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Welcome Home, Count Dracula.


LornaHansonForbes

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Dracula (1931)

 

Leonard Maltin's review (3 1/2 stars - he got this one right) states "reissued on video with a new score by Philip Glass".

 

Maybe I missed it. I heard some very nice intro music during the opening credits. I don't recall hearing a 'score' throughout the film. Perhaps I was a little too much into the movie itself.

 

Could it be this new video score is just that.. a new score which has been added to the entire film?

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In re: the score to DRACULA

 

When the film was released on DVD the first time about 10 years ago, Universal commission Philip Glass and the Kronos quartet to write a score for the movie. It was a big mistake. If you buy the film on DVD you have the option of watching the movie with the Swan Lake opening music and no other score aside from the incidental music during the concert scene or the movie with a really annoying RELENTLESS Philip Glass score that is quite frankly rather repetitive and dull.

 

I'm really, really glad TCM show the version without the Philip Glass music.

 

I'm sure you can find examples of it on YouTube, quite frankly it does nothing for the movie and detracts from the overall viewing experience.

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In re: the score to DRACULA

 

When the film was released on DVD the first time about 10 years ago, Universal commission Philip Glass and the Kronos quartet to write a score for the movie. It was a big mistake. If you buy the film on DVD you have the option of watching the movie with the Swan Lake opening music and no other score aside from the incidental music during the concert scene or the movie with a really annoying RELENTLESS Philip Glass score that is quite frankly rather repetitive and dull.

 

I'm really, really glad TCM show the version without the Philip Glass music.

 

I'm sure you can find examples of it on YouTube, quite frankly it does nothing for the movie and detracts from the overall viewing experience.

I too am glad TCM showed the film without the Glass score.   I actually detest the new score and feel it is overwrought and overused throughout the film.   It is not necessary to have music every time a character talks or moves.   It is particularly intrusive during the beginning of the film when Lugosi delivers some of horrors most iconic lines. The Glass score makes the ultimate mistake:  A score should enhance not detract from the film.   I actually bought the dvd with the glass version when it came out.  I was excited to hear their take on a Dracula score.  I almost did not make it through one airing.  I gave it away to a friend.  I feel Dracula should be seen exactly as intended.  There is very little music in Dracula and it perfectly sets the mood for the creepy journey that Browning and Lugosi take the viewer on.  

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My disappointment with THE MUMMY is that we only have Karloff in the full Make-up in one scene, early on. ...

Well, since Karloff suffered through that entire make-up ordeal without a zipper, he was reticent to ever play The Mummy, as the mummy, again. Curious if the camera panned below the waste in that one?

 

"Nine or Ten in '88"..., had no idea Lorna that you were such a youngster! 

But like yourself I was a huge fan of all the Universal horror flicks at that same age.... even still. 

I think it was back in the early '90's that either AMC or TNT showed an entire month in October of ALL the great Universal original monsters back-to-back (and commercial free). My VCR was on overtime... But that was the last time that I witnessed such an epic event!

TCM has been promising more Universal films for years now, but aside from a showing or two of The Invisible Man, Son of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and Dracula's Daughter (different months in 2012), Creature from the Black Lagoon (in 2013), and a few showings of Frankenstein (since 2012) and Bride of Frankenstein (since 2013), and of course, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, Hammer seems to have dominated the genre at TCM during the month of Halloween. 

 

I am so glad that someone at Universal finally gave TCM a little greater access to their monster vault! It has been a long time coming! This October looks particularly impressive and I hope we will see the like of these old horror films on a more regular basis on TCM, at least once a year here on out would be very nice!

 

Today seems to be some promo for The TCM Back-Lot membership. Gee I hope that is not the only reason why we are getting to see old Drac today?

 

Thankfully, I have the old Universal Monster Legacy sets first released on DVD and can watch them anytime (Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, Creature, and Invisible Man). I love them, worts and all. But you have said that there is a new restored "pristine" set... are you referring to the Blu-ray versions which came out a few years ago, or something more recent also available on DVD?

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I can only speak from my experience, but i distinctly recall the first time I saw BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN .

