Count Dracula - on the Screen

Christopher Lee as Dracula
Christopher Lee as Dracula
Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker was born 'Abraham Stoker' in Dublin, Ireland in 1847. He wrote a number of novels and short story collections but is best known for his horror masterpiece "Dracula" which was published in 1897.

The novel was presented as a series of diary entries, newspaper clippings, ships logs and letters written by characters in the story. It wasn't a bestseller at the time but its reputation grew as years went by, more than a century later and the novel has never been out of print.

In the early 1980s the original manuscript for Dracula was discovered in a barn in Pennsylvania of all places, the working title "The Undead" was hand-written on the cover, the title was changed to 'Dracula' just before publication.

Stoker chose the name Dracula after reading up on Romanian history, the name "Dracul" means dragon, devil or monster in many Eastern European countries, "Dracula" literally means "Son of the Dragon" in Romanian mythology.

Count Dracula has been connected to a real life bloodthirsty Prince of Wallachia (a region of Romania) Vlad III (1431-1476) nicknamed Vlad the Impaler because he liked to impale his victims on wooden stakes. Vlad was a cruel, vicious ruler who is thought to have had up to 100,000 people killed, mostly by impalement. His father was Vlad II Dracul a member of the Order of the Dragon.

Count Dracula's castle was situated in the Carpathian mountains in a remote region of Transylvania. In the novel it isn't Van Helsing who destroys him, Dracula's throat is slashed open with a Kukri knife by Jonathan Harker and is than stabbed through the heart with a Bowie knife by Quincey Morris, the Lord of the Undead crumbles into dust.

Bram Stoker died on April 20,1912 after suffering a series of strokes, he was 64.

Warning - The following article contains plot spoilers.

Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922)
Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922) Directed by F.W. Murnau. 94mins.

Max Schreck - Graf Orlok / Nosferatu
Gustav von Wangenheim - Thomas Hutter
Greta Schröder - Ellen Hutter
Alexander Granach - Knock
Georg H. Schnell - Harding
Ruth Landshoff - Annie
John Gottowt - Professor Bulwer

Nosferatu, the first great vampire movie, was an unauthorised adaptation of Stoker's Dracula with the names changed, Dracula was renamed Count Orlok, Jonathan Harker is Thomas Hutter, Renfield is Knock and Van Helsing was changed to Professor Bulwer.

Stoker's widow successfully sued the German studio and prints of the film were destroyed, but thankfully Nosferatu returned from the dead in prints found in other countries.

Unlike the charming aristocrat in Stoker's novel, Count Orlok is a hideous rat-faced creature, a memorably creepy performance by Max Schreck.

Destroyed by - Sunlight.

IMDB rating 8.0

The film was remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 starring Klaus Kinski.

Dracula (1931) lobby card
Dracula (1931) lobby card
Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)
Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)

Dracula (1931) Directed by Tod Browning. 75mins.

Bela Lugosi - Count Dracula
Helen Chandler - Mina
David Manners - John Harker
Dwight Frye - Renfield
Edward Van Sloan - Professor Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston - Doctor Seward

Dracula: I am Dracula. I bid you welcome.
[wolves howl]
Dracula: Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.
Renfield: Why er... yes.
Dracula: This is very old wine. I hope you will like it.
Renfield: Aren't you drinking?
Dracula: I never drink... wine.

The film that made Bela Lugosi (1882-1956) a household name and a horror legend. The first of the Universal Studios series of horror classics of the 30's and 40's.

Lugosi had first played the role on Broadway in the play 'Dracula' which opened in 1927 and run for 261 performances. Lon Chaney was rumoured to be director Tod Brownings first choice to play the Count in the movie version, but Chaney died in August 1930 before production of the film began.

Dracula: For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you're a wise man, Van Helsing.

Unfortunately for Lugosi playing Dracula was a double-edged sword, it made him famous but he was typecast as a horror actor and people saw him only as Dracula.

Destroyed by - a stake through the heart, off screen, by Van Helsing.

IMDB rating 7.6

Dracula's Daughter (1936) poster
Dracula's Daughter (1936) poster

Dracula's Daughter (1936) Directed by Lambert Hillyer. 71mins.

Gloria Holden - Countess Marya Zaleska
Otto Kruger - Jeffrey Garth
Marguerite Churchill - Janet
Edward Van Sloan - Prof. Van Helsing
Gilbert Emery - Sir Basil Humphrey
Irving Pichel - Sandor

Not strictly a Dracula movie but it is a direct sequel to Universal's 1931 classic and Edward Van Sloan reprises the role of Van Helsing.

The film starts moments after the Count had been destroyed by Van Helsing, but the Professor discovers that Dracula had a daughter! Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden).

Destroyed by - an arrow through the heart by her manservant.

Van Helsing: She was beautiful when she died, a hundred years ago.

IMDB rating 6.4

Son of Dracula (1943)
Son of Dracula (1943)

Son of Dracula (1943) Directed by Robert Siodmak. 80mins.

Lon Chaney Jr. - Count Dracula / Count Alucard
Robert Paige - Frank Stanley
Louise Allbritton - Katherine Caldwell
Evelyn Ankers - Claire Caldwell
Frank Craven - Dr. Harry Brewster
J. Edward Bromberg - Prof. Lazlo
Samuel S. Hinds - Judge Simmons

Lon Chaney Jr (1906-1973) plays Dracula, out of Europe for the first time and now relocated in New Orleans, using the name Count Alucard ('Dracula' in reverse).

