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Movie-A-Day #138: Dracula (1931).

May 18, 2011

Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” one of the cornerstones of horror literature, was published on May 18, 1897. The king of the vampires has hit the big screen hundreds of times, mostly divorced from Stoker’s original narrative. But of the films that can claim at least some semblance to the book, Universal’s version is the standard. True, it’s a very loose version of the novel, but it made a screen icon out of Bela Lugosi and did as much to establish the traditional trappings of the cinematic vampire as anything Stoker wrote. Also worth watching is Universal’s Spanish language version, which was produced concurrently with the Lugosi version on the same sets, but which produces a quite different effect.

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