Dracula

  • Directors: Terence Fisher
  • Producers: Anthony Hinds
  • Writers: Novel, Bram Stoker, Screenplay, Jimmy Sangster
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh

Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenberg, posing as a librarian. He is startled inside the castle by a young woman begging for help, claiming to be a prisoner. Dracula then greets Harker and guides him to his room, where he locks him in. Jonathan starts to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he has come to kill Dracula.

Freed sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She begs him for help but then bites his neck. Just as she does, Dracula arrives and yanks her away. When he awakens in daylight, Harker finds the bite mark. He hides his journal in a Virgin Mary grotto outside the castle and descends into the crypts, where he finds Dracula and the unnamed woman in their coffins. Armed with a stake, he impales the woman. But when he turns to kill Dracula, the count has already awakened and is waiting for him.

Dr. Van Helsing then arrives in Klausenberg, looking for Harker. The frightened townsfolk give him Harker’s journal. When he arrives at the castle, it is deserted; a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it. In the crypt, Van Helsing is horrified to discover Harker lying in a coffin as a vampire. Staking Harker, he leaves to deliver the veiled news of Harker’s death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker’s fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her. But, when night falls, Lucy opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck — already, it bares the mark of a vampire bite. And soon Dracula arrives and bites her again.

A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise. He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle. Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the sunlight and, forming a cross of candlesticks, he forces Dracula into it. Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing watches in horror. Mina recovers, the cross-shaped scar fading from her hand as Dracula’s ashes blow away and leave only a ring behind.

Dracula

  • Directors: Tod Browning
  • Producers: Tod Browning, Carl Laemmle Jr
  • Writers: Novel, Bram Stoker, Stage Play, Hamilton Deane, John L Balderston, Screenplay, Garrett Fort, Uncredited, Tod Browning
  • Genres: Fantasy, Horror
  • Actors: Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan

On Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis Night), Renfield (Dwight Frye) goes to the Borgo Pass where he is met by Count Dracula’s coach. The next day, Renfield and Dracula (Bela Lugosi) take ‘the Vesta’ to England. Ship arrives in Whitby harbor in a storm, captain lashed to boat, everyone dead, Renfield mad. Renfield is taken to Dr Jack Seward (Herbert Bunston)’s sanitarium near London. Newspaper clipping notes Renfield’s strange desire to eat small living things.

Dracula arrives in London. He goes to a play where he is introduced to Dr Seward, daughter Mina (Helen Chandler), Lucy Weston (Frances Dade) and John Harker (David Manners). Dracula announces he has taken Carfax Abbey which adjoins the Sanatorium. Shortly thereafter, Lucy dies of blood loss. Professor Van Helsing arrives to examine her. At the same time, Dracula visits, and Van Helsing notes no reflection in mirror. While Van Helsing, Seward and Harker discuss vampires, Dracula summons Mina outside. She is found in a faint on the lawn.

Renfield (Dwight Frye), a British solicitor, travels through the Carpathian Mountains via stagecoach. The people in the stagecoach are fearful that the coach won’t reach the local inn before sundown. Arriving there safely before sundown, Renfield refuses to stay at the inn and asks the driver to take him to the Borgo Pass. The innkeeper and his wife seem to be afraid of Renfield’s destination, Castle Dracula, and warn him about vampires. The innkeeper’s wife gives Renfield a Crucifix for protection before he leaves for Borgo Pass, whence he is driven to the castle by Dracula’s coach, which was awaiting him at Borgo Pass, with Dracula himself disguised as the driver.

Later that night, Dracula hypnotizes Briggs into removing the wolfbane from Mina’s room so he can enter. Van Helsing and Harker see Renfield, having just escaped from his cell, heading for Carfax Abbey. They see Dracula with Mina in the abbey, and when Harker shouts to Mina, Dracula sees them thinking Renfield had trailed them. He strangles Renfield and tosses him from the staircase, and is hunted by Van Helsing and Harker. Dracula is forced to sleep in his coffin, as sunrise has come, and is trapped. Van Helsing prepares a wooden stake while Harker searches for Mina. He finds her in a strange stasis, and when Dracula moans in pain when Van Helsing impales him, she returns to her old self. Harker leaves with Mina while Van Helsing stays. The sound of church bells is heard.

