Last night I felt a terrible urge to watch Dracula with Bela Lugosi. So after a little digging I turned it on, pulled out my box of crafting supplies and in time I made four pairs or earrings – I have watched the movie twice. Yes, in a row.
1931 Dracula is a classic black-and-white horror-vampire film, directed by Tod Browning, with Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The same man who asked to be buried in Dracula’s outfit. He got his wish and now we know him as the undead Lugosi, doubting him being a mortal man, much like we doubt Vlad Draculea being a mortal man. I don’t know where Dracula as part of pop media would be now were it not for this film, with this actor. For it’s definitely in my top 5 best and most favorite Dracula’s movies ever. With fantastic music, charming actors, well changed scenes for adaptation, and true-to-book bits and parts.
One of my favorite changes is switching Renfield and Harker places when it comes to interactions with Dracula. As you hopefully know, Harker goes out to Transylvania to help the Count, where, for obvious reasons, his health fails and he is very late to return home. When he eventually does, his health, both physical and mental, aren’t at their best. In some adaptations he is portrayed as paranoid and broken man, anxious and easily excitable. While Renfield is a huge question mark. He’s crazy and we meet him already in the mental asylum. And somehow, this unlikely friend of Mina’s has a strong connection to Dracula. Even calls him Master.
In this movie though Renfield goes to help out the Count. There he lives through the story Harker would’ve lived through. He meets this eccentric man, Count Dracula. He meets his brides too. And together, this family of immortal blood drinkers, take over his mind. Thus it is no longer a wonder to see an ailed man return to England. Renfield is a thrall and we know exactly how and why, while if it was Harker who went, as in original, we wouldn’t know neither how nor why. I liked this change, it was very sensible.
While black and white, this movie is not silent. And I don’t mean just that wonderful music that you will hear all through out the watching. Players speak, delighting us with their accents, voice tones and this fancy British. If I would rate this movie, I’d give it five fangs for every single aspect. And in general, it’s still 5 out of 5. Every lover of the dark, the gothic, the vampiric – must watch this. (and, if I may, find a better version than that youtube atrocity)