Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Classics: Dracula

Bela Lugosi was Dracula. No matter how many other actors have stepped into the famous role over the years, none have ever truly matched up with the original.

Dracula was one of the first in the long line of Universal monster movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and it shows in some places. The film follows Dracula on his quest to England to entice a young woman to become his bride. Simple stuff, but intriguing never the less.

The film is entertaining, primarily because it is so cheesy. The actors' performances are what you expect from this film, playing it up to the point of a stage production. That is in some ways what keeps this Universal monster movie from being as compelling as some of the later ones.

It plays out as if it was a stage play, never really taking much advantage of multiple locations, as well the editing at times is a touch choppy, I often wondered what was exactly happening in certain scenes. Plus, the original version of the film doesn't have any real musical score, and at times the suspense isn't nowhere like it is in the re-released version from the late 90s.

Regardless, this is one of those classic films that is so enjoyable to watch, any small quibbles are easily overlooked. The production design is as creepy as you would expect from this film, and like I said, Bela Lugosi is so entrancing as Count Dracula, this is one of those classic monster movies that shouldn't be missed.

I give Dracula a C+!

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