all the powers of darkness." He then stabs a crucifix with his sword and the chapel floods with blood, which Draculea drinks. In 1897, Renfield, a former law firm clerk, is locked in a cell at London's Carfax District Lunatic Asylum, where he informs an unseen "Master" that preparations are in order. Elsewhere in London, Renfield's employer declares him unfit and reassigns his foreign real estate client, Count Dracula, to a newly qualified clerk, Jonathan Harker. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity requires that Jonathan postpone briefly his marriage to Mina Murray, in order to immediately meet with Dracula in Transylvania, a trip that Renfield had made before going mad. Jonathan makes the journey to Dracula's castle, where he meets the elderly count on arrival. Soon after, the two sit for dinner, but Dracula, who claims he has already dined, does not eat. Instead he recounts his family legacy and falling out with the Church. When Jonathan inadvertently chuckles, Dracula erupts, demanding that it is "no laughing matter." He then asserts the greatness of his bloodline and reveals that he is the last of his kind. Jonathan apologizes for his behavior, and, after dinner, the two discuss Dracula's London real estate acquisitions. During the discussion, Jonathan notices that Dracula's shadow moves independently of his body, but he dismisses the observation. Dracula interrupts their conversation when he spies Jonathan's picture of Mina, who bears a resemblance to Elisabeta. When Jonathan explains that the picture is of his fiancée, Dracula's shadow turns, unnoticed, and begins strangling Jonathan. However, the act does not affect Jonathan, who continues conversing and learns that Dracula was married long ago to a woman who died. Ending the discussion, Dracula tells Jonathan to inform his employer and loved ones that he will remain with Dracula for a month. In London, Mina stays with her long-time, aristocratic friend, Lucy Westenra, who juggles the affections of three suitors: Quincy P. Morris, an American frontiersman; Lord Arthur Holmwood; and Dr. Jack Seward, a psychiatrist who works at the lunatic asylum where Renfield is committed. At one point, Dr. Seward questions Renfield about his mysterious "Master." However, the inquisition is cut short when the mad clerk attacks him. Meanwhile, Jonathan is uneasy living with Dracula, in Transylvania. He sees things that he dare not admit, such as stalking wolves and mysterious blue flames, and he fears Dracula is manipulating him for some larger purpose. When Dracula enters Jonathan's quarters one night while Jonathan is shaving, a startled Jonathan nicks himself. Dracula stealthily licks the razor clean and begins to shave Jonathan himself, while telling him to avoid a particular part of the castle. Upon glimpsing Jonathan's crucifix, Dracula rears back and, after a hostile exchange between the two, Dracula leaves. Jonathan, finally admitting to himself that he has seen "strange things," looks through his window as Dracula crawls supernaturally down the castle walls. Jonathan knows now that he is not a guest, but a prisoner. Jonathan explores the forbidden part of the castle, where he continues observing strange phenomena and meets three naked, fanged women, who rise up through the floor to seduce and drink his blood. The feasting stops when Dracula bursts into the room and casts the vamps off, scowling, "He belongs to me." Jonathan watches in horror as Dracula feeds a baby to the disappointed women. In London, Mina receives Jonathan's letter informing her of his stay with Dracula, just as Lucy asks her to be the maid of honor at her wedding to Lord Holmwood. In Transylvania, Jonathan watches gypsy servants load boxes with Transylvanian dirt in preparation for Dracula's voyage to London. En route, Dracula transforms into a bat-like creature and feeds on the ship's crewmembers. Upon arrival, the bat-like Dracula flies to Lucy's estate, where he entrances Lucy, then lures her to the garden, where he rapes her and drinks her blood. Mina sees this, but Dracula strips the memory from her. Although it weakens his powers, Dracula can move about in the daytime and travels the streets of London, appearing as a young man. He searches for Mina and when he finds her, introduces himself as Prince Vlad and convinces her to help him navigate the unfamiliar city. Dr. Seward visits an ill Lucy as she prepares for her approaching wedding. During the check-up, she informs him that she is changing: she can hear minute