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Dracula (1931)


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I've long wondered, after tirelessly arguing with those who've only seen this movie, and HAVEN'T read Stoker's fine novel, why they skewered the story as they have.  For instance---

 

The movie opens with RENFIELD travelling as a real estate agent to Transylvania to discuss things with Count Dracula.

 

When in the NOVEL, it was JONATHON HARKER who was the agent.

 

Plus, I didn't know 'POSSUMS were prevalent in that part of Europe, or in Europe at all!  :D

 

And, what became of  Lucy's American suitor?

 

Why wasn't Mina's last name SEWARD instead of MURRAY in the novel as well?  Could it be that she WASN'T Dr. Seward's daughter?  ;)

 

Don't get me wrong.  Despite these glaring disparities between the book and movie, I STILL like the old movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

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...Plus, I didn't know 'POSSUMS were prevalent in that part of Europe, or in Europe at all!  :D

 

 

And don't forget the armadillos here, Sepia!

 

(...or as I understand Texans refer to 'em: "Moving Speed Bumps")

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I've long wondered, after tirelessly arguing with those who've only seen this movie, and HAVEN'T read Stoker's fine novel, why they skewered the story as they have.  For instance---

 

The movie opens with RENFIELD travelling as a real estate agent to Transylvania to discuss things with Count Dracula.

 

When in the NOVEL, it was JONATHON HARKER who was the agent.

 

Plus, I didn't know 'POSSUMS were prevalent in that part of Europe, or in Europe at all!  :D

 

And, what became of  Lucy's American suitor?

 

Why wasn't Mina's last name SEWARD instead of MURRAY in the novel as well?  Could it be that she WASN'T Dr. Seward's daughter?  ;)

 

Don't get me wrong.  Despite these glaring disparities between the book and movie, I STILL like the old movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

The movie was based on the Broadway play, not the novel.

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You want to know something really mindbending??  There was a Broadway Musical of DRACULA in 2013--& the craziest thing is, It's OK--I mean, it never had a snowballs chance of making its' money back--lyrics are just OK, Dracula is a Fine singer, but All the women sound breathy & helpless--even when they're supposed to be belting out a duet, Dracula So outsings them I can't hear what their words are--but the overture is OK, the instrumentals have an Eastern European influence that can be heard, it's not bad --On Youtube, search for "musical Dracula" & click on the studio recording, HQ or HF--I forget.  It's worth a listen.

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Those of you who know Bride of Frankenstein (1935) -- and who on this Board does not -- may be interested to know that the opening scene between Byron and the Shelleys was based on fact. Lord Byron did invite Percy and Mary Shelley to his rented home (the Villa Diodati) on the shores of Lake Geneva in the summer of 1816. And it was a dark and stormy night (in fact, three dark and stormy nights in June 1816), and they did tell each other scary stories. Frankenstein was born then, developed in the next few years into Mary Shelley's great novel.

 

But there were others there -- John Polidori -- Byron's doctor -- for one. His contribution to the stormy evening was his story about the mysterious Lord Ruthven: a vampire. Polidori's story, which he told that June, developed into The Vampyre, the first modern vampire story, predating Bram Stoker's novel by more than 50 years.

 

So let's say "thank you" to a great man: John William Polidori (1795-1821), who made the vampire genre of literature and film possible. (It would be nice if TCM, in June 2016, celebrated the bicentennial of those nights with a comprehensive series of vampire and Frankenstein-related films and some serious discussions about the genre.)

 

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