this Dracula, the screen’s first sound version was also based on the Deane/Balderston stage version of the book. As a result, director Tod Browning’s film plays and moves like a drawing-room drama after the initial opening scenes on the magnificent Castle Dracula set. The basic plot remains the same, the main change being that it is Renfield (Dwight Fry) who first visits Castle Dracula, not Jonathan Harker, as Renfield has gone mad after falling under Dracula’s will.
Otherwise, the main beats remain more or less faithful to the book: Dracula travels to Whitby by boat, buys Carfax Abbey, and starts hunting first Lucy, then Mina (who in this version is made out to be Dr. Seward’s daughter). Van Helsing, Harker and Seward are all present, but largely standing around. Most of the action, even the climactic stalking of the count, takes place offscreen. Seen Today, 1931 Dracula Slow-paced, genderless and static, it lacks the book’s melodrama and often chilling atmosphere, but its imagery and impact on pop culture is undeniable.
The Spanish-language version of the film, shot at night with the same script but different cast and director on the same set, has divided critics over which version is better. Following the same plot and at a slower pace, some have suggested that director George Melford made better use of the camera and sets, although actor Carlos Villarreal’s portrayal of the Count ranks next to Lugosi’s.
3. Count Dracula (1970)
During Jesus Franco’s nearly 60-year career, the Spanish filmmaker wrote, produced and directed hundreds of films, although the question of how many of them were good remains to this day. Franco worked mostly in low-budget exploitation, horror, and adult films (both softcore and hardcore), and his talent behind the camera rarely rose above the level of the material and sources he was working with. A semi-exception was this Spanish-based production, which was advertised as the most faithful version of the book up to that time.
Franco must have used it to lure Christopher Lee to the project, who at the time publicly announced that he was tired of playing the role after five Hammer entries. in fact, Count Dracula Very faithful to the book, and notable for being the first version of the story to show Dracula getting younger as the story progresses. When we first meet him, he has white hair and a mustache (as in the novel), a detail not deployed again until Coppola’s version in 1992.
Van Helsing (the great Herbert Lom), Harker, Dr. Seward, Lucy (played by Spanish cult actress Soledad Miranda), Mina, and Quincy Morris are also here (not Arthur Holmwood), the film follows Stoker’s story very well. until the end. The problem is that Franco’s direction is as weak as ever, and the cast beyond Lom and Lee (who aren’t in the picture much) isn’t very good. It’s simply dull and visually uninteresting, even with some charming Spanish locales, making it a curio for completists but not worth the time for casual viewers.