3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First disc has problems, second disc is excellent
I would have given this 2 disc set a 5 star rating if it wasn't for problems with the transfer of Dracula that is used on the first disc. The picture looks worse than the previous release and Dracula's extended groans at the end of the film after being staked are missing...but they can be heard on the commentary track! If you have the previous DVD edition of this film,...
Published on May 23 2004 by Sean Brady
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars packaging
The transfers are as good as I would hope for. However, all the discs were loose in their container and rattling about. The first disc had a crack at the center hole. It doesn't seem to hurt the viewing, but since it was opened I have no recourse. All of the collections purchased, Frankenstein, Wolfman,and The Sherlock Holmes sets arrived the same way. It is really...
Published on May 8 2004 by Walter Blocher
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First disc has problems, second disc is excellent,
This review is from: Dracula - The Legacy Collection (Dracula / Dracula (1931 Spanish Version) / Dracula's Daughter / Son of Dracula / House of Dracula) (DVD)I would have given this 2 disc set a 5 star rating if it wasn't for problems with the transfer of Dracula that is used on the first disc. The picture looks worse than the previous release and Dracula's extended groans at the end of the film after being staked are missing...but they can be heard on the commentary track! If you have the previous DVD edition of this film, keep it. It's definitely preferable to this version.
The best reason for buying this set is the second disc. It's a double sided disc that contains the Spanish version of Dracula, Dracula's Daughter, Son Of Dracula and House Of Dracula. It's great to be able to own all four of these classic films on one disc, and the transfers are more than acceptable for films of their age.
Other reviewers of these Legacy sets have commented on problems with the packaging and I echo those concerns. I found it very difficult to remove the second disc from the packaging. The problem is definitely with the disc as I put the first disc in that side of the case and it was easy to remove. I found it easier to put the second disc in a seperate DVD case rather than return it to its original packaging as I would rather not risk cracking the disc by continually trying to force it out of its place in the snapper case.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars packaging,
This review is from: Dracula - The Legacy Collection (Dracula / Dracula (1931 Spanish Version) / Dracula's Daughter / Son of Dracula / House of Dracula) (DVD)The transfers are as good as I would hope for. However, all the discs were loose in their container and rattling about. The first disc had a crack at the center hole. It doesn't seem to hurt the viewing, but since it was opened I have no recourse. All of the collections purchased, Frankenstein, Wolfman,and The Sherlock Holmes sets arrived the same way. It is really appalling at this slipshod manner of selling merchandise. Individuel DVDs are tight in their packaging, but the collections are, pardon the expression, the pits. One wonders what I will find as I go through these movies over the months. I hope I find no more surprises. These classics deserve better treatment. Again I do like the transfer on the Dracula disc and the rest will probably be the same. At least I hope so. Who knows how many scratches and bumps have been added to the pristine originals by the packaging? Only the the Shadow...
4.0 out of 5 stars The blood is the life,
This review is from: Dracula - The Legacy Collection (Dracula / Dracula (1931 Spanish Version) / Dracula's Daughter / Son of Dracula / House of Dracula) (DVD)Bram Stoker's vampire novel has been remade dozens of times, but perhaps the best adaptation is the classic Bela Lugosi version. And "Dracula - The Legacy Collection" collects not only Lugosi's movie and the Spanish version, but three inferior sequels that are still moderately entertaining -- basically a vampire-lover's delight.
A solicitor, Renfield (Dwight Frye), is travelling to Count Dracula's castle for a real estate deal, despite the locals freaking out and crossing themselves whenever Dracula's mentioned. He soon finds out why -- the Count (Lugosi) is a vampire, who enslaves a mad Renfield to his will. Soon after, a ship with a dead crew (and Renfield and Dracula in the hold) arrives in England.
Soon Dracula has moved into his new home, Carfax Abbey, and is insinuating himself with the Seward family -- and especially with pretty Lucy Westenra, who dies of blood loss and is reborn as a vampire. Only the intervention of the mysterious Dr. Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) can stop Dracula's attacks in London.
Then there's the Spanish-language one, which is virtually identical and was filmed on the exact same sets, during the hours when the English-language one was not being shot. It's incredibly good, and although it lacks that iconic intensity that Lugosi brought the English-language film, it's full of atmosphere and amazing acting.
And there's an immediate sequel, "Daughter of Dracula," about a beautiful Transylvanian vampire -- created by Dracula -- who comes to England seeking a way out of her eternal torment, now that her "father" has been permanently killed. But her sinister servant wants to keep her enslaved to her bloodlust.