 

It was  when I was about nine or ten years old, some time ca. 1988. I was a hardcore CLASSIC HORROR junkie as a kid and was lucky enough to grow up right at the time VHS and rentals took off.

 

Having seen and not liked FRANKENSTEIN (I was TEAM BELA as a kid and still kindasorta am), i was not expecting BRIDE to be so much richer and more complex a movie, so complicated with more action and story and characters- and so violent! I still, all this time later, recall going to dinner with my babysitter after seeing the film (I even remember that my parents were out of town) and counting on my hands how many people die in the movie: (15? 16?) I recall being SHOCKED at the opening, when the father from the original is killed, then his wife, and I recall having a brief moment of genuine fear in the scene where we first see the monster in the underground cistern before he kills the father (and i recall feeling a little guilty for being scared by a black and white movie.) I also remember being STUNNED by the brief scene where the hunchback goes out to get "a very fresh" heart...that moment is all of 10 seconds and i still remember seeing it the first time.

 

as i get older, i forget many things, and sadly many of the instances under which i first saw or read something, but i think i will hang on to my recollection of the first time i saw BRIDE for a while.

 

**when did AMC come along? Because I know soon after I taped it off AMC during one of their Saturday Morning Classic Horror showing and proceeded to watch the hell out of it...

 

I first saw BOF when I was in my late 20s.    That is a much different viewing experience than seeing the film as a 9 year old.   Yea, at 9 I would have been scared;   E.g. I remember seeing the Mystery of the Wax Museum when I was around 10 and the scene of:

 

"When Charlotte tries to get away, she pounds away at his face, breaking a wax mask that he has made of himself, to reveal that he had been horribly disfigured".

 

I had trouble sleeping for weeks and my parents wouldn't let me watch horror films for a few years.   (something about that disfigured face really got to me!).

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I too am glad TCM showed the film without the Glass score.   I actually detest the new score and feel it is overwrought and overused throughout the film.   It is not necessary to have music every time a character talks or moves.   It is particularly intrusive during the beginning of the film when Lugosi delivers some of horrors most iconic lines. The Glass score makes the ultimate mistake:  A score should enhance not detract from the film.   I actually bought the dvd with the glass version when it came out.  I was excited to hear their take on a Dracula score.  I almost did not make it through one airing.  I gave it away to a friend.  I feel Dracula should be seen exactly as intended.  There is very little music in Dracula and it perfectly sets the mood for the creepy journey that Browning and Lugosi take the viewer on.  

 

 

It was early 1931 talkies, so they COULDN'T dub-mix music in films, except for scenes like credits or concerts where you could have a choice of music or dialogue.

Universal decided beefing up a music-free talkie with music for the first big DVD promo was like Carl Davis doing a new silent-film score, and while I'm glad Glass thought it was a good score (the scene where Dracula and his brides wake up at the beginning is creepier and more Todd-Browning dreamlike silent), it's just no Koyaanisqatsi or Mishima.

 

And when Glass at Criterion tried rescoring Jean Cocteau's Beauty & the Beast which already had a good score....okay, that's it.  Keep this guy away from the restorations.   :angry:

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I absolutely love all the Universal horror (although not too keen when they made comedies out of my favorite monsters with A&C) and I have since I was a kid. My favorites are the James Whale-directed flicks but I still like the sequels like FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN. I am looking forward very much to the October lineup. I love RKO horror, too, but TCM has been showing these pretty often so I am very ready for some of the Universal horror that I haven't seen in a long time.

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It was early 1931 talkies, so they COULDN'T dub-mix music in films, except for scenes like credits or concerts where you could have a choice of music or dialogue.

Universal decided beefing up a music-free talkie with music for the first big DVD promo was like Carl Davis doing a new silent-film score, and while I'm glad Glass thought it was a good score (the scene where Dracula and his brides wake up at the beginning is creepier and more Todd-Browning dreamlike silent), it's just no Koyaanisqatsi or Mishima.