sounds and has horrible nightmares. At a loss for a diagnosis, Dr. Seward sends for his mentor, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, an expert in obscure diseases. While attending a cinematograph screening, Dracula takes hold of Mina and nearly bites her. He stops, however, and during their embrace Mina realizes she knows him from somewhere. A wolf enters the theater, giving Mina an opportunity to escape, but she returns to Dracula at his request to pet the now-docile wolf. Afterwards, Dracula escorts Mina to Lucy's estate, where the two part. In Dracula's castle the three vampire women drink the imprisoned Jonathan's blood, keeping him too weak to escape, but still he tries, plotting a final attempt to escape via the castle's waterways. When Van Helsing arrives at Lucy's house to consult with Dr. Seward on the case, the two men hear Lucy screaming and dash to her room. Their arrival wards off Dracula, who was draining Lucy of blood. Upon discovering the bite marks on Lucy's neck, Van Helsing performs a blood transfusion using Lord Holmwood's and Quincey's blood. Then Van Helsing explains to the men that the creature draining Lucy is a supernatural being that they must destroy. Later, Dracula meets with Mina, who asks him about his homeland. As he describes Transylvania, Mina takes over the description and recounts accurately the land. Additionally, she describes Elisabeta, with Dracula filling in missing details. The shared memories bring Mina and Dracula close. At Dracula's castle, Jonathan escapes and finds refuge at a Romanian convent. Sister Agatha writes Mina on Jonathan's behalf warning of danger and asking Mina to come immediately to wed him. Mina tells a worsening Lucy the good news, and Lucy gives her a ring and her blessing. Soon after, when Lucy attempts to bite Quincey, Van Helsing inspects her new fangs and diagnoses vampirism. Mina writes Dracula to tell him they will never again meet and sets sail for Romania, where she weds Jonathan despite her lingering feelings for Dracula. After Mina leaves, Dracula slays Lucy. Following her death, Van Helsing arranges to mutilate her corpse to ensure she does not return as a vampire. At Lucy's tomb Van Helsing and Lucy's former suitors engage the undead Lucy, whom they stake and decapitate. When the married Jonathan and Lucy return to London, he joins Van Helsing and the other men in the hunt for Dracula. During the search Dr. Seward secures Mina in his quarters at the asylum. The hunting party infiltrates Dracula's cemetery lair and, though the vampire escapes, the men bless the Transylvanian dirt upon which Dracula must sleep, destroying Dracula's safe haven. Meanwhile, Dracula penetrates the asylum where he kills Renfield and, in his youthful form, visits an eagerly awaiting Mina, who declares her eternal love for him. Even after he reveals himself to her as the hunted monster Draculea and Lucy's killer, Mina requests he change her so they can be together forever. Dracula complies. Although Van Helsing and the men interrupt the process, Dracula declares, "She is now my bride!" After a struggle, Dracula flees the room. Mina realizes that she is changing, becoming like Dracula, but Van Helsing convinces her she must help find him. Using information revealed by Mina while under hypnosis, Van Helsing and the men race toward the Black Sea port city of Varna via train in hopes of beating the seafaring Dracula to his destination. Their plan is to burn the ship as it docks. However, Dracula reads Mina's mind and alters his destination. The men adjust their plan accordingly and continue their pursuit as Van Helsing and Mina advance to Dracula's castle. While in wait, Van Helsing decapitates the female vampires. Dracula outwits the men and beats them to the castle. When they reach the castle, they battle Dracula's gypsy servants and eventually Dracula himself. In the fight Quincey and Dracula are seriously wounded. Mina helps the partially impaled Dracula into the castle and into the chapel where he made his immortal pact. There Dracula begs Mina to give him peace. She then realizes that their love, stronger than death, can release them both from the powers of darkness. She forces the protruding sword the rest of the way through Dracula's heart and after he dies, cuts off his head. Mina's vampiric curse dies with Dracula. +

Legend
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Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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