The first film to show Dracula transform into a bat on screen, a clever use of animation effects devised by special effects maestro John P Fulton.

Destroyed by - Sunlight, after his coffin is set on fire.

IMDB rating 6.1

House of Frankenstein (1944) publicity shot
House of Frankenstein (1944) publicity shot

House of Frankenstein (1944) Directed by Erle C. Kenton. 71mins.

Boris Karloff - Doctor Niemann
Lon Chaney Jr. - Larry Talbot / Wolfman
John Carradine - Count Dracula
Glenn Strange - Frankenstein Monster
J. Carrol Naish - Daniel
Anne Gwynne - Rita
Lionel Atwill - Arnz
George Zucco - Lampini
Sig Ruman - Russman

After Frankenstein meets the Wolfman (1943) drew in the crowds some bright spark decided to add Dracula to the mix and here it is the first ever monster mash!

It does seem strange that Bela Lugosi was willing to play the Frankenstein Monster in the previous film (after turning down the part in 1931) but didn't reprise his iconic role of Dracula in this film.

John Carradine (1906-1988) would play the Count in 2 more films.

Destroyed by - Sunlight.

IMDB rating 6.1

House of Dracula (1945) poster
House of Dracula (1945) poster

House of Dracula (1945) Directed by Erle C. Kenton. 67mins.

Lon Chaney Jr. - Larry Talbot / The Wolf Man
John Carradine - Count Dracula
Glenn Strange - Frankenstein Monster
Onslow Stevens - Dr. Franz Edelmann
Martha O'Driscoll - Miliza Morelle
Lionel Atwill - Police Inspector Holtz
Jane Adams - Nina

After disintegrating when exposed to sunlight in the previous film, Dracula (Carradine) returns in this film as if nothing had happened, the wolfman too seems to have survived being shot by a silver bullet in the last one. The filmmakers hoping audiences had short memories.

In an unusual twist the hunchbacked assistant is played by a woman, Jane Adams.

Destroyed by - Sunlight (again).

IMDB rating 5.7

Bela Lugosi and Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Bela Lugosi and Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) Directed by Charles Barton. 83mins.

Bud Abbott - Chick
Lou Costello - Wilbur
Lon Chaney Jr. - Lawrence Talbot / Wolfman
Bela Lugosi - Count Dracula
Glenn Strange - Frankenstein Monster
Lenore Aubert - Sandra Mornay
Jane Randolph - Joan Raymond
Frank Ferguson - Mr. McDougal
Charles Bradstreet - Dr. Stevens
Vincent Price - The Invisible Man (voice)

A successful send up of the Universal monster movies, even the Invisible Man turns up at the very end, voiced by Vincent Price.

Chick: I know there's no such person as Dracula. You know there's no such person as Dracula.
Wilbur: But does Dracula know it?

Bela Lugosi's second and last big screen outing as Dracula, though he would play the role again on the stage. This was also to be his last 'A' movie, he appeared in low budget fairly obscure movies for the remaining years of his life.

Destroyed by - the Wolfman... after changing into a bat the Wolfman grabs Dracula and they both fall from the cliff top castle into the sea.

IMDB rating 7.4

The Return of Dracula (1958) poster
The Return of Dracula (1958) poster

The Return of Dracula (1958) Directed by Paul Landres. 77mins.

Francis Lederer - Count Dracula / Bellac Gordal
Norma Eberhardt - Rachel Mayberry
Ray Stricklyn - Tim Hansen
John Wengraf - John Merriman
Virginia Vincent - Jennie Blake
Gage Clarke - Reverend Doctor Whitfield
Greta Granstedt - Cora Mayberry

Dracula arrives in California to visit his cousin Cora (!).

Francis Lederer would play Dracula again in an episode of Night Gallery titled The Devil is not Mocked.

Destroyed by - falling into a mineshaft and impaled on a piece of wood.

IMDB rating 5.3

Dracula (1958) Italian poster
Dracula (1958) Italian poster
Dracula (1958)
Dracula (1958)

Dracula (1958) US title Horror of Dracula. Directed by Terence Fisher. 82mins.

Peter Cushing - Doctor Van Helsing
Christopher Lee - Count Dracula
Michael Gough - Arthur Holmwood
Melissa Stribling - Mina Holmwood
Carol Marsh - Lucy Holmwood
John Van Eyssen - Jonathan Harker
Valerie Gaunt - Vampire Woman

After the success of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) starring Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Monster, Hammer Studios decided to concentrate on horror. Dracula would be one of their greatest and most highly rated films.

For the first time since Tod Brownings 1931 Dracula the storyline is loosely based on Stoker's novel, though Renfield is missing from this adaptation.

Jonathan Harker: [writing in his dairy] It only remains for me to await the daylight hours where i will with God's help forever end this man's reign of terror.

Christopher Lee's (1922-) excellent portrayal of the Count meant that he would be playing the Prince of Darkness at least 7 more times in movies.

Peter Cushing (1913-1994) would play Van Helsing and his descendant in 4 more films.

Destroyed by - an exposure to sunlight after Van Helsing tears down the curtains.

A remastered edition of this classic film with newly discovered footage will hopefully make it to Blu-ray in 2012 or 2013.

IMDB rating 7.5

Brides of Dracula (1960) Belgian poster
Brides of Dracula (1960) Belgian poster

Brides of Dracula (1960) Directed by Terence Fisher. 85mins.

