Directed by Philip Saville
Adapted for the screen by
Gerald Savory from
Bram Stoker's novel Dracula
Produced by Morris
Louis Jourdan as Count Dracula
as Abraham van Helsing
Susan Penhaligon as Lucy Westenra
Bowker as Wilhelmina 'Mina' Westenra
Jack Shepherd as Renfield
Mark Burns as Dr. John Seward
Bosco Hogan as Jonathan Harker
Richard Barnes as Quincey P. Holmwood
Ann Queensberry as Mrs. Westenra
George Raistrick as Bowles
George Malpas as Swales
Michael Macowan as
Susie Hickford as Dracula's Bride
Belinda Meuldijk as Dracula's
Sue Vanner as Dracula's Bride
Bruce Wightman as Coach Passenger
Izabella Telezynska as Coach Passenger
O.T as Coach Passenger
Music by Kenyon Emrys-Roberts
Cinematography by Peter Hall
by Richard Bedford
Production Design by Michael Young
by Kenneth Morey
Makeup artist: Suzan Broad
Sound editor: Anthony Sloman
Visual effects designer: Tony Harding
Special video effects: A. J. Mitchell)
Script editor: Sally Head
Editor (video): Derek Miller-Timmins
assistant: Roselyn Parker
So far as I am aware, no other
attempt has been made to film Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, without fairly
major changes in the plot. One or two have claimed to do the deed, and have failed
to notice, for example, that the plot was largely set in England. I have always
maintained that such a lenthy and detailed novel, veering from diary, to letter,
to third person account, simply could not be filmed with any degree of faithfullness
to the original.
Well, this has been one excellent attempt.
detail has inevitably been lost, but other whimsical moments have survived - such
as Dracula crawling down the wall of his castle.
The characters have been
kept largely intact, except that Stoker's two superfluous males, Quincy P. Morris
and Arthur Holmwood, have been combined to become one superfluous male, Quincy
P. Holmwood. I'd have gone for Arthur Morris, but you can't win them all!
story moves at a fair pace, which really impressed me, and the casting and acting
really was superb. Louis Jourdan, often described as the first English Speaking
French Dracula (and probably the last), plays the Count sympathetically; we think
he's evil - but he doesn't; indeed, as Jourdan once said "I think Dracula
should be played as an extremely kind person who truly believes he is doing good.
He gives eternal life."
Non-Brits may not be aware that Frank Finlay
(van Helsing) was the definitive British Casanova, as well as inspiring
an early, spooky Blackadder as the Witchsmeller Persuivant. Susan Penhaligon
has a rare beauty combined with powerful charisma, and uses both to good effect.
Judi Bowker is probably the best 'Mina' of them all. Simply fabulous!
other male leads are weaker characters - but that's how Stoker made them! Renfield
felt less relevant, somehow, I'm not sure why - but it was a charming performance
for all that.
All in all, absolutely essential viewing for all students
of the Vampire universe.
Originally made as a three-part
miniseries, Count Dracula was re-edited ito a single movie for VHS, and briefly
on DVD. Copies of a VHS to DVD transfer have been seen.