 

And when Glass at Criterion tried rescoring Jean Cocteau's Beauty & the Beast which already had a good score....okay, that's it.  Keep this guy away from the restorations.   :angry:

Indeed and that is precisely why I love the sparse music in Dracula.  Keeping the music to the opening credits and only the scenes where actual music was being played was perfect for this film.  i know they were trying to draw renewed attention to an old classic by adding the new score but it was not needed.  I have bought Dracula in every incarnation that Universal has released and yet I feel no need to ever "listen" to this version again.    

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Indeed and that is precisely why I love the sparse music in Dracula.  Keeping the music to the opening credits and only the scenes where actual music was being played was perfect for this film.  i know they were trying to draw renewed attention to an old classic by adding the new score but it was not needed.  I have bought Dracula in every incarnation that Universal has released and yet I feel no need to ever "listen" to this version again.    

 

Yeah, the first fifteen minutes of "dead" silence in DRACULA is what makes them SO EFFECTIVE- and it makes perfect sense- of course the castle would be silent- there is no life there (1958's HORROR OF DRACULA even has a line about how "the birds grew silent" as the narrator approaches the castle.)

 

it also drives home how unsettling the scene must be for Renfield...

 

they also add to the JARRING nature of that WONDERFUL FIRST SHOT OF LUGOSI in the catacombs...

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Thankfully, I have the old Universal Monster Legacy sets first released on DVD and can watch them anytime (Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, Creature, and Invisible Man). I love them, worts and all. But you have said that there is a new restored "pristine" set... are you referring to the Blu-ray versions which came out a few years ago, or something more recent also available on DVD?

 

to coincide with Universal's 100th anniversary, they went through their vault ad picked, i think, 100 of their titles to give a FULL RESTORATION to, I think ALL the horrors were included. they were given very thorough audio and print clean-ups, a daunting task in many parts because DRACULA as it was up until 2012(ish?) had a loud hissing, popping soundtrack and some real issues with the print.

 

they were all then, in their complete restoration, released on blu-ray AND regular DVD (for people like me who don't have blu-ray players.)

 

although i already owned the 2005(?) DVD of DRACULA, i went ahead and re-bought DRACULA: THE LEGACY COLLECTON (which has all the uNiversal dracula titles, including spanish dracula.)

 

it is ASTOUNDING the levels to which they have restored DRACULA (both Spanish and English)- watching both now in CLEAR FOCUS and good light and with damages in the negatives that have been fixed- IS LIKE WATCHING A WHOLE DIFFERENT FILM, or even WATCHING IT AS IT WAS SEEN IN THEATERS IN 1931.

 

SO, if you have the original run of universal monster films before the 2012(?ish) restoration, it is worth it to pony up the dough one last time (even if used on amazon) because the restoration makes it worth it.

 

(i also assume they ran the restored version on TCM last Sunday.)

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Thanks for posting that trailer, LHF - it's beautiful.

 

and.. CRIKEY!  was that Nicolas Cage as the Spanish Dracula!?

 

ALL THE LOL POINTS TO YOU, plus you spelled Cage's name right.

 

No, that is CARLOS VILLARIAS, who plays The Count and is the only thing about the Spanish DRACULA that isn't good.

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to coincide with Universal's 100th anniversary, they went through their vault ad picked, i think, 100 of their titles to give a FULL RESTORATION to, I think ALL the horrors were included. they were given very thorough audio and print clean-ups, a daunting task in many parts because DRACULA as it was up until 2012(ish?) had a loud hissing, popping soundtrack and some real issues with the print.

 

they were all then, in their complete restoration, released on blu-ray AND regular DVD (for people like me who don't have blu-ray players.)

 

although i already owned the 2005(?) DVD of DRACULA, i went ahead and re-bought DRACULA: THE LEGACY COLLECTON (which has all the uNiversal dracula titles, including spanish dracula.)

 

it is ASTOUNDING the levels to which they have restored DRACULA (both Spanish and English)- watching both now in CLEAR FOCUS and good light and with damages in the negatives that have been fixed- IS LIKE WATCHING A WHOLE DIFFERENT FILM, or even WATCHING IT AS IT WAS SEEN IN THEATERS IN 1931.