Peter Cushing - Van Helsing
David Peel - Baron Meinster
Yvonne Monlaur - Marianne Danielle
Martita Hunt - Baroness Meinster
Freda Jackson - Greta
Miles Malleson - Dr. Tobler

No Dracula in this sequel despite his name appearing in the title. An atmospheric Hammer horror with Peter Cushing reprising his role as Van Helsing. Baron Meinster (Peel) is the lead vampire this time out.

Destroyed by - being trapped in the shadow of a windmill shaped like a cross. Different, but a rather feeble way of dispatching a vampire in a Hammer film.

IMDB rating 6.8

Billy the Kid vs Dracula (1966)
Billy the Kid vs Dracula (1966)

Billy the Kid vs Dracula (1966) Directed by William Beaudine. 73mins.

John Carradine - Dracula
Chuck Courtney - Billy the Kid
Melinda Plowman - Elizabeth Bentley
Virginia Christine - Eva Oster
Harry Carey Jr. - Ben Dooley
Walter Janovitz - Franz Oster
Bing Russell - Dan 'Red' Thorpe

It was released on a double bill with Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter, also directed by Beaudine.

The film was shot in eight days.

Destroyed by - a stake though the heart by Billy the Kid.

IMDB rating 2.7

Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) lobby card
Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) lobby card
Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966)
Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966)

Dracula - Prince of Darkness (1966) Directed by Terence Fisher. 90mins.

Christopher Lee - Count Dracula
Barbara Shelley - Helen Kent
Andrew Keir - Father Sandor
Francis Matthews - Charles Kent
Suzan Farmer - Diana Kent
Charles Tingwell - Alan Kent
Thorley Walters - Ludwig
Philip Latham - Klove

Christopher Lee's second stab at Dracula though he doesn't appear until half way through the film and during a gory resurrection sequence involving a victim hanging upside down over Dracula's ashes and than having his throat slashed open.

Count Dracula doesn't speak a word in the entire film though he does snarl and glare a few times.

The first Dracula film to be shot in widescreen 2.35 aspect ratio, labeled Techniscope.

Destroyed by - running water... trapped on an icy moat outside his castle Father Sandor (Keir) shoots the ice at Dracula's feet and the Count slips away under the ice.

IMDB rating 6.6

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) poster
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) poster
Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) Directed by Freddie Francis. 92mins.

Christopher Lee - Dracula
Rupert Davies - Monsignor Ernest Mueller
Veronica Carlson - Maria Mueller
Barbara Ewing - Zena
Barry Andrews - Paul
Ewan Hooper - Priest
Marion Mathie - Anna Mueller
Michael Ripper - Max

One of the best of the Hammer Dracula's, boasting one of the best horror movie titles, the film was very profitable for the studio and it includes a memorable (though temporary) death for the Count at the climax.

Destroyed by - being impaled on a giant cross. Dracula sheds tears of blood as he thrashes around with the cross protruding from his chest.

IMDB rating 6.4

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) poster
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) poster
Linda Hayden and Christopher Lee in Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Linda Hayden and Christopher Lee in Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) Directed by Peter Sasdy. 95mins.

Christopher Lee - Dracula
Geoffrey Keen - William Hargood
Gwen Watford - Martha Hargood
Linda Hayden - Alice Hargood
Peter Sallis - Samuel Paxton
Anthony Higgins - Paul Paxton
Isla Blair - Lucy Paxton
John Carson - Jonathon Secker
Martin Jarvis - Jeremy Secker
Ralph Bates - Lord Courtley
Roy Kinnear - Weller
Michael Ripper - Inspector Cobb

Christopher Lee wasn't enthusiastic about appearing as Dracula again for the Hammer studios and the film was originally going to be about his disciple - Lord Courtley (Bates) drinking Dracula's blood and turning into a vampire. But it all changed when Hammer offered Lee more money to appear as the Count.

With so many characters in this story Dracula is basically just a guest star, silently killing off each actor.

Destroyed by - the religious symbols and imagery revealed in an abandoned church, Dracula turns to dust.

IMDB rating 6.2

Scars of Dracula (1970) poster
Scars of Dracula (1970) poster

Scars of Dracula (1970) Directed by Roy Ward Baker. 96mins.

Christopher Lee - Dracula
Dennis Waterman - Simon Carlson
Jenny Hanley - Sarah Framsen
Christopher Matthews - Paul Carlson
Patrick Troughton - Klove
Michael Gwynn - The Priest
Michael Ripper - Landlord
Wendy Hamilton - Julie
Anouska Hempel - Tania

Dracula is resurrected by a bat drooling blood over his dusty remains.

Christopher Lee's fifth Dracula movie.

For the first time in a movie we see Dracula crawling down the castle wall like a spider, a nod to Bram Stoker's book.

Destroyed by - a bolt of lightning which sets fire to Dracula and he plummets screaming from his cliff top castle to a temporary death hundreds of feet below.

IMDB rating 6.2

Count Dracula (1970) Italian poster
Count Dracula (1970) Italian poster

Count Dracula (1970) Directed by Jesus Franco. 98mins.

Christopher Lee - Count Dracula
Herbert Lom - Abraham Van Helsing
Klaus Kinski - R.M Renfield
Soledad Miranda - Lucy Westenra
Maria Rohm - Mina Murray
Fred Williams - Jonathan Harker
Paul Muller - Dr. John Seward
Jack Taylor - Quincey Morris

Christopher Lee accepted the lead role in this Jesus Franco film because he believed it was more faithful to Stoker's novel. But liberties were still taken with story and despite an interesting cast the film was dull and gloomy. Lee played an aged Dracula with moustache but he was not as effective here as he was in the Hammer Dracula's. The reviews were mostly negative.

