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Members' Mausoleum => Calendar Events / Announcements Archive => Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I => Calendar Events / Announcements '05 II => Topic started by: michael c on July 16, 2005, 12:09:35 AM

Title: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: michael c on July 16, 2005, 12:09:35 AM
just an fyi.the 1979 version of "dracula" starring frank langella will be airing tonight(fri.7/15)at 10:00pm on the  american movie classics channel(ch.43 in the new york area).
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: michael c on July 16, 2005, 03:39:00 PM
did anybody else catch this?

it was sooo dated!it was shot in the washed-out natural palette popular in the late 1970's.it looked like a gothic ralph lauren ad.that's not to say there wasn't beauty there as well.

but frank langella's blow-out was more than i could take. ::)
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: CyrusL on July 16, 2005, 04:18:48 PM
I enjoy this version, but there are some serious plot loopholes, they kill Lucy twice for example, but most women I know LOVE Frank Langella in this. If you can find it, the BBC version circa 1974 with Louis Jordan is perhaps the best adaption of the book. It used to run on PBS around Halloween in the '70s, sometimes on one evening, sometimes as 3 1 hour shows. Not available on video in the US sadly.  [blackbat]

Michael
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: michael c on July 16, 2005, 04:33:37 PM
i do remember that when this movie first came out my mom and her friends just thought frank langella was the dreamiest.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Mysterious Benefactor on July 16, 2005, 06:04:47 PM
This '79 version of Dracula isn't particularly well regarded by critics, but I must say I enjoy it far more than I do Francis Ford Coppola's '92 version which is all style over substance, IMO. However, I probably prefer the '66 Hammer studio version (and subsequent series) featuring Christopher Lee over most other versions.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: PennyDreadful on July 16, 2005, 08:46:43 PM

 The only thing I really liked a lot about the Langella Dracula was the John Williams score.  The film itself is so-so IMO.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: victoriawinters on July 17, 2005, 07:14:17 PM
There were some stellar moments in the film as well as some duds.  Laurence Olivier was pretty bad.  I think Frank Langella brings lots of charisma to the role.  Kate Nelligan and he worked well together and had some chemistry as well.  [spoiler]The red lighted love scene was my favorite.[/spoiler]

I also agree wholeheartily with the opinions of John Williams.  He did do a good job with the score.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Gothick on July 17, 2005, 10:46:59 PM
I got to see a video of the Louis Jourdan version many years ago, and I'd love to see it again.  The ending is the closest to the book ever filmed, I believe.

Apart from that, some of my other favorites:

The Lugosi Dracula--the first fifteen minutes or so show you everything you ever need to know about Gothic horror.

The Jack Palance Dracula; some wonderful moments.

I think of the Hammers my current favorite is the 1969 Taste the Blood of Dracula, because it's been so beautifully restored on DVD, and Anthony Corlan (aka Higgins) makes a lusciously beautiful hero; Ralph Bates has a wonderful bit in the beginning, as well.

I've been meaning to screen again the Lee version directed by Jesus Franco, El conde Dracula.  I last saw it in the mid Seventies.  Klaus Kinski's disturbing realism in the part of a viciously deranged Renfield stood out.

G.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Patti Feinberg on July 17, 2005, 11:54:20 PM
Quote
The Lugosi Dracula--the first fifteen minutes or so show you everything you ever need to know about Gothic horror.

Amen and amen Gothick....soooo good.

Patti
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Raineypark on July 17, 2005, 11:56:24 PM
While we're on the topic of "Dracula"....is anyone planning to read "The Historian"?
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: arashi on July 18, 2005, 01:18:01 AM
and Anthony Corlan (aka Higgins) makes a lusciously beautiful hero

He is devilishly hansome isn't he? Of the Hammer Dracula movies I have only seen three, I admit, however they are my favorite Dracula movies. Christopher Lee plays such a feral Dracula, more so like the book Dracula than anyone else to play him. I adore Legosi's Dracula and that movie (especially Dwight Frye) but Lee just is Dracula.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Heather on July 18, 2005, 01:29:15 AM
The Lugosi Dracula--the first fifteen minutes or so show you everything you ever need to know about Gothic horror.

Absolutely! And yeah, I'd watch a good Hammer film any day...thanks Steve.  :-*
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Midnite on July 18, 2005, 01:34:09 AM
While we're on the topic of "Dracula"....is anyone planning to read "The Historian"?

