Dracula (1931)

For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you’re a wise man, Van Helsing. – Count Dracula

I watched the 1931 Universal Pictures movie “Dracula” on Svengoolie. We see possums, armadillos, bats, and spiders while they talk about eating roaches, flys and we hear the wailing of wolves during the film. We also learn just about everything about vampires, from their need for their sacred earth, cannot be in sunlight, Wolf’s bane will repel them, they have no reflection, bullets won’t hurt them, a crucifix will temporarily force them back, they can transform into bats or wolves, they feed on blood, they can temporarily hypnotize with their eyes, and they can be killed with a wooden stake through the heart.

This is Bram Stoker‘s original Dracula story. Reinfeld goes to Dracula’s castle with real estate paperwork for a place in England. Reinfeld is attacked and goes insane on the trip back to England by ship. Once there Dracula meets Mina, Lucy, Harker, Dr. Seward, and Van Helsing.

Listen to them, children of the night, what music they make

Count Dracula (commenting on the wolf howls)

Once Van Helsing figures out that Dracula is the Vampire the hunt is on. Dracula is played by Bela Lugosi (Murders in the Rue Morgue, White Zombie, Chandu the Magician, Night of Terror, The Black Cat, Mark of the Vampire, The Raven,

The Invisible Ray, The Phantom Creeps, Son of Frankenstein, Black Friday, The Devil Bat, The Wolf Man, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Corpse Vanishes, Night Monster, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, The Return of the Vampire,

The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. the blood is the life Mr. Renfield

Count Dracula (commenting on Renfield getting through the giant spiderweb that he mysteriously passed though)

The Body Snatcher, Abbott, and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space). He would actually only play Dracula once more in the Abbott and Costello movie.

Renfield is played by Dwight Frye (The Maltese Falcon, Frankenstein, The Vampire Bat, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein),

I never drink … wine

Count Dracula

Mina is played by Helen Chandler (American film and theater actress), Lucy is played by Frances Dade (American film and stage actress of the late 1920s and 1930s),

John Harker is played by David Manners (portrayed the archaeologist Frank Whemple in The Mummy, The Black Cat), Dr. Seward is played by Herbert Bunston (The Monkey’s Paw, Charlie Chan’s Chance), and

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

Count Dracula

Van Helsing is played by Edward Van Sloan (Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula’s Daughter, The Phantom Creeps, The Monster, and the Girl, Valley of the Hunted Men, Submarine Alert).

Dracula was produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. (King of Jazz, Frankenstein, Murders at the Rue Morgue, The Mummy, The Invisible man, The Black Cat, Great Expectations, Bride of Frankenstein) and co-produced/directed by Tod Browning (American film director, film actor, screenwriter and vaudeville performer and carnival sideshow and circus entertainer, Mark of the Vampire, The Devil-Doll).

The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him

Van Helsing

They shot this movie beginning on September 2, 1930, at Universal City. It took 36 weeks and came in a little under budget. Even though we never see the fangs that make the two puncture wounds on the neck you know they are there. I thought the movie was very haunting, creepy and the actors were great. I’m sure audiences were scared in 1931 (probably some popcorn was spilled). This classic is great and I’ll give it 5 out of 5 stars. For more information read Wikipedia, IMDB, and Rotten Tomatoes.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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