Destroyed by - setting his coffin on fire and basically cremating the old vampire.

IMDB rating 5.8

Charles Macaulay as Dracula in Blacula (1972)
Charles Macaulay as Dracula in Blacula (1972)
Blacula (1972) poster
Blacula (1972) poster

Blacula (1972) Directed by William Crain. 93mins.

William Marshall - Prince Mamuwalde / Blacula
Vonetta McGee - Tina
Denise Nicholas - Michelle
Thalmus Rasulala - Dr. Gordon Thomas
Gordon Pinsent - Lt. Jack Peters
Charles Macaulay - Count Dracula
Elisha Cook Jr. - Sam

Dracula: You shall pay, black prince. I shall place a curse of suffering on you that will doom you to a living hell. I curse you with my name. You shall be... Blacula!

Prince Mamuwalde is bitten by Count Dracula in 1780 and turned into a vampire. His coffin is taken to Los Angeles in 1972, the hungry Prince is revived and goes on a killing spree.

Destroyed by - suicide. After the reincarnation of his wife is killed, a distraught Blacula walks into sunlight and crumbles into dust.

IMDB rating 5.4

Stephanie Beacham and Christopher Lee in Dracula AD 1972
Stephanie Beacham and Christopher Lee in Dracula AD 1972
Dracula AD 1972 Japanese poster
Dracula AD 1972 Japanese poster

Dracula AD 1972 (1972) Directed by Alan Gibson. 96mins.

Christopher Lee - Count Dracula
Peter Cushing - Laurence Van Helsing / Lorrimer Van Helsing
Stephanie Beacham - Jessica Van Helsing
Christopher Neame - Johnny Alucard
Michael Coles - Inspector
Caroline Munro - Laura Bellows
Michael Kitchen - Greg

To the horror of Bram Stoker purists Dracula is resurrected into 20th Century London. But Hammer softened the blow by keeping the old Count safely tucked away in an abandoned deconsecrated old church.

Van Helsing: Look on me Dracula, look on me and remember.
Dracula: You dare to play your brain against mine, one who has commanded nations!

Christopher Lee's 7th movie as Dracula and he really was getting fed up with the role by now. But having his old friend Peter Cushing appear as Van Helsing (and his descendant) must have cheered him up a bit.

Destroyed by - impalement on the broken wheel of a coach in the pre-credit sequence set in 1872. And at the end of the film he falls into a pit full of wooden stakes.

IMDB rating 5.6

Peter Cushing in Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
Peter Cushing in Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
Christopher Lee in Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
Christopher Lee in Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) Japanese poster
Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) Japanese poster

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) Directed by Alan Gibson. 87mins.

Christopher Lee - Count Dracula
Peter Cushing - Prof. Lorrimer Van Helsing
Michael Coles - Insp. Murray
William Franklyn - Torrence
Freddie Jones - Prof. Julian Keeley
Joanna Lumley - Jessica Van Helsing
Richard Vernon - Col. Mathews

The 8th and final Dracula film for Christopher Lee.

Dracula: My revenge has spread over centuries and has just begun!

Set in modern day London. Dracula, despite falling into a pit of stakes in the last film is now posing as reclusive property developer D.D.Denham. Van Helsing finds out its Dracula and spoils his plan to release a new strain of bubonic plague onto the world.

Destroyed by - getting caught in the thorns of a hawthorn bush and than staked through the heart with a broken wooden post by Van Helsing. (the hawthorn was supposedly the source of Jesus crown of thorns).

IMDB rating 5.4

Jack Palance as Dracula (1974)
Jack Palance as Dracula (1974)

Dracula (1974) Directed by Dan Curtis. 100mins.

Jack Palance - Dracula
Simon Ward - Arthur
Nigel Davenport - Van Helsing
Pamela Brown - Mrs. Westenra
Fiona Lewis - Lucy
Penelope Horner - Mina
Murray Brown - Jonathan Harker
Sarah Douglas - Dracula's Wife

It was back to the novel for this interesting Made-for-TV movie written by Richard Matheson.

Director Dan Curtis was best known for his long running TV series Dark Shadows which aired weekdays from 1966 to 1971, a total of 1,225 episodes!

Destroyed by - a spear through the heart by Van Helsing.

IMDB rating 6.3

Udo Kier in Blood for Dracula (1974)
Udo Kier in Blood for Dracula (1974)
Blood for Dracula (1974) poster
Blood for Dracula (1974) poster

Blood for Dracula (1974) Also known as Andy Warhol's Dracula. Directed by Paul Morrissey. 106mins.

Udo Kier - Count Dracula
Joe Dallesandro - Mario Balato
Vittorio De Sica - Il Marchese Di Fiore
Maxime McKendry - La Marchesa Di Fiore
Arno Juerging - Anton
Milena Vukotic - Esmeralda
Dominique Darel - Saphiria

Released on a double bill with Flesh for Frankenstein which was also directed by Morrissey and starred Kier and Dallesandro.

A dying Dracula (Udo Kier) seeks the blood of young virgins to keep himself alive. The film was cut by 9 minutes on release and given an R rating. The unrated version is available on DVD.

Roman Polanski was making a film nearby and agreed to a cameo as "Man in Tavern".

Destroyed by - a stake through the heart.