 

SO, if you have the original run of universal monster films before the 2012(?ish) restoration, it is worth it to pony up the dough one last time (even if used on amazon) because the restoration makes it worth it.

 

(i also assume they ran the restored version on TCM last Sunday.)

It was the restored version ( this was also what was shown by TCM in theaters this past October ).  You can tell it is the restored version within the first five seconds.  Prior to the restored Dracula the opening theme ( Swan Lake ) always had that jump in the music during the opening credits.  That has been fixed for the blu-ray. ( the music queue fixed with the opening music from the Spanish Dracula).    It sounds so outstanding but I've become so used to the skip in the music that I sometimes miss it :) 

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to coincide with Universal's 100th anniversary, they went through their vault ad picked, i think, 100 of their titles to give a FULL RESTORATION to, I think ALL the horrors were included. they were given very thorough audio and print clean-ups, a daunting task in many parts because DRACULA as it was up until 2012(ish?) had a loud hissing, popping soundtrack and some real issues with the print.

 

they were all then, in their complete restoration, released on blu-ray AND regular DVD (for people like me who don't have blu-ray players.)

 

although i already owned the 2005(?) DVD of DRACULA, i went ahead and re-bought DRACULA: THE LEGACY COLLECTON (which has all the uNiversal dracula titles, including spanish dracula.)

 

it is ASTOUNDING the levels to which they have restored DRACULA (both Spanish and English)- watching both now in CLEAR FOCUS and good light and with damages in the negatives that have been fixed- IS LIKE WATCHING A WHOLE DIFFERENT FILM, or even WATCHING IT AS IT WAS SEEN IN THEATERS IN 1931.

 

SO, if you have the original run of universal monster films before the 2012(?ish) restoration, it is worth it to pony up the dough one last time (even if used on amazon) because the restoration makes it worth it.

 

(i also assume they ran the restored version on TCM last Sunday.)

Thank you very much Lorna, for sharing that Restoration trailer, and this thread, and others who have posted with input and enthusiasm :)

 

Yes, I did purchase six of those legacy sets back around that time. They each had several movies on 2-3 DVDs.

 

Dracula had all of the relevant Universal films from '31-'45: including both Lugosi (1931) versions (with and without the Glass score), and the 1931 Spanish version.

Dracula's Daughter (1936) with Gloria Holden playing the Countess.

Son of Dracula (1943) with Lon Chaney, Jr. playing Count Alucard (Dracula spelled backwards) and House Of Dracula (1945) with John Carradine playing the Count, Chaney reprising his role as the Wolf Man, and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's monster.

 

The Frankenstein collection was on 3 DVDs and had 5 movies from '31-'44: Frankenstein (1931) & Bride of Frankenstein (1935) both with Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as Dr. Henry Frankenstein. 

Son Of Frankenstein (1939) with Lugosi as Ygor (Igor?), Basil Rathbone as Clive's son, and Karloff as the monster (I think for the last time). Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) with Chaney playing the monster, Lugosi back as Ygor, and Cedric Hardwicke as Rathbone's brother, carrying on the family tradition.

House of Frankenstein (1944) sequel to Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man and the prequel to House Of Dracula, with John Carradine playing Dracula, Glenn Strange as the monster, Chaney as the Wolf Man, J. Carrol Naish as the Hunchback, and Karloff as a vengeful Doctor.

I really love how all these movies are linked together. 

 

The Wolf Man collection on 3 DVDs and had 4 movies from '35-'46: The Wolf Man (1941) with Chaney as Larry Talbot, aka the werewolf, for the very first time, and Claude Rains as his father and Lugosi as Bela, with the wonderful Maria Ouspenskaya as Bela's gypsy mother. Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1946) is the sequel with Lon as the werewolf, Lugosi playing the monster (a role he turned down in 1931) and Patric Knowles as another Dr. who also becomes obsessed with reviving the undying monster.

She-Wolf of London (1946) has June Lockhart as a werewolf (or not???) and in Werewolf of London (1935) Henry Hull is bitten by Warner Oland.

 

The Mummy Collection had 5 movies from  '32-'44 on 2 DVDs:

The Mummy (1932) the original (and best) with Karloff as the actual wrapped mummy (in one scene).

