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LornaHansonForbes

Welcome Home, Count Dracula.

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So Lorna and Larry --

 

You think that it's worthwhile upgrading my four Legacy DVDs to Blu-Ray? There is enough of a difference? (I have the Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Wolf Man Legacy DVDs, which include many movies in the series (though not A&C, but I'm not sure I need that one).

 

I assume the Blu-Ray DVDs are not exactly the same, movie-wise?

 

 

 

 

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So Lorna and Larry --

 

You think that it's worthwhile upgrading my four Legacy DVDs to Blu-Ray? There is enough of a difference? (I have the Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Wolf Man Legacy DVDs, which include many movies in the series (though not A&C, but I'm not sure I need that one).

 

I assume the Blu-Ray DVDs are not exactly the same, movie-wise?

We got a Blu-Ray player several years ago.  Only got a few Blu-Rays and do not believe it is worth the difference.  Do have one 50's B&W SciFi movie in both versions.  Absolutely cannot tell the difference.

And I have a friend who is big into latest video tech.  He said Blu-Ray is not that much better than a quality DVD.

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So Lorna and Larry --

 

You think that it's worthwhile upgrading my four Legacy DVDs to Blu-Ray? There is enough of a difference? (I have the Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Wolf Man Legacy DVDs, which include many movies in the series (though not A&C, but I'm not sure I need that one).

 

I assume the Blu-Ray DVDs are not exactly the same, movie-wise?

 

as for the blu-ray specifically, i cannot say. i do not have a blue-ray player, just a standard broke-ray player...but when the newly restored print of Dracula was released (within the last 3-4 years i think) i bought the latest edition of THE LEGACY COLLECTION on DVD, which even though it's a standard DVD, has the pristine restored print with clear sound.

 

i have no idea whether the original Legacy collection had the restored versions of DRAC, SPANISH DRAC. DAUGHTER, etc...but the most recent released one does.

 

confused yet?

 

i am too, a little.

 

bottom line- just pop in the DVD you got of Dracula and if there is any hissing or popping on the soundtrack and if the original SWAN LAKE music doesn't speed up during the intro and if the print is really, really, really clear- then you got the latest, cleanest restored version and i say no need to upgrade to blu.

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So Lorna and Larry --

 

You think that it's worthwhile upgrading my four Legacy DVDs to Blu-Ray? There is enough of a difference? (I have the Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Wolf Man Legacy DVDs, which include many movies in the series (though not A&C, but I'm not sure I need that one).

 

I assume the Blu-Ray DVDs are not exactly the same, movie-wise?

 

So far I've only watched the original Dracula and Frankenstein. The picture looks amazing, but when it comes to HD, it really depends on how big your TV screen is as to whether it's worth upgrading. I have a very large TV, so I notice the image improvement quite a bit. But on smaller TV's (under 40'') it will be less noticeable. There doesn't appear to be any new extras. The sets also repeat a lot of titles, like House of Dracula  and House of Frankenstein are on the Drac, Frank, and Wolfie sets, and I think A&C is on all 4 of them.

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So far I've only watched the original Dracula and Frankenstein. The picture looks amazing, but when it comes to HD, it really depends on how big your TV screen is as to whether it's worth upgrading. I have a very large TV, so I notice the image improvement quite a bit. But on smaller TV's (under 40'') it will be less noticeable. There doesn't appear to be any new extras. The sets also repeat a lot of titles, like House of Dracula  and House of Frankenstein are on the Drac, Frank, and Wolfie sets, and I think A&C is on all 4 of them.

 

 

yup, it is.

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one moment in DRACULA'S DAUGHTER that I DO love is when Marguerite Churchill gets stone-cold busted lying to Le Countess that the Doctor is out AND THEN his voice carries from the other room.

 

she turns and says "Why was it necessary to lie?"...simply, subtly, and with NO NEED to tack on the "B" word because it is all in THE EYES, then steps inside.

 

Oh Marguerite, you already dead, gurl.

You just don't know it.

 

gloria-holden-dracula-daughter-1936-6.jp

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dc4a23f63e0ac4e022419ce8fa0832b3.jpg

 

Yes, Gloria.

Yes.

 

(gah- I know you didn't want to be in this movie, but try to talk them into letting you keep THAT SASH to make up for it!!!!)

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You have to remember this film was made 85 years ago. Times were different and so were people.

I'm sure what you view as "camp" after viewing several times thru your life others found scary back in those days.

 

I remember when these old 1930's Universal horror movies were shown on late night TV. I was just a kid.

I wanted to watch them but was too afraid to watch them alone. I had to have my Dad sitting with me.

Many times he would tease me by saying he's going upstairs to bed but I'd beg him to stay with me.

All the lights in the house would be out; the only light would be coming from the TV screen.

 

I would refuse to watch horror movies when I was little but my brothers would watch them on our tiny black-and-white and turn up the volume real loud. For years, I could tell what movie it was: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy etc. just by the  dialogue or music. 

 

I would hide behind the half-wall in the kitchen that separated it from the living room, cause I was intrigued by the movies, but seriously too terrified to watch. My ma and grandma would stay in the kitchen with me.

