Jack Palance's portrayal of the eternally eerie Count makes the depiction of Dracula as a tragic figure incredibly believable. His combination of horror and pathos is brilliant in its execution - and the highly sexual attributes of the vampire legend are clear without being overdone or offensive.
The excellence of this production is in its combination of intensity and restraint. Sets, for example, are not exagerrated in order to be macabre - Castle Dracula could pass for a stately home were it not for the odd inhabitants. The "completely human" characters are intelligent, refined, and normal in their actions and words - the horror of being the victims of vampires providing sufficient Gothic elements. Interestingly, this version has the rare quality of referring, however obliquely, to the real Prince Vlad, and manages to give credibility to Dracula's plight (without exploring how his vampirism came to be.)
With apologies to fans of Bela Lugosi, et al, I believe Jack Palance captured the Count most perfectly.