Then there are two inferior sequels: "Son of Dracula," which is basically a whittled-down plot set in the early twentieth century, with an exceptionally wooden "Count Alucard" played by Lon Chaney Jr. He moves in next to an heiress's house, kills her father, and marries her, so it's up to her ex-boyfriend to save the day.
And finally there's "House of Dracula," in which the very popular Dr. Edelmen (Onslow Stevens) gets two requests for supernatural cures from some kind of miraculous mold: Count Dracula (John Carradine), and the wolfman Lawrence Talbot (Lon Cheney Jr). Talbot is suicidal over his transformations, and Dracula is secretly pursuing Edelman's vacuous nurse and driving the good doc insane. And they stumble across Frankenstein's monster too.
It's a mixed bag, vampirewise. The first two are among the best classic horror ever made, but the sequels deteriorate as they proceed -- "Daughter" is a very solid movie on its own, and "Son" is cliche and wooden. By "House," they've decided to just be silly and campy, and throw in as many fictional monsters as they can fit in.
The direction in the first three movies is quite solid, eerie and gothic, with plenty of memorably haunting moments ("I never drink... wine," Dracula says smilingly). Lots of cobwebbed castles, foggy London streets, bats and women drifting around in white dresses. The last two are strictly B-movie fare in terms of directorial skill, and some moments like the flaming mine are simply awful.
Lugosi is simply brilliant as Dracula. While not the stately, imposing figure that Stoker described, he has a blazing intensity that works just as well, as well as great charm. Carlos Villarías is not quite as good, but does an excellent and faithful job in the Spanish version. Carradine doesn't seem to be trying too hard, and Cheney just doesn't work as a vampire (though he's glorious as Talbot).
These actors are backed by casts that range from the sublime (creepy, bug-eating, cackling Frye) to the ridiculous (the dreamy-eyed, hammy nurses in "House"). Gloria Holden deserves special kudos for her tormented, bisexual vampiress torn between good and evil, and Edward Van Sloan as Dracula's nemesis, Van Helsing.
"Dracula - The Legacy Collection" has a dud and a campy monsterfest, but the first three movies are divinely dark horror/suspense movies. Definitely worth getting and enjoying.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bela And Company Are Back!,
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor Audio Quality,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Again, It is about time!,
Superior(maybe technically) Spanish version is on here and so is English version with the Kronos score. I, personally, can do without the Kronos score but there are those who were enchanted by this addition. Son of Dracula was a cut above the other WW2 era Universal monster vehicles as was Frank Meets Wolf!
Dracula's daughter could have been a Whale. One does wonder what James Whale would have done to this one. Actually, I feel that Dracula's Daughter(1936), which by the way was the last of its type from Universal before the slick assembly line productions came into being(starting with Son of Frank), is superior to the original. The score is superb, the acting far above the 1931 film, and well, lets face it how do you top Vampire lesbianism in the 1930's post flapper era??
House of Dracula and House of Frankenstein almost seem to resemble what would become the staple of the blood-curdling technicolor productions from Hammer, and that was the BRAIN TRANSPLANTS. A deady body here and there, a brain pickled in a jar , a transplant to this one and this one, a suspicous burgomaster, a little decay and blood, you know the deal!
By the way, do you know how to tell when the first era of Universal horror ended?
ANSWER:Dracula's Daughter was the last Universal horror flick to utilize the pre-titles Earth-Globe with the old bi-plane circling. The slicker assembly line Universal horror began with the orbiting black and transluscent Earth-Globe to the 'Buy Bonds-support the troops' music in the background.
3.0 out of 5 stars �I am Dracula�.,
I thought that they could have done a much better job, then what was represented.
The reason I say that is because there are so many great ways they have now. So that they can clean up an old movie. Even something like Dracula and I could tell that they really didn't try to do so.
Also the movie comes in a beautiful DVD package. However, I find it difficult to open.
Not only that but the defects on both discs are rather annoying. I was disappointed that my computer got infected with the DVD for a while. So I had to restart it and start from were I was last off.
I was kind of ticked off to because I was enjoying the movie very much.
I almost hop that they will rerelease the movie to a better set.
However, the movie it self was great to watch, and I really enjoyed it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good set,
5.0 out of 5 stars Fangs for the memories, Universal Studios,
I waited a long time to watch the Spanish version of the Dracula, and it lived up to its reputation. A much more complete and compelling version of the film, aided by an additional half hour running time, this movie equals or excels the English language version of the film in all ways - except, of course, for the performance of Bela Lugosi, who simply is Count Dracula. As for the Lugosi version, I'm torn between the two scores. As a traditionalist, I tend to favor the original score, but certain scenes, particularly those involving Dracula's predatory approach to his victims are made much more powerful with the addition of the Glass score. Either way, though, Bela Lugosi is the main attraction, and his iconic performance defines Count Dracula to this very day.
