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Dracula (1931) Review


Excellent
Bela Lugosi stars as the man who "Never drinks -- wine" in horror's most renowned motion picture. Alas, the lack of music and a long 45 minute stretch that consists of nothing but Lugosi-less parlor room debates about the nature of vampires takes away from the movie, though it still remains as a classic of the genre. While Lugosi is of course memorable, don't forget Helen Chandler's Mina, who communicates more through her eyes than virtually any other actress caught on film.

Frankenstein (1931) Review


Very Good
A little talky and with limited action, James Whale would outdo himself with Bride of Frankenstein, four years later. But from 1931 to 1935 we can assume that audiences cowered in fear before the best and most terrifying horror films ever made, this and Dracula, which arrived the same year. Now a classic part of scream culture, Boris Karloff (credited here as "?") literally stumbles his way through a role that would define his career, a perfect portrayal of literature and cinema's most misunderstood monster. (Hey, if you were made out of corpse parts, you'd be mad, too!)

Drácula (1931, Spanish) Review


Good
This rarely-seen Spanish-language version of the Dracula story was shot on the same Universal lot, with the same script, and at the same time as the Bela Lugosi version. Lugosi took up the cape by day, Carlos Villarías had the role of "Conde Dracula" by night. He even wore Lugosi's hairpiece. While Villarías and Pablo Álvarez Rubio (as Renfield) provide some of the most dramatic overacting ever caught on film, Drácula on the whole is surprisingly well-made. It's about 25 minutes longer that the English version, which means extra subplots and added pregnant pauses are scattered throughout the film, but watching the laborious process by which the genius residents around Carfax Abbey piece together that their new neighbor is indeed a vampire is something that we'll always want to cherish.

Dracula (1931) Review


Excellent
Bela Lugosi stars as the man who "Never drinks -- wine" in horror's most renowned motion picture. Alas, the lack of music and a long 45 minute stretch that consists of nothing but Lugosi-less parlor room debates about the nature of vampires takes away from the movie, though it still remains as a classic of the genre. While Lugosi is of course memorable, don't forget Helen Chandler's Mina, who communicates more through her eyes than virtually any other actress caught on film.
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