IMDB rating 6.0

John Forbes-Robertson as Dracula in Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
John Forbes-Robertson as Dracula in Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) poster
Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) poster

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) Directed by Roy Ward Baker. 83mins.

Peter Cushing - Professor Laurence Van Helsing
David Chiang - Hsi Ching / Hsi Tien-an
Julie Ege - Mrs. Vanessa Buren
Robin Stewart - Leyland Van Helsing
Szu Shih - Mei Kwei
John Forbes-Robertson - Count Dracula
Shen Chan - Kah / Dracula

The last Hammer Dracula film, co-produced with Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers Studios.

Christopher Lee refused to appear in any more Dracula films and John Forbes-Robertson was only the 2nd actor to play Dracula in a Hammer film. His voice was dubbed.

Peter Cushing's 5th and last movie as Professor Laurence Van Helsing.

An unusual hybrid of European and Chinese horror mythologies with the added attraction of Kung Fu action scenes. A collectors item for fans but a long way from Hammer's great horror classics.

Destroyed by - a stake through the heart by Van Helsing.

IMDB rating 5.9

David Niven and Linda Hayden in Vampira (1975)
David Niven and Linda Hayden in Vampira (1975)

Vampira (1975) US title Old Dracula. Directed by Clive Donner. 88mins.

David Niven - Count Dracula
Teresa Graves - Countess Vampira
Peter Bayliss - Maltravers
Jennie Linden - Angela
Nicky Henson - Marc
Linda Hayden - Helga
Bernard Bresslaw - Pottinger
Freddie Jones - Gilmore

Renamed Old Dracula in the U.S. in an attempt to cash in on the success of Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein.

David Niven was the oldest actor to play Dracula, he was 65 years old at the time.

Destroyed by - it's a comedy and Old Drac survives to bite another day.

IMDB rating 3.2

Louis Jourdan as Count Dracula (1977)
Louis Jourdan as Count Dracula (1977)
Dracula's brides in Count Dracula (1977)
Dracula's brides in Count Dracula (1977)

Count Dracula (1977) Directed by Philip Saville. 150mins.

Louis Jourdan - Count Dracula
Frank Finlay - Abraham van Helsing
Susan Penhaligon - Lucy Westenra
Judi Bowker - Mina Westenra
Jack Shepherd - Renfield
Mark Burns - Dr. John Seward
Bosco Hogan - Jonathan Harker
Richard Barnes - Quincey P. Holmwood

Made for BBC television, one of the best adaptations of Bram Stoker's novel to date.

Dracula: We must survive, all of us. The blood of a human for me, a cooked bird for you. What is the difference?
Jonathan Harker: The difference between good and evil.

French heart throb Louis Jourdan makes a surprisingly effective Dracula, the rest of the cast is excellent too with some critics citing Frank Finlay's Van Helsing and Jack Shepherd's Renfield as the best ever embodiment of the characters.

Destroyed by - a stake through the heart by Van Helsing.

IMDB rating 7.5

Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani in Nosferatu the Vampire (1977)
Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani in Nosferatu the Vampire (1977)

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) Directed by Werner Herzog. 107mins.

Klaus Kinski - Count Dracula
Isabelle Adjani - Lucy Harker
Bruno Ganz - Jonathan Harker
Roland Topor - Renfield
Walter Ladengast - Dr. Van Helsing
Martje Grohmann - Mina

A remake of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922).

Bram Stoker's Dracula had entered the public domain and Herzog could use the actual names from the book, something Murnau couldn't do in his version.

Klaus Kinksi's vampire was an homage to Max Schreck's white-faced, baldheaded, rat-like creature.

Destroyed by - a stake through the heart by Van Helsing after finding Lucy Harker drained of blood and the vampire trapped by the light of dawn.

IMDB rating 7.5

Love at First Bite (1979) poster
Love at First Bite (1979) poster
Love at First Bite (1979) poster
Love at First Bite (1979) poster

Love at First Bite (1979) Directed by Stan Dragoti. 94mins.

George Hamilton - Count Vladimir Dracula
Susan Saint James - Cindy Sondheim
Richard Benjamin - Dr. Jeffery Rosenberg
Dick Shawn - Lt. Ferguson
Arte Johnson - Renfield
Michael Pataki - Mobster

A romantic comedy horror and one of the biggest hits of 1979.

Dracula: [Wolves howling] Children of the night... shut up!

George Hamilton emulated Bela Lugosi's accent from Dracula (1931) and Arte Johnson copied Dwight Frye's creepy laugh from that classic film.

Dr. Rosenberg: Well, Count, what do you say to that?
[Points the Star of David at Dracula]
Dracula: I would say leave Cindy alone and find yourself a nice Jewish girl, Doctor!
Dr. Rosenberg: Huh?
[looks at star]
Dr. Rosenberg: Ah sh!t it's the other one, isn't it?

Dracula moves to New York after being hounded out of his Transylvanian home by pissed off residents, he falls in love with Cindy (Susan Saint James), by sheer coincidence her boyfriend Jeffrey (Richard Benjamin) is a descendant of Van Helsing...

Destroyed by - no way, this is a romantic comedy. Dracula turns a willing Cindy into a vampire and transforming into bats they fly off into the sunset.

IMDB rating 5.9

Frank Langella as Dracula (1979)
Frank Langella as Dracula (1979)
Donald Pleasance and Laurence Olivier in Dracula (1979) lobby card
Donald Pleasance and Laurence Olivier in Dracula (1979) lobby card
Dracula (1979) poster
Dracula (1979) poster

Dracula (1979) Directed by John Badham. 109mins.

