businessman Renfield arrives in a far-off transylvanian village.
Here, he waits for a coach that is supposed to bring him over the
Borgo pass to the castle of Count Dracula, he tells the horrified
inhabitants of the village. Renfield doesn't care for their reservations.
Soon the coach arrives and a wild and rapid trip over dangerous
mountain roads begins. Renfield wants to warn the coachman to ride
slower, but only sees a bat hovering over the coach. On his arrival
at the castle he is let in and goes through creaking doors. At the
landing of a stairway an uncanny figure awaits him and bids him
to come up. Renfield is served wine mixed with a soporific and sinks
to the ground. Three of Draculas brides enter the room, Renfield
turns insane, Dracula goes to England.
his arrival in England, Dracula starts to do his foul work in the
London upper-class society. Here he is especially attached to the
Seward family and friends. Lucy Weston, the girlfriend of Sewards
daughter Mina, becomes his first victim. Soon the blood sucker also
becomes greedy for Minas throat, but the cunning Professor Van Helsing,
who sees through the counts secret and Minas fiancée Jonathan
Harker can prevent worse and dispatch the Count.
The Tod Browning film version from1930 was the first vampire movie
in the history of sound film and due to Bela Lugosis personal stamp,
expressed by his interpretation of the Count, it was to influence
the genre for nearly the next 30 years. Today it is, especially
because of Lugosis presence a film classic, even if it follows Stokers
novel only in the first part of the movie, playing in Transsylvania,
and if we can make out some decisive differences.
example we do not see Jonathan Harkers journey to the castle of
the monster, but Renfields. In the second part, which takes place
in London, the movie rather follows the play of Hamilton Deane,
in which Bela Lugosi already appeared on the stage as protagonist.
By this Tod Browning und script author Garret Fort leave out a great
number of great scenes that Stokers book would have had to offer.
But this was probably done in accordance with the censorship of
the epoch. We should not forget that the movie was made in the prudish
USA during the time of prohibition. It is only second-hand that
the spectator gets to know about the death of the Count. At the
time, the cinema-goer surely experienced comfortable shudders of
horror and the movie became a block buster.
many of the horror elements used in the movie may only make you
smile, for example the appearance of an armadillo in the count's
castle, but nevertheless, Lugosis interpretation of the Count makes
the movie unforgettable.