Monday, 27 April 2015

Dracula (1931 version) (5 Stars)

I've been through phases with this film. When I first saw it on television at a relatively young age I loved it. As I remember, it was often repeated as one of ITV's Friday night horror films. Then I didn't see it again until the early 2000's, more than 20 years later. By that time I had a fascination with vampires and everything vampiric, sparked off by seeing the film "Vamp", but mostly centred around my love for the novels of Anne Rice. When I watched it again after such a long time I didn't like it. Apart from seeming dated, Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula seemed so macho to me that it was off-putting. Another 10 years passed. When I watch it now my impression is "Wow!" Bela Lugosi is simply perfect in his portrayal of Count Dracula. He's aloof and brooding, but with a dark charm that makes him likeable.

The film itself is amazing, from Carla Laemmle's opening words to the low-key ending (which still leaves me wondering if something else is to come). When it was made it was only a few years since the era of silent movies, and the film still has the silent movie characteristics of over-acting, especially where the facial expressions are concerned. It's a masterpiece, nothing less.

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