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1931's Dracula with Bela Lugosi is worth seeing because it is iconic. However, it is at times painfully slow and theatrical. The latter is at least understandable given that it is more an adaptation of the stage play than Stoker's original novel, and Lugosi was cast precisely because he was in the stage play. But truth be told, while they do some interesting things with lighting to make his hypnotic tricks come alive, the possessed Renfield and Mina Harker are scarier than he is! But then, isn't that kind of the point? Universal more or less created the civilized, aristocratic, and suave Dracula with this picture, surely more insidious a villain than more monstrous portrayals. If it flags, it's in the middle once we reach London. While Edward Van Sloan is striking as Van Helsing, he's essentially an infodump device, making you realize we're too early for audiences to know all the vampire tropes by heart.
I will agree I enjoyed Frankenstein far more, but that's comparing apples to oranges. Like many classic - and it is indeed a classic - horror films, the atmosphere is really what makes it.
Also, the scene of Renfield's maniacal laughter below the deck is unforgettably terrific!
"Make sure you watch this before you see Herzog's Nosferatu because it basically renders this movie ineffective"
- User "alexbergmans"
I agree with that because this film was completely boring to me. Not that I loved Nosferatu, but it handled the story WAY better!
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This movie ranks #16 in 100 Must-See Films Of The 20th Century
This movie ranks #47 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
This movie ranks #58 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #85 in AFI's 100 years...100 thrills
This movie ranks #85 in Roger Ebert: the great movies
This movie ranks #93 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
This movie ranks #248 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #271 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #290 in National Film Registry
This movie ranks #740 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown