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Horror of Dracula (Widescreen)

Peter Cushing , Christopher Lee , Terence Fisher    Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

After Hammer Studios' tremendous success with The Curse of Frankenstein, they struck a deal to adapt Universal's catalog of classics and set their sights first on Dracula. Christopher Lee removes the monstrous makeup from the earlier film and makes his entrance as an elegant, confident, altogether seductive Dracula, a frightening figure of flashing eyes and erotic allure. Peter Cushing, with his hawklike profile and piercing eyes, turns his rationalist intensity to Van Helsing: man of science as crusading vampire hunter. Director Terence Fisher and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster make a few changes to Bram Stoker's tale; gone are Renfield, Transylvania, howling wolves, and transformations into bats. The Count is an old-world aristocrat firmly ensconced in a castle in England and Van Helsing a crusading vampire hunter who plots his demise with an elaborate plan. This is the first film to really mine the erotic appeal of vampires: Dracula seduces Mina and Lucy like a devil tempting good to the dark side through sex--more suggestive than explicit, but daring for 1958. Lee is electric as the ferocious Count, despite his limited screen time, and Cushing turns Van Helsing into a virtual swashbuckler of a hero, leaping and diving through the climax like an aging action hero. Cushing reprises his role in The Brides of Dracula, while Lee absented himself from the series until 1966's Dracula: Prince of Darkness. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Jonathan Harker, a student of vampires, ventures to Dracula's castle and attacks him. The revengeful vampire leaves his dark abode to prey on the family of his attacker's fiancee. The only man able to protect Harker and his fiancee is Dr. Van Helsing, a friend of Harker's. As a fellow-student of vampires, he's determined to destroy Dracula.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the entire Hammer series! June 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Definitely the best of all the Christopher Lee Dracula films. The sequels do not live up to this film, mainly because they do not contain all of the original characters such as Lucy, Jonathan Harker, and of course, Van Helsing. This film sticks with the original Bram Stoker novel with these characters. The only person missing is Renfield, plus nothing is ever mentioned about Dracula being able to turn into a bat, a werewolf, or mist. Yes, this was 1958 before visual effects were what they are now. But, in the Bela Lugosi film, at least mention is made of these things.
Lee is smooth as the Count, and Peter Cushing is a delight at Professor Van Helsing. These two were great together in other films, and it is too bad Cushing did not continue into the sequels (with the exception of the present day setting films). He would have made those films better and much more entertaining to watch.
A must have for any horror film fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Special Features? A Travesty!A letter to Warner from a film buff and a plea to Directors Martin Scorsese and John Carpenter.
Generally, I'm in total agreement with the many fine reviews listed here, and I need to add two important caveats... Firstly, where are the interviews, film stills, lobby posters, not to mention commentary tracks and possibly isolated music track?!?
Secondly, with such a fine print, why is the colour balance slightly off, especially noticeable in the red-orange bias of the colour of blood? (Warner got it right with their DVD release of The Curse of Frankenstein and their VHS release of Dracula; why not here?)
Lack of Special Features: Horror of Dracula is considered to be one of the finest examples of British filmmaking as opinioned by Phil Hardy (editor of the Aurum Film Encyclopedia) and other film historians. It is reported by Christopher Lee to have single-handedly saved Universal Pictures from bankruptcy in 1958. It has a great worldwide following of filmgoers including directors, John Carpenter and Martin Scorsese.
The DVD of a film of this stature deserves a complete roster of special features! Warner, you own the exclusive rights to this classic (as told to me by a Hammer Films executive)... so where are they?!?
