- Director: George Melford, Enrique Tovar Ávalos
Paul Kohner, Carl Laemmle Jr.
- Screenwriter: Baltasar Fernández
Cué, Garrett Fort, Dudley Murphy
as Conde Drácula,
Lupita Tovar as Eva,
Barry Norton as Juan Harker,
Pablo Álvarez Rubio as Renfield,
Eduardo Arozamena as Dr. Van
Carmen Guerrero as Lucia,
José Soriano Viosca as Doctor
Manuel Arbó as Martin
- Released: 1931
of reviews, with links for the complete text:
"The Spanish 1931 Dracula
is in almost every way a superior production. Not only is it technically more
proficient, but the acting shows greater depth and range, and there's an energy
to the proceedings that is absent from the more popular English cousin. There
is, however, one crucial element missing from the Spanish Dracula - Bela Lugosi."
~ © 2000 James Berardinelli
"The superiority of the direction
in this version is matched, for the most part, by the superiority of the acting.
Lupita Tovar has a screen presence that puts her counterpart, Helen Chandler,
to shame. Not only that, Tovar has real chemistry with Barry Norton, making the
relationship between Eva and Juan far more believable than the one between Mina
and John. As Renfield, Pablo Alvarez Rubio has some problems with his vocal delivery,
but his physical acting is top-notch. Early in the film, when Renfield confronts
the strange goings-on in Draculas castle, the man really does look scared.
But the biggest improvement over the English-speaking version in the acting department
is Eduardo Arozamena as Dr. Van Helsing. In Brownings version, even Bela
Lugosi looks good next to Edward Van Sloan (the sap who plays Van Helsing there).
Arozamenas Van Helsing is nearly as good as Anthony Hopkins interpretation
from 1992s mostly risible Bram Stokers Dracula (though it doesnt
quite bear comparison to Peter Cushings take on the role)." ~ ©
There's little doubt that this was the superior of the two versions,
and well worth watching for that alone; if only it were in English! The subtitles
do make it hard work, and the length - some 104 minutes - means this will not
be a film to watch on a weekly basis. The acting, generally, is much better; the
photography is much, much better. And the direction is grander, smoother, truer
to the book ... for a classic Dracula Movie, See This!