Det Jim McLeod

Your Favorite Van Helsing In Film

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The most famous vampire hunter in literary and film history has been portrayed by many great actors on film. Who is your favorite? Some of the actors who have played him:

Edward Van Sloan in Dracula (1931)

Peter Cushing in Horror Of Dracula (1958) and many others through the 1970s

Laurence Olivier in Dracula (1979)

Anthony Hopkins in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing (2004)

Feel free to add any others.

My favorite would have to be Peter Cushing. He was so determined and tough that he practically made Dracula look like an underdog. No one could pound in a stake with more gusto than him.

 

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I would probably go with Cushing as well, although I like all of them, with the possible exception of Van Helsing. Not that I don't like Hugh Jackman. He can be a riveting actor. His upcoming portrayal of Gary Hart looks like something really off the beaten path for him, and based on the trailers, he's going to be great in the film. But I saw Van Helsing in the theater, and it was a muddled CGI mess at just that time in movie history when everyone was going CGI crazy to the point of completely forgetting about things like plot or character or interesting dialogue. (Some of the new superhero movies, certainly not all, have shown you can have both).

Olivier's performance I remember very little about, been too long since I've seen that movie. That was a phase in his career (well ... the final phase) when he was going really accent-happy in Marathon ManThe Boys from BrazilA Little Romance, etc. I can't remember know if he used one of those accents, which all sounded kind of the same, frankly, in Dracula. Hopkins, as I recall, tried to make his Van Helsing sound more Germanic or maybe German-Jew, then the straight up British accent of the earlier Van Helsings. And I found his Van Helsing kind of lusty and earthy and maybe not so one-dimensional obssesed.

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Peter Cushing, hands down.

Other Van Helsings of note:

count-dracula-frank-finlay.jpg

Frank Finlay (opposite Louis Jourdan) in 1977's Count Dracula

 

dracula_1.jpg

Nigel Davenport (opposite Jack Palance) in 1973's Bram Stoker's Dracula

 

hqdefault.jpg

Herbert Lom (opposite Christopher Lee) in 1970's Count Dracula

 

Dracula-Dead-and-Loving-It-dracula-and-r

Mel Brooks (opposite Leslie Nielsen) in 1995's Dracula: Dead and Loving It

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I only put a "Ha Ha" because I could only see one pic at a time as I was scrolling down, and I certainly wasn't thinking about that last one!

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1 hour ago, sewhite2000 said:

I would probably go with Cushing as well, although I like all of them, with the possible exception of Van Helsing. Not that I don't like Hugh Jackman. He can be a riveting actor. His upcoming portrayal of Gary Hart looks like something really off the beaten path for him, and based on the trailers, he's going to be great in the film. But I saw Van Helsing in the theater, and it was a muddled CGI mess at just that time in movie history when everyone was going CGI crazy to the point of completely forgetting about things like plot or character or interesting dialogue. (Some of the new superhero movies, certainly not all, have shown you can have both).

Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing was literally the Tom Cruise's Mummy of its day--Every few years, Universal peeks out of its hiding-hole to see if the coast is clear to rebrand their "Monster Universe" for a new series of off-canon franchise pictures, and this was the 00's version.  It all dates back to 1994, when Forrest Gump meeting JFK started a craze for "Digitally resurrected actors", and somebody proposed the idea of having digital Boris Karloff fight digital Lon Chaney Jr. in a "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" remake...But first they had to rebrand the Universal Monsters for a franchise, and that's been the tough part ever since.  B)  The '99 Brendan Fraser "Mummy", the '98 Gus Van Sant "Psycho", the '10 Benecio Del Toro "Wolfman", all were being carefully observed to see whether it was "safe" to go ahead with more Universal Monsters remakes toward the greater goal.  (When they always start dropping hints about Black Lagoon and Invisible Man remakes next, you know they're back on agenda again.)

As to the question, yes:  Peter Cushing for the win.  Not as "mad" and determined as his Baron Frankenstein, but more of an innocent academic with a private side-passion.

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Definitely Edward Van Sloan for me, in Dracula and Dracula's Daughter. 

Dracula-1931-Van-Helsing.jpg

 

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I haven't seen all of these portrayals, but I did enjoy Edward Van Sloan and Anthony Hopkins in the role.

But my favorite Van Helsing has to be one that almost no one saw. 

Many years ago, I played the title role in an amateur stage production of Dracula.  (Believe me, it was not the beginning of an illustrious acting career.)  A friend of mine was Van Helsing.  During one performance, when the scene came in which I, as Dracula, menaced him, our Van Helsing found that he'd forgotten to put the small silver prop cross in his vest pocket.  Without the cross, how was Van Helsing going to drive Dracula away??  After a tense and awkward moment that seemed to go on forever, my friend formed a cross with his two index fingers and held them up in my face.  I recoiled dramatically, and the scene played out more or less as it was supposed to.

Had my friend Van Helsing not had the presence of mind to figure out how to correct his oversight, that scene would have been a total disaster!  He saved the scene and, perhaps, the whole play.  And that's why he's my favorite Van Helsing.

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Act of Violence, 1948. Great film noir .....oops. I thought I read favorite Van Heflin movies. Sorry.

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Just somewhat rewatched *Coppola's powerful & scary at times epic/thriller from '92 & won 3 *ACADEMY AWARDS for Best Make-Up, sound effects & Costumes, also raking in $82m  I have it taped somewhere mostly because of WINONA, but was very good in my opinion (***1/2-out of 4)

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 5:13 PM, LawrenceA said:

Peter Cushing, hands down.

Other Van Helsings of note:

count-dracula-frank-finlay.jpg

Frank Finlay (opposite Louis Jourdan) in 1977's Count Dracula

 

dracula_1.jpg

Nigel Davenport (opposite Jack Palance) in 1973's Bram Stoker's Dracula

 

hqdefault.jpg

Herbert Lom (opposite Christopher Lee) in 1970's Count Dracula

 

Dracula-Dead-and-Loving-It-dracula-and-r

Mel Brooks (opposite Leslie Nielsen) in 1995's Dracula: Dead and Loving It

I like *Mel & Leslie but it only made $11m

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 6:16 PM, EricJ said:

Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing was literally the Tom Cruise's Mummy of its day--Every few years, Universal peeks out of its hiding-hole to see if the coast is clear to rebrand their "Monster Universe" for a new series of off-canon franchise pictures, and this was the 00's version.  It all dates back to 1994, when Forrest Gump meeting JFK started a craze for "Digitally resurrected actors", and somebody proposed the idea of having digital Boris Karloff fight digital Lon Chaney Jr. in a "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" remake...But first they had to rebrand the Universal Monsters for a franchise, and that's been the tough part ever since.  B)  The '99 Brendan Fraser "Mummy", the '98 Gus Van Sant "Psycho", the '10 Benecio Del Toro "Wolfman", all were being carefully observed to see whether it was "safe" to go ahead with more Universal Monsters remakes toward the greater goal.  (When they always start dropping hints about Black Lagoon and Invisible Man remakes next, you know they're back on agenda again.)

As to the question, yes:  Peter Cushing for the win.  Not as "mad" and determined as his Baron Frankenstein, but more of an innocent academic with a private side-passion.

Though not truly scary, but more fun of 'em all is UNIVERSAL HORROR MONSTERS

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