The Mummy's Hand (1940) unrelated to the 1932 version, this is the one that TCM aired one time on Halloween night, 10/31/2012, but a programmer error cut 2 min off the end of this movie, and we've never seen it on TCM since. Tom Tyler played Kharis, the mummy.

The Mummy's Tomb (1940) in the first "Kharis" sequel, Lon Chaney Jr. agreed to play the mummy (this time they added a zipper to the costume).

The Mummy's Ghost (1944) Chaney is back as Kharis, the mummy, along with John Carradine and George Zucco.

The Mummy's Curse (1944) again with Chaney, Carradine and Zucco.

 

The Invisible Man collection has 5 movies from '33-44 on 3 DVDs: The Invisible Man (1933) with the distinctive voice of  Claude Rains (in I think his first U.S. film role), as scientist Jack Griffin. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)  with the voice of talented Vincent Price. The Invisible Woman (1940)  is played for laughs with Virginia Bruce & John Barrymore. In the Invisible Agent (1942) Jon Hall romances Iona Massey while fighting Nazis, along with Peter Lorre. and in The Invisible Mans Revenge (1944) Jon Hall is back, but this time with evil intent.

 

Creature from the Black Lagoon Collection had all 3 Creature movies from '54-'56 on 3 DVDs: Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) with Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, and Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning as The Creature on land and underwater (respectively).  Revenge of the Creature (1955) a.k.a "Return of the Creature," a.k.a "Return of the Creature from the Black Lagoon," with John Agar, Lori Nelson, and Clint Eastwood in a brief scene makes his film debut. Ricou Browning is back as the gill-man (underwater again) and Tom Hennesy plays him on land.

In The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) with Jeff Morrow as an obsessed scientist, Ricou Browning is swimming again and Don Megowan is the gill-man on land. My parents took me to see this one as part of a double or triple horror feature at the drive in when I was a kid.

 

I grew up watching and re-watching all these old horror films on late night television. Some of them had extremely talented supporting cast, and they all not only scared me at times, but also moved me with empathy, and made me think.

 

Although I can play Blu Ray on my PC, I still have a very functional flat screen which is not hi def. and since my entire movie collection ranges from 480-720i I hesitate to spoil myself with something that may make what I have appear to be less than satisfactory to my eyes. So I have, up to now, refrained from purchasing anything on Blu Ray.

However, If all these movies have been restored and are inclusive in similar collection sets that include a DVD transfer then I would be willing to reorder perhaps all of them again. Along with another Universal 100th Anniversary edition film that I am very fond of: the  restored talking and silent versions of All Quiet On The Western Front (1930).

 

Hey, wouldn't it be great if TCM were to start showing all of these films regularly, at least once or twice each year? October is a good start -_- Do you think anyone that has power and influence to make that happen might actually read this thread and act upon such a suggestion? :rolleyes:

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The Wolf Man collection on 3 DVDs and had 4 movies from '35-'46

 

Hmm. For some reason I got a set with only 2 discs. Disc one has 'The Wolf Man' and 'Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man'. Disc two has 'Werewolf of London' and 'She Wolf of London'.

 

I also have the Dracula set - a 2-disc set as well.

 

For Frankenstein I bought the more recent release - 8 movies on 4 discs. This means I have some movies twice ('Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man' and 'House of Dracula') but I also have 'Abbott and Costello Meet Framkenstein' to complete the "Universal Big Three" movie collection.

 

I won't buy The Mummy or Invisible Man collections as they are available from my library - and I was never a fan of the Mummy movies to begin with. I have the Boris Karloff original in my collection and that's all I want of Mummy.

 

I am interested in maybe adding the Creature - although 'Revenge of' is not very good. But the first is a true classic and 'Walks Among Us' is quite an interesting third chapter. We'll see if I can pick it up from e-bay for a couple of bucks (which is how I got the others).

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Dracula was a disappointment for me. I remember watching it many years ago on AMC and not being impressed, probably because I had seen so many other vampire movies that it just seemed old hat. Also, I had read the novel and found it much more interesting than the movie.

