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Overall Rating
3.46

Awesome: 20.83%
Worth A Look41.67%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 20.83%
Total Crap: 8.33%

1 review, 18 user ratings


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Dracula (1979)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"There have been far worse 'Dracula' movies."
4 stars

This and Werner Herzog's 'Nosferatu' were the two big vampire remakes of 1979, though Herzog's film got better press.

It's fashionable in horror-geek circles to snicker at John Badham's version; like the 1931 Lugosi film, it follows the Hamilton Dean/John L. Balderston stage play more closely than it does Bram Stoker. For what it is, though, it's not bad at all.

Granted, it's staged and composed like Masterpiece Theatre, and Frank Langella, with his blow-dried hair and open-shirt gigolo charm, isn't a very menacing Dracula. Despite a nicely atmospheric opening scene aboard a boat and a truly chilling moment in a tomb, this Dracula isn't really a horror movie. It's more of a romantic spectacle, with heavy emphasis on Dracula's seduction of Lucy Seward (Kate Nelligan). But Langella, who also played the role on the stage, makes us believe in Dracula's unearthly erotic power; few other screen Draculas could convince us that women would chuck everything to be with them forever certainly not Lugosi, and not even Christopher Lee in his prime.

Purists were offended that the film is set in Edwardian England, rather than late-Victorian; purists were offended by much else. What they didn't see was that it communicates, far more vividly than the inert 1931 version, the rapture and horror that coexist in undeath.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2886&reviewer=416
originally posted: 04/15/07 09:38:36
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User Comments

3/18/13 The Big D Lugosi will always be the best, but Langella ties Lee for a respectable second! 4 stars
12/11/12 Andrea My favourite version of Dracula. 5 stars
6/06/11 art CORRECTION,the best movie vampire was MAX SCRECK in 1922's NOSFERATAU. 1 stars
1/28/10 art THE BEST DRACULA WAS CHRISTOPHER LEE IN JESS FRANCO"S COUNT DRACULA from 1971. 1 stars
12/13/09 SuzieQ OMG -- Frank Langella is the sexiest Dracula ever! It's my favorite Dracula movie ever. 5 stars
11/28/09 art LANGELLA IS A SO-SO DRAC,HE"S NO BELA LUGOISI OR CHRISTOPHER LEE! 2 stars
11/02/09 Halloween fan stylish and atmospheric, superbly acted by all 5 stars
9/03/09 art IT"S UP THERE WITH BELA LUGOISI AND CHRISTOPHER LEE 3 stars
8/01/09 Ian Jennings A well-acted version of an old tale, stylish, and great fun. 4 stars
6/05/09 Cathy Bell I say, not bad at all! 4 stars
2/09/09 Andrew Tomlinson underated. atmospheric and a pleasure to watch. 5 stars
8/20/08 Person of Interest Frank Langella is the best Dracula, and the screenplay is intelligent. 4 stars
7/18/06 David Cohen Dracula's back and ready to disco 2 stars
11/18/04 chris bloodless 3 stars
8/26/04 American Slasher Goddess Big budgeted dud 2 stars
11/28/03 john surprise but this is the best Dracula movie ever made - John Williams score is phantastic! 5 stars
10/16/02 Charles Tatum Yikes, Dracula sucks 2 stars
2/24/02 John Linton Roberson Who the hell does the Count get to blow-dry his hair all night? 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Apr-1979 (R)

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