I'm loving it.  The story is told through a series of letters, not unlike the Stoker novel.  Her beautiful writing carries me through the parts where the pace is slowed.  I may be a while with it yet, however, since I couldn't resist starting the Harry Potter book too.  ::)
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: ProfStokes on July 18, 2005, 03:34:02 AM
While we're on the topic of "Dracula"....is anyone planning to read "The Historian"?

Me--I'm halfway through it now (the lecture in Budapest).  As Midnite said, it is very close to the spirit of Dracula what with the numerous travel info and the fact that the story is told through letters and journals.  A reviewer in my local paper complained that the story was too drawn out and I admit to feeling impatient with the many interruptions, but on the whole I'm enjoying the book a lot.

Another book that I've recently read and enjoyed is Fred Saberhagen's The Dracula Tape.  Like Interview with a Vampire, it involves Dracula telling a reporter his side of the story.  It follows the source material very closely but features amusing commentary from Dracula on the events Stoker depicted.  It also manages to address some inconsistencies and loose ends from the original book.

ProfStokes
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Gothick on July 18, 2005, 02:39:27 PM
Hey Arashi, Anthony Corlan actually played a vampire in the 1972 sleeper Vampire Circus (released by Hammer but has a very different flavor from the studio's usual product).  It's not officially available in the US but I bought a gorgeous, letterboxed bootleg on eBay--the colors were really beautiful, and Corlan wasn't the only lovely man in the cast.

Best, Gothick
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: jeffreywj777 on July 18, 2005, 04:13:15 PM
I certainly concur with many of the picks above as great vampire films. If you truly love the genre include these on your too see list. Not all of them will appeal to everyone but they certainly add some different twists on the vampire story:

Nosferatu (1922): This silent black and white version is still IMHO the best representation of the horror of the vampire. Not the typical romantic character that most vampire films use since Bela Lugosi, this vampire is truly a monster. Find a good print to really enjoy.

Vampyr (1932): Released about the same time as Dracula, this european story has a lot of interesting elements, the best of which is that the victim is driven to suicide so that their soul is eternally damned and they too rise as a vampire. Despite the fact that this is a talky, most of the film is presented on screen like a silent through the reading of a journal on vampires.

The Return of Dracula (1958): This may be the last film to come out that isn't influenced by Hammer's rendition of the vampire story. It is earie in every detail and scared the crap out of me when I was a kid watching it on TV. A very fifties type of horror film.

Nadja (1994): A very stylishly filmed vampire tale. Interesting in many ways although I could have done without Peter Fonda's over the top rendition of Helsing. This film stuck with me for a few days.

Habit (1997): A very believeable attempt to depict how modern day vampires may operate without detection in today's society. Once again the suicide angle comes up.

Try them out. See what you think.

Jeff
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: CyrusL on July 19, 2005, 09:32:04 PM

The Return of Dracula (1958): This may be the last film to come out that isn't influenced by Hammer's rendition of the vampire story. It is earie in every detail and scared the crap out of me when I was a kid watching it on TV. A very fifties type of horror film.

Nadja (1994): A very stylishly filmed vampire tale. Interesting in many ways although I could have done without Peter Fonda's over the top rendition of Helsing. This film stuck with me for a few days.

One thing I love about "The Return of Dracula" is how is foreshadows Barnabas's entrance. In this film Dracula arrives in America introducing himself as a relative from Europe.

Nadja should be watched in context with "Dracula's Daughter", which its pretty much an unauthorized remake of. Some nice moments, but too much POV from a "toy" movie camera. Its funny that shows flashbacks to  "Papa Dracula" that are actually from Bela Lugosi in "White Zombie."  Nadja even pays homage to the morgue scenes in Dracula's Daughter as well as its sapphic subtext.

If anyone here has never read the book of Dracula, I would heartly recommend Leonard Wolfe's "The Essential Dracula" which beautifully annotates the original text and makes it more readible. You must have some patience with it, but when you do get into it, its quite entertaining.

While a lot can be said on some of the inadeqacies of Coppola's film, he did at least add some elements of the book no one else had, and dare I say it, its a better adaption that Dan Curtis's, which always made me wonder where Matheson was going, with his major changes to Harker's storyline and making Lucy Dracula's great fascination, not Mina, the latter of which makes much more sense storywise and cinematically.