 

I just watched it again, and nothing has changed, except, of course, the quality of the print. I like the sets and some of the photography, but overall, the film is too static. Manners and Chandler are horribly dull and hammy as the romantic leads. Van Sloan purses his lips like he just saw his septic tank backing up. In fairness, he does that in all the films in which I've seen him. Even Lugosi is too hammy. I suppose he was frightening to audiences in 1931, but now he just seems almost laughable. He was scarier in A & C Meet Frankenstein. Dwight Frye probably comes off best, although it is never explained how this guy escapes more often than El Chapo.

 

Historically, this is an important film, and I'm glad it was restored. But sadly, it's not my cup of tea.

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Dracula was a disappointment for me. I remember watching it many years ago on AMC and not being impressed, probably because I had seen so many other vampire movies that it just seemed old hat. Also, I had read the novel and found it much more interesting than the movie.

 

I just watched it again, and nothing has changed, except, of course, the quality of the print. I like the sets and some of the photography, but overall, the film is too static. Manners and Chandler are horribly dull and hammy as the romantic leads. Van Sloan purses his lips like he just saw his septic tank backing up. In fairness, he does that in all the films in which I've seen him. Even Lugosi is too hammy. I suppose he was frightening to audiences in 1931, but now he just seems almost laughable. He was scarier in A & C Meet Frankenstein. Dwight Frye probably comes off best, although it is never explained how this guy escapes more often than El Chapo.

 

Historically, this is an important film, and I'm glad it was restored. But sadly, it's not my cup of tea.

 

I love the quietness of the 1931 film.

 

But I do agree that it's a poor rendition of the novel. For me, Coppola's 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' is the best translation - at least to the spirit of the novel.

 

As for Lugosi - he's okay. Iconic and all that - but kinda toothless.

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time

Dracula was a disappointment for me. I remember watching it many years ago on AMC and not being impressed, probably because I had seen so many other vampire movies that it just seemed old hat. Also, I had read the novel and found it much more interesting than the movie.

 

...

 

Dwight Frye probably comes off best, although it is never explained how this guy escapes more often than El Chapo.

 

...

 

This guy was turning into a comedy routine about the 5th time he "popped up". I finally chalked it up to Dracula himself opening his cell or mezmerizing the attendant to do so. Either that or he has been given some such power of his own.

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Hmm. For some reason I got a set with only 2 discs. Disc one has 'The Wolf Man' and 'Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man'. Disc two has 'Werewolf of London' and 'She Wolf of London'.

 

I also have the Dracula set - a 2-disc set as well.

 

For Frankenstein I bought the more recent release - 8 movies on 4 discs. This means I have some movies twice ('Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man' and 'House of Dracula') but I also have 'Abbott and Costello Meet Framkenstein' to complete the "Universal Big Three" movie collection.

 

I won't buy The Mummy or Invisible Man collections as they are available from my library - and I was never a fan of the Mummy movies to begin with. I have the Boris Karloff original in my collection and that's all I want of Mummy.

 

I am interested in maybe adding the Creature - although 'Revenge of' is not very good. But the first is a true classic and 'Walks Among Us' is quite an interesting third chapter. We'll see if I can pick it up from e-bay for a couple of bucks (which is how I got the others).

 

My Wolf Man Legacy collection is an old one, D1 was 140 min and has The Wolf Man & Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman

D2 has She-Wolf of London by itself (61 min) but includes about 30 min of extras on the other movies. Likewise D3 has Werewolf of London by itself (75 min) but includes about 25 min of extras. 

 

My Dracula Legacy collection is also an old one, D1 (150 min) has both Dracula versions, one with the Original Musical Score and one with Philip Glass score. D2 is listed as 175 min and includes the Spanish version of Dracula and Dracula's Daughter.

D3 is listed at 147 min and has Son of Dracula & House Of Dracula

 

I think my legacy sets are single sided, single layer DVDs, if your sets have all the same movies on two single sided DVDs, the discs may be dual layer.