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Forgot to add that because of my fear tonight will be the first time I've seen Lugosi's Dracula coz I DVR'd it and was working up the courage to watch.

 

Thanks to this thread and all posters (LornaHansonForbes, that's you especially), I'm going to give it a try. 

 

I'll let you know what I think.... or should I say what happens to me....

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OMG​ Dracula was fabulous. I turned on all the lights in my house and finally watched it. And I'm glad I did.

 

 Bats, rats, babies, armadillos, spiders, beetles, wolves (The children of the night...) The woman in white; the ghost ship. 

 

I was so impressed with the cinematography, the sets, the effects like the mist, the missing reflection in the mirror and the crumbling Castle Dracula and Carfax Abbey. The first part in Transylvannia is so great. The mentions of  Walpurgis Night and Nosferatu by the villagers set the stage for what's to come.

 

I hadn't realized that Tod Browning was the director. I love his movies.

 

There was also real beauty in this movie. When Mina and John walk up the stairs at the end with the morning mist, the sunlight streaming through the window and the church bells tolling. It was gorgeous.

 

I was surprised there was humor too. Crazy Renfield and his sanitarium keeper and the nurse. "My that was a big bat." 

 

As for Lugosi, the impersonations I'd heard and seen of him were not true to his performance. His  presence as Dracula is very believable. Those long fingers and fingernails, the way he swooped his cape.

 

"The strength of the Vampire is that people will NOT believe in him," Van Helsing says. Now, I do.

 

Thanks guys for the encouragement to watch another great TCM classic.

 

 

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Great post, marcar.  So glad you enjoyed DRACULA.  I love it, too, especially the first  half at the castle.

 

FYI:  In real life, Dwight Frye really wanted to be in comedy but ended up getting somewhat typecast in horror.  Still, I love his Renfield.

Who wants puny flies when there are fat juicy spiders?  Makes total sense...

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thank you, Marcar, it's nice to hear from someone first seeing DRACULA whose main feeling isn't at least a twinge of disappointment (I often describe it as a "fascinating disappointment.") it is, overall, a mix of things that work so well and things that could be much better.

 

(I've gone on this diatribe before, so apologies to all of you who've heard me "go on' about this before)

 

DRACULA is exhibit A in the case of a movie whose legacy is owed in near-entirety to the strength of THE ACTORS- because while there are other Tod Browning films that I do enjoy (FREAKS, THE 13TH CHAIR- which actually features LUGOSI in a prominent, English-speaking role three years (?) BEFORE DRACULA (!), THE UNHOLY THREE) he is so not there for this in his direction (or lack thereof) in DRACULA and it could just not be more clear.

 

If not for the strengths of LUGOSI and DWIGHT FRYE (who REALLY does A LOT to "spice up" the slower moments in the film's second half and deserves a lot of praise) and to some degree Helen Chandler and the actor playing Martin the Orderly, the film would be nowhere near the legend it is today.

 

and even the overall acting is something of a mixed bag- watching it on the big screen last year- the lethargic nature of Edward Van Sloan's performance really stood out- there's really not a lot of charisma there- and the big screen did nothing for the actor who plays Dr. Seward- seeing the film in large size, I winced once or twice at some of his reaction shots which are just terrible (see the cigarette box scene.)

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Great post, marcar.  So glad you enjoyed DRACULA.  I love it, too, especially the first  half at the castle.

 

FYI:  In real life, Dwight Frye really wanted to be in comedy but ended up getting somewhat typecast in horror.  Still, I love his Renfield.

Who wants puny flies when there are fat juicy spiders?  Makes total sense...

 

I've read that Dwight Frye was an artist and created greeting cards. He was a poor working slob, like myself, who tried to make ends meet.

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thank you, Marcar, it's nice to hear from someone first seeing DRACULA whose main feeling isn't at least a twinge of disappointment (I often describe it as a "fascinating disappointment.") it is, overall, a mix of things that work so well and things that could be much better.

 

(I've gone on this diatribe before, so apologies to all of you who've heard me "go on' about this before)

 

DRACULA is exhibit A in the case of a movie whose legacy is owed in near-entirety to the strength of THE ACTORS- because while there are other Tod Browning films that I do enjoy (FREAKS, THE 13TH CHAIR- which actually features LUGOSI in a prominent, English-speaking role three years (?) BEFORE DRACULA (!), THE UNHOLY THREE) he is so not there for this in his direction (or lack thereof) in DRACULA and it could just not be more clear.

 

If not for the strengths of LUGOSI and DWIGHT FRYE (who REALLY does A LOT to "spice up" the slower moments in the film's second half and deserves a lot of praise) and to some degree Helen Chandler and the actor playing Martin the Orderly, the film would be nowhere near the legend it is today.

 

and even the overall acting is something of a mixed bag- watching it on the big screen last year- the lethargic nature of Edward Van Sloan's performance really stood out- there's really not a lot of charisma there- and the big screen did nothing for the actor who plays Dr. Seward- seeing the film in large size, I winced once or twice at some of his reaction shots which are just terrible (see the cigarette box scene.)