Michael  [blackbat]
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Mark Rainey on July 19, 2005, 10:22:18 PM
The 1978 BBC Dracula, with Louis Jourdan, is easily my favorite production of the novel. While it takes some liberties with the source (most notably, the omission of a couple of key characters from the novel, and the apparently obligatory altering of Mina's maiden name), of all adaptations, it's probably the truest to the novel. The actors are all first rate, especially Frank Finlay as Van Helsing -- who puts Anthony Hopkins to shame, I'm sad to say; he easily rivals Peter Cushing for sheer screen presence. Jourdan probably doesn't jive with most people's mental image of Dracula, but he captures the spirit of the role better than any other actor; it's just a pity that he didn't first appear an old, withered man, as Dracula did in the book -- an aspect that Gary Oldman captured beautifully in Coppla's version, even if his "old man Drac" doesn't quite match Stoker's description.

Each time I've watched Bram Stoker's Dracula, I've come away with a slightly different impression -- which may actually speak to its credit, on some level. When I saw it at the theater during its first run, I was pretty well taken with it, despite its drastic deviations from the novel and its flagrant pilfering of DS's reincarnation theme. On subsequent viewings, though, my reactions have varied from faint admiration of its style to outright loathing of just about everything in it, particularly Keanu Reeves. Without casting aspersions on Anthony Hopkins, who is one of my favorite actors, I despise him as Van Helsing; and I must abashedly admit that my original admiration of Winona Ryder as Mina was based entirely on certain somewhat more, um, physical criteria. The whole production appears to take place on one big optically augmented sound stage, and, especially at the end, the screenplay borders on the outright saccharine.

On the other hand, some of the cinematography is inspired, Wojciech Kilar's score is one of the most dramatically effective works of film music I've ever heard, and Gary Oldman is just irresistible as a bloodsucker. The delivery of his lines, wonderfully Lugosi-affected, couldn't be more apt or expertly delivered. And Tom Waits as Renfield is so engaging that I could probably watch the film several times just to hear him passionately yelling "DOCTOR JAAAACK!!!!" His scene with Mina in the asylum, where he asks the Lord to bless and keep her, is really quite moving.

And that's my tuppence.
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: PennyDreadful on July 19, 2005, 11:37:40 PM
 Mark, we are on the same page with regards to Coppola's Dracula film.  I enjoyed Oldman's performance a great deal.  He is definitely one of my favorite modern-day film actors.   I had major issues with Hopkins' take on Van Helsing though.  He portrayed the character as somewhat loony, and that just didn't work for me at all.  Anthony Hopkins is a great actor but I really disliked his Van Helsing.  Cushing is my favorite Van Helsing, with Edward Van Sloane a close second.  I have yet to watch the Louis Jourdan Dracula and Nadja, and plan on getting around to watching them eventually.  Also regarding Bram Stoker's Darcula -  Keanu "Duuude!" Reeves gave me ulcers as Jonathan Harker.  Someone send that boy back to San Dimas High School!  Winona was so-so as Mina in my opinion.  She wasn't terrible, but she wasn't fantastic either.

 Gothick - "The Lugosi Dracula--the first fifteen minutes or so show you everything you ever need to know about Gothic horror."

  Very well said!

~Penny Dreadful~
Title: Re: OT...Dracula on AMC
Post by: Philippe Cordier on July 19, 2005, 11:51:55 PM
So many interesting comments here on vampire films and Dracula films.

I have never been able to stomach Coppola's Dracula (which certainly is not Bram Stoker's Dracula any more than Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein).  I think the appropriation of the author's names in both of these cases starts me off on the wrong foot since those who haven't read the books think these movies are accurate depictions of the novels.  Although changes to plot in other movie versions annoy me to no end, the total disregard and misrepresentation of the author's themes are what get my ire up with Coppola and Branagh.  And that's just for starters...

My favorite "Dracula" is Christopher Lee, and the Jess Franco version was the closest depiction of both plot and the character of Dracula (aged but physically powerful in the earliest scenes), but the film deteriorates miserably about mid-way through.  The final scene follows the novel closely, which I haven't seen in any other version.  I would love to see the Louis Jourdan version, though.

In the meantime, given the drawbacks of the other films, I have to settle on Dan Curtis' version as the most reasonably faithful, respectful, and well-done version I've seen.

Prof Stokes, I've read the Saberhagen novel too, and I agree with you that it's well done.  Dracula from Dracula's point of view, but not in a way that eliminates Stoker's themes but instead provides a counterpoint.  I read another "sequel" to Dracula but didn't care for it (the author started a Dracula/vampire series).

I haven't heard of the novel "The Historian" ... will have to check it out.