When DVD first started becoming popular, they were all single sided, single layer format. Later for economic reasons and to conserve space, manufacturers would use double sided single layer format for longer movies or more movies. Then, when the price went down on multi layer technology, allowing more data per side, they went with that (i.e. DVD single layer = approx 4.25 GB useful space, double layer = approx. 8.5 GB useful space). A single layer DVD is pretty well limited to 480i or 720p max resolution (720×480 pixels NTSC) or 576i (720×576 pixels PAL) and 30 frames per second (FPS). But it was this kind of digital technology that began to supplant film in the movie and video industry. And manufacturers and distributors began adding multiple layers to increase space capacity. Originally there was no standard and there were a variety of different formats floating around. The technology advanced quite rapidly, driving prices down on older technology. Plus old manufactured stock had to be moved, before a new run, so it is not surprizing that there are such differences. But no harm or foul so long as the content remains the same. 

 

Advancing technology and the advent of greater and greater definition began to rapidly change all that.

In the first few years of the 21st century, the HD DVD vs Blu-ray Hi def technology duel began, and in much the same as VHS vs Beta Max a few decades before, it was marketing that pretty much settled the issue.

Today the Hi def standard is 1K or 1080 dpi (1920x1080 or 2.07 megapixels), and Blu-ray Hi def is king.

 

A Blu-ray disc generally has 25 GB capacity per layer, with dual layer discs 50 GB being the new industry standard for feature-length video discs. However there are triple and quadruple layer capacity discs available (albeit very expensive). That means distributors can pack alot more extra material about a movie, as well as multiple movies on a single BR disc, if they choose, though in most marketing instances that decreases profitability. Marketers are still selling a BR disc with a single feature video, albeit with much higher resolution than a standard DVD, and a lot more extras, rather than a BR disc with four or five HD movies. People are just not yet willing to pay the kind of money to make that a profitable venture, so most commercial BR discs have a lot of wasted space.

 

But this technology is far from static. 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray discs with up to 2160p resolution (3840x2160 pixels, or 8.29 megapixels), at up to 60 frames per second are now becoming common (that's 4x the 1080Hi Def standard). And even 8K UHD is available at 4320p resolution (7680p wide x 4320p tall, or 33.18 megapixels).

I know that what I am about to say opens a huge can of worms and is at best an apples vs oranges comparative, with many, many different variables (most importantly lense and sensor quality), but contrast this with say the quality of good ISO 100 35mm film which can be fairly duplicated, if not surpassed on images enlarged up to  8x10" with a good quality digital camera capable of 15-16 megapixels. And that image would be more than adequate for viewability on a higher resolution 4K monitor (4096x2160), so long as the details are clean at that resolution, which can be handled by using sensors and optical quality at a level superior to what is currently available on consumer entry level cameras and Iphones. Today there is a revolution going on within the movie industry, and more and more movies are being made using strictly digital technology and media. 

 

With this technology HD, and UHD televisions abound, but the current catchfall is that older movies, even cleaned up, fall far short of utilizing such capacity. And although newer movies are beginning to take greater and greater advantage of this, there is still a far greater selection of movies on DVDs than movies on BR, and BR is much more expensive than DVD (though this is changing) and there is still a lot of wasted space on most Blu-ray discs.

Once more it takes both a hi def product and an equally hi def monitor for consumers to appreciate any worthwhile difference.

The 2009 digital mandate vs analog is helping to speed up changes, but until last year, there were still only a relatively few true HD stations, and even less true HD material to broadcast.

However there are numerous other applications for HD and the technology is not going away.

The military really loves this stuff because it allows ever greater resolution in spying. And there are medical and space applications as well. Times are changing, and rapidly so. One day, in the not so distant future, one may be able to capture a still image from a video, and possess the kind of definition amplification capability that we saw in Blade Runner, where the reflection in the eye of a corpse could be magnified and enhanced to such then incredible detail that it not only revealed the assailant but the entire room within that victims field of vision....

 

But for an average Joe such as myself, who has spent a lot of time and money converting what I could of my old VHS tapes to DVD, and then repurchased or recorded those that were not available on DVD. I have an investment of time and money into thousands of DVDs which is now considered by many to be outdated technology.

