Dracula | Chicago Reader


Rated NR 75 minutes 1931

Universal's classic from 1931, directed by Tod Browning. The opening scenes, set in Dracula's castle, are magnificent—grave, stately, and severe. But the film becomes unbearably static once the action moves to England, and much of the morbid sexual tension is dissipated. Browning remains one of the most intriguing directorial enigmas of the 20s and 30s: he could be flat, dull, and clumsy, but once he connected with the underlying perversities of his screenplays, his films lit up with a diabolical grace. Dracula is disappointing next to Freaks and The Devil-Doll, but it still offers the highly satisfying spectacle of Bela Lugosi packing six volumes of innuendo into the line "I never drink . . . wine."

Film Credits

Director: Tod Browning

Writer: John Balderston, Garrett Fort, Dudley Murphy and Bram Stoker

Producer: Tod Browning and Carl Laemmle Jr.

Cast: Bela Lugosi, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, David Manners, Herbert Bunston, Frances Dade and Helen Chandler



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