Frank Langella - Count Dracula
Laurence Olivier - Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
Donald Pleasence - Dr. Jack Seward
Kate Nelligan - Lucy Seward
Trevor Eve - Jonathan Harker
Jan Francis - Mina Van Helsing
Tony Haygarth - Milo Renfield
Sylvester McCoy - Walter

Frank Langella had played Dracula on Broadway in 1977. Director John Badham was a big fan of the stage production and signed Langella up for the movie version.

Dracula: You fools! Do you think with your crosses and your wafers you can destroy me? Me! You do not know how many men have come against me. I am the king of my kind! You have accomplished nothing, Van Helsing. Time is on my side. In a century, when you are dust, I shall wake and call Lucy, my queen from her grave. I have in my time had many brides, Mr. Harker. But I shall set Lucy above them all.
Jonathan Harker: You won't get Lucy.
Dracula: She's mine already.

Frank Langella insisted on playing Dracula as a matinee idol, without fangs and no bloodshot eyes. It was a successful portrayal and the film has many fans.

Unfortunately the DVD edition has had all the wonderful colour cinematography by Gilbert Taylor desaturated, giving the film a muddy sepia-tone look, apparently the director's preferred look for the film.

Destroyed by - Sunlight (or maybe not).

IMDB rating 6.2

The Monster Squad (1987)
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Monster Squad (1987) poster
The Monster Squad (1987) poster

The Monster Squad (1987) Directed by Fred Dekker. 82mins.

Andre Gower - Sean
Robby Kiger - Patrick
Stephen Macht - Del
Duncan Regehr - Count Dracula
Tom Noonan - Frankenstein
Brent Chalem - Horace
Ryan Lambert - Rudy
Ashley Bank - Phoebe
Michael Faustino - Eugene
Mary Ellen Trainor - Emily
Leonardo Cimino - Scary German Guy
Jon Gries - Desperate Man
Stan Shaw - Detective Sapir
Carl Thibault - Wolfman
Tom Woodruff Jr. - Gillman
Michael Reid MacKay - The Mummy
Jack Gwillim - Van Helsing

An enjoyable horror comedy featuring all the famous monsters, it was a lot more popular on home video than it was in theaters.

Rudy: Where the hell am I supposed to find silver bullets? K-Mart?

Eugene: Creature stole my twinkie!

Horace: Wolfman's got nards!

There have been rumours of a remake to be directed by Rob Cohen.

Destroyed by - Van Helsing, who turns up at the climax in time to snatch Dracula and send him back into Limbo (You have to watch the film to make any sense of this).

IMDB rating 7.0

Waxwork (1988) poster
Waxwork (1988) poster

Waxwork (1988) Directed by Anthony Hickox. 95mins.

Zach Galligan - Mark
Deborah Foreman - Sarah
Michelle Johnson - China
David Warner - Waxwork Man
Dana Ashbrook - Tony
Micah Grant - Johnathan
John Rhys-Davies - Werewolf
Miles O'Keeffe - Count Dracula
Patrick Macnee - Sir Wilfred

Waxwork contains even more monsters than The Monster Squad, they include - Dracula, Wolfman, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde, the Invisible Man, zombies, witches and a mutant baby!

When some young people sneak into a wax museum at night they are shocked to find the wax exhibits coming to life and threatening their lives.

Destroyed by - a gunshot to the head while in bat form.

IMDB rating 6.0

Followed by a sequel - Waxwork II Lost in Time (1992).

Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Dracula's brides feast on Keanu in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Dracula's brides feast on Keanu in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Anthony Hopkins in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Anthony Hopkins in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 128mins.

Gary Oldman - Count Vladislaus Dracula
Winona Ryder - Mina Murray / Elisabeta
Anthony Hopkins - Professor Abraham Van Helsing
Keanu Reeves - Jonathan Harker
Richard E. Grant - Dr. Jack Seward
Cary Elwes - Lord Arthur Holmwood
Billy Campbell - Quincey Morris
Sadie Frost - Lucy Westenra
Tom Waits - Renfield
Monica Bellucci - Dracula's Bride

The only Dracula film to receive Oscar nominations and winning three - Best Make Up, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Effects Editing. Also nominated for Art Direction.

Van Helsing: She lives beyond the grace of God, a wanderer in the outer darkness. She is vampyr, nosferatu. These creatures do not die like the bee after the first sting, but instead grow strong and become immortal once infected by another nosferatu. So, my friends we fight not one beast but legions that go on age after age after age, feeding on the blood of the living.

Critics reviews were mostly positive - "Overblown in the best sense of the word, Francis Ford Coppola's vision of Bram Stoker's Dracula rescues the character from decades of campy interpretations -- and features some terrific performances to boot." (Rotten Tomatoes)

Dracula: I have crossed oceans of time to find you.

Mina Harker: Take me away from all this death!

A big hit in cinemas in 1992 grossing $215.8m worldwide, Coppola's most successful film since The Godfather (1972).

Destroyed by - Harker slashing his throat, Morris stabbing him in the heart and his beloved Mina cutting his head off to give him final peace.

IMDB rating 7.4

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) poster
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) poster

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) Directed by Mel Brooks. 88mins.

