Son of Dracula (1943)

79-80 mins | Horror | 5 November 1943

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writer:

Eric Taylor

Producer:

Ford Beebe

Cinematographer:

George Robinson

Production Designers:

John Goodman, Martin Obzina

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Destiny . According to HR news items, actor Alan Curtis was replaced by Robert Paige in the role of "Frank Stanley" after Curtis suffered a knee injury during the making of another Universal film, Flesh and Fantasy (See Entry). According to modern sources, George Waggner was originally set to produce the film, but became unavailable due to extended production on Phantom of the Opera (See Entry). In a modern interview, story writer Curtis Siodmak claims that he was originally hired to write the screenplay for Son of Dracula , but was fired because of "sibling rivalry" with his brother Robert after Robert assumed directorial duties on the film. Modern sources add George Meeker ( Party guest ), Ben Erway and Robert Hill to the cast and credit Jack Pierce as makeup artist and John P. Fulton with special effects. This was the third "Dracula" film produced by Universal, following the 1936 feature Dracula's Daughter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1122). The next Universal film to feature the "Dracula" character was the 1944 picture, House of Frankenstein (See Entry). For more information on films featuring the character of "Dracula," please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Dracula in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

The working title of this film was Destiny . According to HR news items, actor Alan Curtis was replaced by Robert Paige in the role of "Frank Stanley" after Curtis suffered a knee injury during the making of another Universal film, Flesh and Fantasy (See Entry). According to modern sources, George Waggner was originally set to produce the film, but became unavailable due to extended production on Phantom of the Opera (See Entry). In a modern interview, story writer Curtis Siodmak claims that he was originally hired to write the screenplay for Son of Dracula , but was fired because of "sibling rivalry" with his brother Robert after Robert assumed directorial duties on the film. Modern sources add George Meeker ( Party guest ), Ben Erway and Robert Hill to the cast and credit Jack Pierce as makeup artist and John P. Fulton with special effects. This was the third "Dracula" film produced by Universal, following the 1936 feature Dracula's Daughter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1122). The next Universal film to feature the "Dracula" character was the 1944 picture, House of Frankenstein (See Entry). For more information on films featuring the character of "Dracula," please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Dracula in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1121. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Nov 1943.
---
Daily Variety
29 Oct 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Nov 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 43
pp. 2-3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 43
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Apr 43
p. 1241.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Nov 43
p. 1626.
New York Times
6 Nov 43
p. 16.
Variety
3 Nov 43
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2nd unit dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
[Sd] tech
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Destiny
Release Date:
5 November 1943
Production Date:
7 January--early February 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
7 October 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12313
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79-80
Length(in feet):
7,229
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
9194
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a small Southern train station, Dr. Harry Brewster and Frank Stanley await the arrival of Count Alucard, a friend of Katherine Caldwell, Frank's fiancée, and are surprised when only his luggage appears. Meanwhile, anxious for Alucard's arrival, Katherine wanders through the swamp to the run-down home of Queen Zimba, a voodoo practitioner, who warns her that death comes with the count. Before Zimba can tell Katherine more, however, a bat appears and frightens her to death. That evening, a reception is held for Alucard at the family plantation, Dark Oaks, but the invalid Colonel Caldwell is forced to retire before the guest of honor arrives. Alucard then transforms himself into a bat, enters the Caldwell home and kills the old colonel. Meanwhile, Frank tries to convince Katherine to give up the occult, with little success. Later, the colonel is examined by Brewster and Frank, who only find two small marks on his neck. When Brewster realizes that Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards, he calls Professor Lazlo, a Hungarian authority on vampires, who warns Brewster to beware of the count. During the formal reading of the colonel's will, Katherine produces a newer will, one which leaves Claire, the younger daughter, all cash and securities, while endowing Dark Oaks to Katherine. Suspicious of Katherine's relationship to Alucard, Brewster and Claire go to the guest house and search the count's belongings, only to find his bags empty. Brewster then insists that Claire leave Dark Oaks and swear out an insanity complaint against Katherine. Later, Katherine goes into the moors, where she watches Alucard materialize from the swamp waters. The two soon marry, after ... +


At a small Southern train station, Dr. Harry Brewster and Frank Stanley await the arrival of Count Alucard, a friend of Katherine Caldwell, Frank's fiancée, and are surprised when only his luggage appears. Meanwhile, anxious for Alucard's arrival, Katherine wanders through the swamp to the run-down home of Queen Zimba, a voodoo practitioner, who warns her that death comes with the count. Before Zimba can tell Katherine more, however, a bat appears and frightens her to death. That evening, a reception is held for Alucard at the family plantation, Dark Oaks, but the invalid Colonel Caldwell is forced to retire before the guest of honor arrives. Alucard then transforms himself into a bat, enters the Caldwell home and kills the old colonel. Meanwhile, Frank tries to convince Katherine to give up the occult, with little success. Later, the colonel is examined by Brewster and Frank, who only find two small marks on his neck. When Brewster realizes that Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards, he calls Professor Lazlo, a Hungarian authority on vampires, who warns Brewster to beware of the count. During the formal reading of the colonel's will, Katherine produces a newer will, one which leaves Claire, the younger daughter, all cash and securities, while endowing Dark Oaks to Katherine. Suspicious of Katherine's relationship to Alucard, Brewster and Claire go to the guest house and search the count's belongings, only to find his bags empty. Brewster then insists that Claire leave Dark Oaks and swear out an insanity complaint against Katherine. Later, Katherine goes into the moors, where she watches Alucard materialize from the swamp waters. The two soon marry, after which Frank confronts the count and orders him to leave town. When he refuses, Frank shoots Alucard, but the bullets travel through him, killing Katherine. Frank runs from Dark Oaks, collapsing in a graveyard, where both a crucifix and the sunrise save him from the count. Frank then goes to Brewster's home and tells him of Katherine's strange death, but the physician later finds her "alive" in the company of her new husband. The newlyweds tell Brewster that Alucard is doing "scientific research" and they no longer wish to socialize with her old friends. The next morning, Brewster learns there is no legal foundation in his insanity complaint against Katherine. When Frank then turns himself in for Katherine's "murder," Brewster argues that Frank is insane, but Sheriff Dawes insists on taking the confessed killer back to Dark Oaks. There, the sheriff finds a dead Katherine in her coffin. That night, Brewster meets with Lazlo, who confirms his belief that they are dealing with a vampire. While Lazlo explains the supernatural powers of the vampire, Alucard appears before them and threatens to kill them, only to be turned away when Lazlo produces a crucifix. Their fears that Katherine too has become a vampire prove well-founded when she visits Frank in his jail cell and attempts to convince him to become an immortal. He refuses, but she tells him that he has no choice, as she has already bitten his neck. She then asks him to kill Dracula by either burning his grave or driving a stake through his heart. With Katherine's help, Frank escapes from jail and sets the count's coffin afire, then watches the vampire die as the sun rises. He then returns to Dark Oaks, where, in the presence of all, he sets Katherine's coffin afire as well, releasing her from the vampire's curse. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.