The three Dracula sequels vary in quality, none of them living up to the reputation of the original. Dracula's Daughter takes the story in an interesting direction, giving us a vampire who seeks help in freeing herself of the Dracula curse, and Gloria Holden gives a formidable and nuanced performance as the daughter of the Count. Son of Dracula, on the other hand, pretty much lays an egg in my opinion. The only interesting thing about this movie is the debate over the true identity of the Count - is he Dracula? the son of Dracula? a relative of Dracula? In the end, it really doesn't matter, but it seems obvious that the blood of Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula certainly doesn't run in the veins of "Count Alucard" because this new bloodsucker on the block isn't the smartest vampire in the castle. Many Dracula fans will of course be aware of the fact that Lon Chaney, Sr., was the original choice to play Dracula in the 1931 film; his death opened the way for the relatively unknown Bela Lugosi to take on the role he had already played hundreds of time on stage. In Son of Dracula, Lon Chaney, Jr., gets the chance to don the cape; Chaney earned his spot of fame in the Universal monster pantheon, but he didn't earn it as the Count - his performance is nothing short of boring, aided not one iota by a surprisingly weak script from the hand of Curt Siodmak.
The addition of House of Dracula to The Dracula Legacy Collection is a very big deal, for this is the first time this film has found its way to DVD. House of Dracula is a really weird film, as this sequel of sorts to House of Frankenstein features not only Count Dracula, but Frankenstein's monster and the Wolf Man as well. John Carradine plays a quite pedestrian Count Dracula, while Lon Chaney, Jr., plays the Wolf Man; Frankenstein's monster is played by Glenn Strange, but the monster plays only the most minor of roles in the story. The action takes place in Vasaria (wherever that is), where Dr. Franz Edelman (Onslow Stevens) is pursuing his own rather wacky scientific experiments, placing great hope on some new kind of spore he is growing in his private little hothouse. Both Count Dracula and Larry Talbot (the Wolf Man) come seeking his help; Talbot's wish to banish the Wolf Man manifestation from his life is understandable, but Dracula's reasons for seeking help are never made clear. In the course of trying to help these two special patients, Edelman runs into the body of Frankenstein's monster in a cave underneath his sanitarium (in a rather ho-hum fashion, no less). As you might expect, this association with three monsters turns out to be a bad thing, leaving Edelman in a pretty bad fix himself. It's somewhat difficult to take this movie seriously, but it does provide some wacky good fun in a campy sort of way.
There is a slight risk involved with purchasing The Dracula Legacy Collection, but the rewards are worth the risk. Just be careful opening the case - even if both of the DVDs (one of which is double-sided) remain in position, you are likely to find a little knob underneath each one just dying for the chance to scratch a disc.
5.0 out of 5 stars Saturday morning Blood-sucking Creatures!,
You get the 1931 original appearance of a cinematic DRACULA! With two soundtrack options - listen to it in its original almost silent version, or chose the revamped Phillip Glass soundtrack version. Todd Browning who directed this classic was foremost a silent film maker, and DRACULA was designed to be shown in theatres with and without sound. So its almost creepier and more effective to see it with its long spooky silences intact. But Glass is a great musician, and I appreciate his soundtrack as well. It really depends on mood. And for fun check out the SPAINISH version which used the same sets. Beautifully shot, and considered by some technically superior to Browning's film! It uses more camera moves and visual effects.
The other films are a string of B sequels that are still a lot of fun. Gloria Holden as DRACULA'S DAUGHTER is surprisingly creepy and troublingly lesbian in tone. She only attacks women! SON OF DRACULA is campy fun with Lon Chaney Jr. sailing through smokey swamps. HOUSE OF DRACULA is the ultimate monster mash with Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Dracula making appearances in this last sequel to the Universal monster franchise before they all appeared in an Abbot and Costello movie that killed them for a while.
But they live on! My only beef with the extras is one where Stephen Sommers talks about how DRACULA influenced VAN HELSING. I don't want to tie my 1931 version of a classic to this year's Summer Hit. But in a way it proves ...
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Dracula - The Legacy Collection (Dracula / Dracula (1931 Spanish Version) / Dracula's Daughter / Son of Dracula / House of Dracula) by Tod Browning (DVD - 2004)