But today I no longer have the time, resources, or desire to replace all that again with the latest technology, which is itself rapidly changing. So I am resigned to satisfying myself with my current 720p-1080p capability TV, and so long as my tastes remain relatively simple, and backward compatibility is an option, I will continue to enjoy much of what I have.

With that in mind, perhaps I should be more like yourself, more selective. And only purchase something new because it is something I consider really special to me???

So I will re-watch my old Dracula, and if the static and hiss is too annoying for me, I may just order that replacement for a start.

And if I can find it, I'll purchase both the sound and silent restored versions of AQOTWF.

Another would be the 1933 King Kong, if someone ever discovers and incorporates that original Lost Spider Pit sequence. :rolleyes:

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This guy was turning into a comedy routine about the 5th time he "popped up". I finally chalked it up to Dracula himself opening his cell or mezmerizing the attendant to do so. Either that or he has been given some such power of his own.

 

It's his diet of flies. Allows him to contract his body so he can squeeze through his window bars.

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Dracula was a disappointment for me. I remember watching it many years ago on AMC and not being impressed, probably because I had seen so many other vampire movies that it just seemed old hat. Also, I had read the novel and found it much more interesting than the movie.

 

I just watched it again, and nothing has changed, except, of course, the quality of the print. I like the sets and some of the photography, but overall, the film is too static. Manners and Chandler are horribly dull and hammy as the romantic leads. Van Sloan purses his lips like he just saw his septic tank backing up. In fairness, he does that in all the films in which I've seen him. Even Lugosi is too hammy. I suppose he was frightening to audiences in 1931, but now he just seems almost laughable. He was scarier in A & C Meet Frankenstein. Dwight Frye probably comes off best, although it is never explained how this guy escapes more often than El Chapo.

 

Historically, this is an important film, and I'm glad it was restored. But sadly, it's not my cup of tea.

 

I've found the best way to disappoint myself with a movie is to read the book first, and sometimes vice versa.

 

Back in the day, a great deal of "artistic license" was taken when most novels were adapted to film.

In some cases film rights would be purchased simply for the title, and the end product bore absolutely no resemblance to it's namesake.

The problem still exists, but perhaps to a lesser extent.

I read Jurassic Park well before the movie was released. Looked forward to seeing it on the big screen. Then was disappointed because the movie was such an abbreviated form of the book. It took two or three sequels to finally capture the meat of the original novel. But I do understand that is exactly why most movies, even the ones who give an earnest effort to being faithful, are so abridged. In the long rung it took Spielberg three or four movies to do Crichton's work justice. That is just not practical for a feature film. It takes a series, or a mini series for that.

Likewise with the well researched and written book by Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. Ron Howard's effort is notable, and the film worth watching, but it strays from the accuracy that I crave when watching a movie based on historical fact.

I could site numerous more examples, but I think the point is made.

 

When it comes to Dracula, as far as faithfulness to the novel, I agree with Darkblue, Coppola's 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' is by far the better adaptation, though I think a TV movie I once saw with Jack Palance, may also have come close.

 

None-the-less, Lugosi's interpretation was my first exposure to Dracula, long before I read the novel. And in my still childish mind he has remained the yardstick by which all Dracula's and vampires since have been measured. In contrast it is "old hat," but it is one of those horror movies that I thrilled to as a child and is like comfort food for me today. Also, I now watch such movies not so much for a fright effect but with a more critical and appreciative (or not) eye  for the sets, the dress, the style of both the day they were made as well as the time period that they were trying to depict. So I almost always find something new within something old, if (as you said) for no other reason than the historical significance.

I certainly agree with what you said about Lugosi, Manners and Chandler, et al, and I wonder just how much of their acting was them or at Browning's direction.

And Darko's comment "As for Lugosi - he's okay. Iconic and all that - but kinda toothless." (yep, no fangs in that grin)

And your comments about Van Sloan and Frye made me laugh! :D

BTW, when I was a kid I had Dwight Frye's maniacal heh he, he, he, heee, laugh down pat!

I used to look for him in other movies. He was a character. :P

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