Leslie Nielsen - Count Dracula
Peter MacNicol - Thomas Renfield
Steven Weber - Jonathan Harker
Amy Yasbeck - Mina Murray
Lysette Anthony - Lucy Westenra
Mel Brooks - Dr. Abraham Van Helsing
Harvey Korman - Dr. Jack Seward

Mel Brooks considered filming Dracula in Black & White like he did with Young Frankenstein (1974) but decided that since so many Dracula films were in colour this should be too.

Dracula: Children of the night... What a mess they make.

Lover at Picnic: Would you care for some wine?
Dracula: I never drink wine... oh, what the hell. Let me try it.

Lucy: I know you've always wanted me, and I've always wanted you. Finally we can be together.
Harker: But Lucy, I'm engaged to Mina... and you're dead.
Lucy: I'm not dead. I'm undead.
Harker: Yes, well, I'm not unengaged.

IMDB rating 5.4

Gerard Butler in Dracula 2000
Gerard Butler in Dracula 2000
Dracula 2000 poster
Dracula 2000 poster

Dracula 2000 (2000) Directed by Patrick Lussier. 99mins.

Gerard Butler - Dracula
Christopher Plummer - Abraham Van Helsing
Jonny Lee Miller - Simon Sheppard
Justine Waddell - Mary Heller-Van Helsing
Colleen Fitzpatrick - Lucy Westerman
Jennifer Esposito - Solina
Omar Epps - Marcus
Sean Patrick Thomas - Trick
Danny Masterson - Nightshade
Jeri Ryan - Valerie Sharpe
Shane West - JT
Nathan Fillion - Father David

Yep the same Gerard Butler who played King Leonidas in '300' (2006).

A 21st Century Dracula film which reportedly cost $54m to produce though I'm not sure where all that money was spent. It grossed $47m worldwide.

Dracula: I don't drink.... coffee.

Noteworthy for the eyebrow raising surprise revelation of this Dracula's Biblical origin.

Destroyed by - Sunlight.

IMDB rating 4.8

Van Helsing (2004) poster
Van Helsing (2004) poster
Dracula and his brides in Van Helsing (2004)
Dracula and his brides in Van Helsing (2004)

Van Helsing (2004) Directed by Stephen Sommers. 131mins.

Hugh Jackman - Gabriel Van Helsing
Kate Beckinsale - Anna Valerious
Richard Roxburgh - Count Vladislaus Dracula
David Wenham - Carl
Shuler Hensley - Frankenstein's Monster
Will Kemp - Velkan
Kevin J. O'Connor - Igor
Alun Armstrong - Cardinal Jinette
Elena Anaya - Aleera
Silvia Colloca - Verona
Josie Maran - Marishka
Samuel West - Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Robbie Coltrane - Mr. Hyde

Director Stephen Sommers had huge success with The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), for his next film he brought together Dracula, his vampire brides, various werewolves and the Frankenstein monster. Mr. Hyde appeared in an opening sequence introducing monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing (Jackman).

Dracula: I am Count Vladislaus Dragulia. Born 1422. Murdered 1462.

The film was an enjoyably over the top horror adventure but it wasn't as successful as The Mummy films, despite all the monsters, gorgeous women, breakneck action and CG overkill.

Van Helsing: My life, my job, my curse, is to vanquish evil.

The film cost $160m and grossed $300m worldwide, there are rumours of a second Van Helsing film possibly starring Tom Cruise.

Destroyed by - Van Helsing turned werewolf tearing at Dracula's throat.

IMDB rating 5.7

Jessica Biel, Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds in Blade Trinity (2004)
Jessica Biel, Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds in Blade Trinity (2004)
Dominic Purcell as Dracula in Blade Trinity (2004)
Dominic Purcell as Dracula in Blade Trinity (2004)

Blade Trinity (2004) Directed by David S. Goyer. 113mins (122mins)

Wesley Snipes - Blade (Eric Brooks)
Kris Kristofferson - Abraham Whistler
Dominic Purcell - Dracula / Drake
Jessica Biel - Abigail Whistler
Ryan Reynolds - Hannibal King
Parker Posey - Danica Talos
Paul Levesque - Jarko Grimwood
James Remar - Ray Cumberland
Patton Oswalt - Hedges
Eric Bogosian - Bentley Tittle

Wesley Snipes first appeared as Blade in 1998, the film was directed by Stephen Norrington and was a hit, a sequel Blade II (2002) was directed by Guillermo del Toro and was even more successful.

Blade Trinity pitted Blade against the King of the Vampires, Count Dracula, played by Prison Break star Dominic Purcell.

Hannibal King: Hey Blade, I got a question for you. Say we're successful, say we wipe out all the vampires. What then? Huh? Ever ask yourself that? I mean, somehow I can't picture you teaching Karate at the local Y.

The film had plenty of stylish action, Jessica Biel as a vampire slayer and some funny quips by Ryan Reynolds, but overall wasn't as good as the previous two and the least successful at the box office.

Destroyed by - Blade (who else?).

Blade Trinity cost $65m and has grossed $129m worldwide.

IMDB rating 5.8

A follow-up to this article - Vampires on the Screen - lists other noteworthy vampire movies with facts, ratings, quotes and photos.

The Highest Rated Dracula Films

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) poster
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) poster

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

Dixon Steele profile image

Dixon Steele 4 years ago

There's a Spanish alternative to the Bela Legosi Dracula that's worth seeing. It was shot simultaneously in the 1931 on the same Universal sets but with Spanish actors. The America crew shot by day and then the Spanish crew shot at night. It's racier than the American version and has more dynamic camera movements but unfortunately doesn't have Bela Lugosi.


