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Count Dracula (BBC Mini-Series)

157 customer reviews

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(Sep 25, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Count Dracula (DVD)

This fan favorite three-part series from the BBC is now available on DVD for the first time! Louis Jourdan stars as the deliciously blood-thirsty Count Dracula in this version of Bram Stoker's horror classic. Keeping close to the original novel, the series begins with Jonathan Harker visiting the Count in Transylvania to help him with preparations to move to England. It is in the Count's castle that Jonathan becomes a prisoner, and discovers Dracula's true nature. Many scenes shot on location -- such as the Gothic graveyard of London's Highgate Cemetery -- add extra atmosphere to an already powerful production.


Devotees of vampire cinema have long esteemed this heretofore hard-to-see adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, made for BBC-TV in 1977. Count Dracula puts Louis Jourdan in the fangs and cape, in a version subtitled--and played as--a Gothic romance. This is one of those 1970s TV productions that use film for exteriors and video for the interiors, a tactic that increases the general sense of cheapness about the whole thing (although the location stuff is good, including scenes on the cliffs of Whitby, the port town where Dracula comes to visit England). With 150 minutes to play with, the production has more of Stoker than many film versions include, although there's still some shuffling of the original. It's all a bit slow, and surprisingly cheesy at times, even with the occasional startling image: Dracula scooting bat-like down the side of his castle, or the vampire brides preparing to devour a baby (a scene cut from some subsequent showings of the series, but restored here). Frank Finlay makes a focused Van Helsing--a minimum of camping, thankfully--and Susan Penhaligon and Judi Bowker are respectively hot and cold as Lucy and Mina. Jourdan is effective, although he's off screen a lot and really gets his good bites in toward the end. You'll need some patience, but Jourdan drinks it dry. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Louis Jourdan, Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R7I48G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,278 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Count Dracula (BBC Mini-Series)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Darrell Heath on June 8, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this version of "Dracula" on PBS back in the 70's (shortly after having read the novel) and thought it a wondererful (albeit a little stiff) and very faithful film adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic gothic novel. Of course there have been hundreds of films featuring Count Dracula down through the ages but very few of them adhered closely to the orignal source material. In fact most of them just borrowed a few key characters and maybe a plot thread or two and then just created their own story. Thankfully the BBC decided to rectify matters by filming their own adaptation for television and this is the first film that I am aware of that really does stay true to the novel. In fact this was the first film to show many of the famous scenes from the novel that previous films had ignored. Namely the scenes of Dracula crawling down the castle walls and a very controversial (at the time) scene where the Count offers a baby to his three vampire brides.

Now keep in mind this is 70's era BBC televsision. While the acting is quite good some of the other production values are not going to be of the same quality that many of today's viewing audiences are used to. For example many of the exterior scenes are filmed outdoors while the interior scenes are filmed on sets. Consequently there is going to be some sequences with a certain stagey quality to them. Some of the special effects shots are going to be...well, lets just say not all that special. Now having said all that I still can tell you that there are more chills to be had from this version than the BBC's most recent and very disapointing adaptation of "Dracula". In fact, I'll go so far as to say that this version is even better than Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula".
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Gregory E. Foster VINE VOICE on July 6, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase

I cannot believe that we are FINALLY going to be able to own this unforgettable BBC series!!!

The BEST version of Dracula ever placed on film! I have wished for, and waited, it seems like forever, for a chance to be able to not only see this great "film" again, but to be able to have it on my shelves to watch over and over anytime I wish to.

I am a long-time horror film buff, and have seen so many Dracula films I cannot begin to even remember all of them, and THIS is the BEST ever! It closely follows the book, and it also has no "fantastic" [s...] added (as Hollywood is wont to do).

If you are a fan of Bram Stoker's fabled book, then this is, certainly, the Dracula movie for you, trust me. Bravo to Warner Brothers for bringing this great masterpiece film to our list of "available" choices for Dracula on film. This is truly a milestone movie!!! ~operabruin
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By HorrorMan on April 9, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Louis Jourdan stars as Count Dracula in what is the greatest version of "Dracula" of all-time, the BBC version of "Dracula" a/k/a "Dracula 1977". For years and years, I searched for this film to no success. Only recently was this film ever made available to the public in any form. I can remember when I was young watching this version of Dracula on the PBS station, channel seven (7) back in the late 1970s. Quite frankly, it scared the daylights out of me then, and I was no stranger to horror movies even at such a tender age. Having seen it again almost 30 years later, I can certainly see why. In fact, this movie still packs quite a horrific punch, much more so than all of the "Dracula" movies that exist today. More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that the BBC version delivers the story of Dracula for all intents and purposes to the very letter of Bram Stoker's classic novel. Sometimes, movies that are variations of the novels that they are based upon turn out better than the book, but not in "Dracula". Bram Stoker's version is the most horrifying, and it is a classic in every sense of the word.

The acting in the BBC version of "Dracula" is simply outstanding, including Louis Jourdan as the Count himself and Frank Finlay, who is perfect as Professor Van Helsing, rivaling even Laurence Olivier in "Dracula 1979". However, it is the hauntingly dark and realistic setting, atmosphere and suspense that the BBC version of "Dracula" delivers to the audience that makes this particular rendition of "Dracula" a positively bone-chilling viewing experience and the ultimate "Dracula" movie.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Red Wood on September 5, 2007
Format: DVD
I also, as others here, saw this on PBS when it was first released in the late 70s. It was rebroadcast a few years later, but only once, never to be seen again after that. As reviewers here have mentioned, the scene that sticks out in my mind is where Louis Jourdan, who portrays Dracula, climbs down the wall (I guess the reason that all of us here remember that scene is due to how surreal it really seemed for the late 70s, especially TV). Yes, it was one of those early BBC miniseries, so it was shot on videotape, but this only seems to have made it all the more eery for me @ the time(although, given, I was but a preteen). This video format also seemed to make a similarly-themed earlier TV show, "Dark Shadows", all the more immediate and, yes, eery. I also remembered the production music from the Jourdan series to this day and I have recalled just how insecure I got after each evening's chapter had finished. Since, first, only the final chapter had the 'happy' ending, with each of the others leaving me with a feeling of dread, and, second, I had to go to bed not long after each evening's broadcast(YIPES!!!), I was sure my imagination had built this up a bit, too. Over the years, my father and I had discussed this version & I remember him hoping beyond hope for it to be released on video, it seeming to have been forgotten. Alas, it never was released. In recent years, I had began to see it resurfacing in articles and books, renewing my need to see it once again. Last year, I found this(with what appears to be the same packaging as here)on eBay, through Great Britain(for about the same price, actually). I purchased it, along with another 70s TV release, "The True Story of Frankenstein", starring Michael Sarrazin.Read more ›
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At last! The "real" Dracula!
it is indeed the unedited version. the 'baby' scene with the three female brides is supposed to be intact. :)
Jul 17, 2007 by bOoKwOrM |  See all 8 posts
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