Actor Christopher Lee (Saruman from "Lord of the Rings") has many personal stories about this epoch making classic and I believe would jump at a chance to share them with film buffs worldwide in an in-depth DVD interview. (He did so with the DVD release of Hammer's lesser (relatively speaking) "Hound of the Baskervilles" on MGM DVD.) Lee's story of attending the New York premier of Dracula with fellow actor and good friend, the late Peter Cushing is fabulous and should be preserved on DVD for all to experience!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic film of dark, ominous foreboding May 30 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This excellent horror film is by far the best of all other Dracula screen adaptations. No other film of this type approaches this Hammer production for drama, color, storyline, atmosphere, music score and acting. The movie is a straightforward narrative of the attempt to destroy the dark prince of the undead that becomes a struggle for survival between the resourceful, erudite Dr. Van Helsing and the frightening, evil Count Dracula. There are graphic bloodletting scenes, tense, scary moments and buxom ladies who become Dracula's victims. The film moves at a brisk pace towards its conclusion as Van Helsing races against time and Dracula to reach his castle before dawn or lose him and Mina Holmwood forever in the vast catacombs and underground passages. James Bernard's eerie, haunting music expertly suggests the tension and horror of the proceedings
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Blood Is RED and The Fangs are Bared! April 5 2004
Format:DVD
This picture is seminal in that it is the first partnership between Christopher Lee and the wonderful Peter Cushing in the Hammer Dracula series. Arguably the best of the series. This film still holds the power to shock today--despite the lack of heads being ripped from their torsos. From the first moment, one is transfixed by the Scarlet Blood dripping over the tomb with "Dracula" engraved upon the crypt lid. This was very alluring in the 1950's. Vampirism and colour were a very new thing indeed. Peter Cushing while maintaining some semblance of humanity is every bit as ruthless to destroy Dracula as Dracula is to destroy those who dared to violate his sanctum. Though not completely faithful to the book, one will find this movie an enjoyable and frightening venture into the Hammer world of Horror. I am only waiting for the equally terrible: Brides of Dracula to be released on DVD. The immediate sequel to Horror of Dracula, though missing Lee as Dracula, this film is even more inspired in its images of horror. And it is a master stroke to have one of Dracula's disciples: David Peel, actually appear with blond hair. The perfect angel, which makes him the perfect devil when he suddenly transforms. Peter Cushing is also in Brides of Dracula. Hurry and release this terrifying film (one of the top five best vampire films ever done!).
IN CHRIST JESUS: THE LIVING GOD,
W Braithwaite
*Gospel John Ch. 1; John 3:16-18*
Email: wbraithwaite@tampabay.rr.com
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Must-See For ALL Horror Fans! March 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Hammer's version of the classic Bram Stoker novel Dracula. The story has been rewritten, and while this may bother some people, I rather enjoyed it. Yes, most of the main characters from the novel appeared, but some of the roles have been rewritten. For example, Jonathan Harker is an undercover vampire hunter, who went to Castle Dracula posing as a librarian. His mission is to rid the world of this monster. While he manages to get one of the vampires, he fails to get Dracula. Dr. Van Helsing is a vampire hunter in this version. Plain and simple. He knows exactly who and what Dracula is, and he too is out to kill the Count. Although the story has been rewritten, it is still a very good script. I highly recommend this movie. It is a classic in the horror genre, and one of the better vampire movies. One thing that I am thankful for in the movie is the end scene, where Dracula turns to dust. As is always the case when he dies in this fashion, his ashes are always blown away. But then there is a shot where we see Van Helsing standing next to an open window, thus accounting for the sudden breeze. A fact that a lot of other horror movies tend to overlook.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Count on It
I've always had mixed reactions to this movie. Unlike what some of your reviewers are saying, the whole movie took place somewhere in Mittel Europe, without Dracula ever going to... Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by stephen spotswood
4.0 out of 5 stars A new classic vamp movie
Rich aristicrate Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) travels to England to instigate a reign of terror, with vampire killer Van Helsing (Peter Crushing) hot on his heels. Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by Vagabond77
5.0 out of 5 stars New Blood
This spectacular movie offered new blood to the dying genre in the late 50's. It's vivid, literary and sexy. Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by mikkel carlsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Lee is No1
Forget Bela, Christopher Lee is Dracula.
This is the best Hammer film ever.
Unlike modern horror movies, the acting is superb. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004 by Davie G
5.0 out of 5 stars BLOODY GOOD SHOW
Hammer Films was fortunate enough to have some really talented actors, script writers, directors and composers to work on their series of horrifying movies that started in 1957... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Michael Butts
5.0 out of 5 stars Rates right up with NOSFERATU and Bela Lugosi's DRACULA!!!!!
The late 1950s were a historical significance to the Horror Genre, being the first to introduce Gothic Horror in splendid technicolor. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by Michael J. Chrush
5.0 out of 5 stars Lee brought new life to the role
Chris Lee has had a love-hate relationship with Dracula. He played him in a series of films (progressively WORSE) for Hammer Films, and was often very vocal because the works got... Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2003 by Deborah MacGillivray
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest dracula film ever
this was truly a horror of dracula movie!Chris lee was terrific not to mention sexy.Iloved the way he spoke in tha demanding and so manly voice of his........
Published on Oct. 26 2003 by "1rakestraw"
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