Domenick Dicce 4 years ago

Great Hub on Dracula. I have been doing a lot of writing on him and researching his background lately. They hub was a wonderful resource.

I am glad Monster Squad made your list.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Dixon Steele, Domenick Dicce, thank you for commenting, much appreciated.

Dixon, yes the Spanish version is worth a look and available on the Dracula DVD along with the Lugosi version. I should have mentioned it but your comment can stand as an addendum to the article, thanks.

Domenick, yes I couldn't leave out Monster Squad, I grew up with those 80's films. :) Good luck with your writing and research.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Awesome awesome hub. I have seen about half of the movies listed. Most recently I just watched and listened to the commentary on The Monster Squad....a movie that I like even more as an adult. Great pictures to go with great trivia for each entry.

I never realized Bram Stoker lived until 1914....I would have thought he had passed in the early 1800s.....I guess I need to read up on my literature. Thanks for including Love at First Bite...a movie that was a huge hit when I was a kid......the best piece of new information....I never knew David Niven played the Count.

Voted up and across the board....your hard work really paid off on this excellent hub.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

As always, thank you for this


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Bruce, Mhatter99, thanks for commenting on my Dracula hub, it is appreciated.

Bruce, I've done a hub on the Devil so why not Dracula? I may do Frankenstein next time.

It's funny but The Monster Squad has a higher IMDB rating than many of the more serious Dracula films listed here.

I saw that David Niven film on video back in the 80's, it wasn't very good.

The only film here I haven't seen is Billy the Kid vs Dracula.

Appreciate the kind words and votes amigo!

Thank you both for posting.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

On a second viewing a have one more observation and one question for you. The observation: I keep thinking the actor in your photo of Son of Dracula looks like Clark Gable....Gable as the Count....now that would have been interesting....maybe Rhett Butler was a vampire....now that would really make GWTW interesting....probably the only thing that classic is missing...a vampire.

And now the question. I see that you listed 1922's Nosferatu but did not include 2000s Shadow of the Vampire....which has the only performance by an actor playing a vampire to actually get an Oscar nomination....Willem Dafoe. So are you saving Shadow of the Vampire for a future vampire hub?

Since I was here again.....I voted up and across the board.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

I did consider adding Shadow of the Vampire to the list but decided against it since Willem Dafoe was playing Max Schreck who was supposedly a real vampire, in the movie. Good film I bought the DVD, I will be doing a Vampires on the Screen hub in the near future, which won't include Dracula, he has his own hub.

That's Lon Chaney Jr posing as Rhett Butler in the Son of Dracula photo, his legendary father might have played Dracula and maybe Frankenstein's monster too had he lived.

Thanks for posting and voting Bruce, much appreciated.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

I was amazed to learn there were a few Dracula movies I missed! I've been a monster fan for as long as I can remember. Poor Bela, he didn't come to a good end and most of that was blamed on the Dracula role as you so aptly pointed out. I mentioned Dracula in my Monsters hub as well...right up there with Frankenstein and the Wolfman.

You really do your homework when writing these hubs and give us not only information but detail. Great job!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Velcome to my hub Mary, I never drink... vine, but I have some visky. No? Suit yourself... argh my fangs fell out.

Thanks for commenting. What monsters hub? What have I missed?

Is this the most spoileriffic hub ever, I describe how Dracula dies in every film! [cue gasps, roll eyes and a fainting] But who's going to remember all this stuff after they read it? No one. [climbs into coffin]


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, great hub, great posters as always! Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi are my two favourite Count Draculas - reminds me of seeing them in black and white on our old telly on a Friday night, hiding our faces behind the cushions on the sofa in 'terror' :o)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Hope you found your fangs dahling! My favorite monsters hub is the one I'm referring to. At this stage of the game and with the age of those movies, spoiling is not a big issue for sure.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

Fabulous hub! I was obsessed with Dracula films when I was younger but hate modern day vampire movies. I loved the 79 Dracula and used to watch it over and over again when I was a kid. I know there were mistakes like Mina reflected in a puddle when she should not have had a relection etc. Despite this, the music, the sensuality and excellent acting makes it so good. I also had a bit of a thing for Frank Langella and used to wish he'd appear at my window ready to give me a good bite!!!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Jools, Mary, Peanutritious, thanks for commenting on my hub of Vladislaus Dragulius Vampirius Maximus Decimus Meridius, it is appreciated.

Jools, I was hiding behind the sofa while I was writing this hub! No I kid but I did hang some garlic over the monitor just to be on the safe side, the smell!

Christopher Lee is my favourite Dracula, I grew up with the Hammer films, I remember buying Scars of Dracula on Super 8, this was before VHS took off in the 80's.

In fact I'm watching Christopher Lee in 3D right now! I've got Hugo playing on the TV, the 3D version.

Mary, fangs for the memory. There are so many Dracula films who's going to remember how he died but sunlight seems to be the safest bet, less gory too.

Peanutritious, I saw the 1979 Dracula at the cinema, good film, I bought the soundtrack too, John Williams, the master.

Thanks for posting!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Hi Steve; Gotta love Dracula. I doubt any character (except maybe Sherlock Holmes) has been depicted in more movies, books, TV shows, plays, comics, cartoons and songs. I doubt Bram Stoker could have predicted this.

Great pictures,

Rob


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Rob, Stoker would have been flabbergasted at all this attention to his book. But none of the movies have been completely faithful to the book, even the names of the novels two leading ladies get switched around sometimes.

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