 

Keep going. Your words are golden. Nice job, girl.

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I love DRACULA because it gives you a fair idea of what it would have been like to see it on Broadway in the late 1920's. It is, after all, the play adapted to screen.

 

By the way, here is my 16mm print of the original 1931 trailer (not the Realart Reissue we usually see). Note that the "mirror scene" Van Helsing does is actually from Edward Van Sloan's screen test and is staged differently in the picture itself.

 

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I've read that Dwight Frye was an artist and created greeting cards. He was a poor working slob, like myself, who tried to make ends meet.

 

Interesting.  He probably had many artistic ambitions but needed food (beyond flies and spiders) and a roof over his head.  My source on the comedy thing was an interview (don't remember with whom) several years ago in the magazine SCARLET STREET.  Great magazine, by the way, for lovers of classic horror.

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Dracula has always had a mixed critical reputation. Many horror buffs justly praise it for Lugosi and Frye's performances, the production design in the first sections of the film, and for a couple of other touches. But there has also always been some harsher criticisms of the movie, from the disappointing direction of Tod Browning, who should have had a field day with it, to the poor performances of some of the others in the cast (make that most everyone else in the cast). I personally like Van Sloan's take on Van Helsing, but can't help but wonder what someone else may have done with it, like Browning's longtime collaborator Lon Chaney, who I think would have made a better Van Helsing than Dracula. The film's adherence to the stage play makes it a shorter, less expensive endeavor than if they had tried to be more faithful to the novel, but it also makes it a bit too set-bound. 

 

This version of Dracula will always hold a special place for me by being the kick-off for the Universal horror films, and for making Lugosi a star, but I actually like it the least in comparison to the original FrankensteinThe Mummy, and The Wolf Man

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OMG, THANK YOU FOR THAT TRAILER, RAY!!!!

 

I would swear that it has not been included on any DVD release of Dracula either. I have never seen it before.

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I post this every year, I think, but I can't help but share it in hopes that it finds new ears.

 

For the record, THE DEFINITIVE TELLING OF DRACULA- the closest anyone has ever gotten to really telling the story, is this 54 minute long radio broadcast from the premiere episode of THE MERCURY THEATER starring Orson Welles as The Count and Agnes Moorehead as Mina.

 

In such a brief run time, Welles hits all the right notes- the highlight of the broadcast, honestly worthy of its own half-hour, is the recitation of The Captain's Log of the Demeter, the death ship that brings Dracula to England, just a marvelously acted piece.

 

There is a twist at the end, Welles does something that only one other version of DRACULA has done- but I don't want to spoil it.

 

The Finest Hour of Radio ever produced, as far as I am concerned:

 

(intro and commercials edited out.)

 

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Dracula has always had a mixed critical reputation. Many horror buffs justly praise it for Lugosi and Frye's performances, the production design in the first sections of the film, and for a couple of other touches. But there has also always been some harsher criticisms of the movie, from the disappointing direction of Tod Browning, who should have had a field day with it, to the poor performances of some of the others in the cast (make that most everyone else in the cast). I personally like Van Sloan's take on Van Helsing, but can't help but wonder what someone else may have done with it, like Browning's longtime collaborator Lon Chaney, who I think would have made a better Van Helsing than Dracula. The film's adherence to the stage play makes it a shorter, less expensive endeavor than if they had tried to be more faithful to the novel, but it also makes it a bit too set-bound. 

 

This version of Dracula will always hold a special place for me by being the kick-off for the Universal horror films, and for making Lugosi a star, but I actually like it the least in comparison to the original FrankensteinThe Mummy, and The Wolf Man

 

 The Dracula character is my least favorite character because I can't sympathize with the character like I can the Monster or the Wolf Man.      My wife and I watched The Wolf Man.   She wasn't really that interested,  but I told her that the production values in this film are first rate and when she found out Claude Rains was in the film,  she was sold.    She really enjoyed the film and felt it was a much better made (directed, acting,  script), than those early 30s Universal horror films.  

 

Like you those early 30s Universal horror films 'hold a special place for me' including the original Dracula.   

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 The Dracula character is my least favorite character because I can't sympathize with the character like I can the Monster or the Wolf Man.        

 

"To die, to be really dead...that must be glorious."

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A leitmotif in the 1931 DRACULA that I love, in fact, it's just about the first thing I think of besides LUGOSI when I hear the film mentioned is its ABUNDANCE OF GOTHIC ARCHES.

dracula-1931-main-review.png

 

Above here, in the GLORIOUS introduction of Lugosi scene, a maze of gothic arches behind him, one that later shows up in the Carfax Abbey crypts...Also Below, the prominent Arch below the stairs of the Abbey. (the entry way to the Castle in Transylvania also features two prominent arches, but i could not get an image to post here.)

dracula1931castleset.jpg

 

and again, in this deleted scene (or maybe just a publicity photo)  with LUGOSI- arches within arches within arches.

 

aeda76110d16f3aff07737ef2924eaa5--classi

 

 

and again, the arches even seem to be given a nod by the Art Deco bat from the credits below.

 

VDS-Dracula-bat-intro.jpg

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