Dracula

  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Fuchs, Charles Mulvehill
  • Writers: Novel, Bram Stoker, Screenplay, James V Hart
  • Genres: Horror, Romance
  • Actors: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E Grant, Cary Elwes, Billy Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits

The film begins in a prologue, where Vlad III the Impaler (Oldman) fights for Romania as a knight in the Order of the Dragon. He defeats an overwhelming Turkish invasion in 1462. Upon returning home, he finds his beloved wife Elisabeta (Ryder) dead, having committed suicide upon hearing the false reports of his death in battle. Enraged at the notion of his wife being eternally damned as a suicide, of which he is informed by a priest (Hopkins), Dracula desecrates his chapel and renounces God, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness.

Over four centuries later in 1897, Jonathan Harker (Reeves), a law firm clerk, travels to Transylvania to arrange the transfer of Carfax Abbey in London, Count Dracula’s newest real estate acquisition. At the castle, full of bizarre, unnatural features and shadows that move by themselves, Harker meets Dracula, a wrinkled, pale old man in brilliant red robes. During the final signing of the real estate papers, the Count caresses a picture of Harker’s fiancée Mina Murray (Ryder), the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Elisabeta. Dracula then sets sail on the ship Demeter to England, leaving Harker captive by Dracula’s insatiable and bloodthirsty Brides (Monica Bellucci, Michaela Bercu and Florina Kendrick), who systematically drink his blood and have intercourse with him, leaving him too weak to escape.

In the castle, in the very chapel where he renounced God, Dracula lies dying. His body ravaged by age, he rebuffs Mina’s attempts to pull the knife from his heart. They share a last kiss, as the candles adorning the chapel miraculously light, and the desecrations he committed on the altar are repaired. As he asks Mina to give him peace, she shoves the knife through his heart and decapitates him. Mina then looks hopefully up at the vast ceiling, where a painting of Vlad and Elisabeta is shown of them rising, together, up to heaven.

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

  • Directors: F W Murnau
  • Producers: Enrico Dieckmann, Albin Grau
  • Writers: Bram Stoker, Henrik Galeen
  • Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Sam Loughrey, Alexander Granach, Georg H Schnell, Ruth Landshoff, John Gottowt, Max Nemetz, Wolfgang Heinz, Albert Vehnor, Heinrich Witte, Guido Herzfeld, Karl Etlinger, Fanny Schreck, Hardy von Francois, Gustav Botz

Thomas Hutter (Jonathan Harker in Stoker’s novel) is an employee at a real estate firm in a fictitious German city called Wisborg (the name of the town being a reference to the actual town Wismar), living with Ellen, his wife. His employer, Knock, receives a mysterious letter. Knock decides to send him to visit Count Orlok in the Carpathian Mountains to finalize the sale of a house. Hutter leaves his wife with his good friend Harding, and Harding’s sister Ruth, before embarking on his multiple-month journey.

Close to his final destination, Hutter boards at an inn, where the locals become frightened at the mere mention of Orlok’s name, and discourage him from traveling to his castle during the night. In his room at the inn, Hutter finds a book The Book of the Vampires, which he disregards before falling asleep.

Hutter is left to finish his journey on foot after his hired driver refuses to pass the bridge to the castle. However, he is soon picked up by Count Orlok’s coach, which is driven by a strange specter that hides its face, and moves at an unnatural speed. At his arrival at the castle, whose doors open by themselves, he is welcomed by Count Orlok. His grotesque facial features hidden at this stage by his hat, Orlok initially appears to be a mere eccentric gentleman. Hutter has dinner at the castle; Orlok refuses to eat and silently reads a letter. A bell rings at midnight and a startled Hutter cuts his thumb. Count Orlok tries to suck the blood out of the wound, but stops at Hutter’s horror, who then falls asleep in the parlor after a conversation with Orlok.

Orlok stares from his window at the sleeping Ellen. She opens her window to invite him in but faints. As Hutter leaves to get help, Orlok comes in. He drinks her blood and forgets about the dawning day. A rooster crows and Orlok disintegrates as he tries to escape. The last image of the movie is Orlok’s castle in the Carpathian Mountains.