Dracula (Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection)
Phillip Glass Score
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Dracula (The Restored Version) Although there have been numerous screen versions of Bram Stoker's classic tale, none is more enduring than the 1931 original. The ominous portrayal of Count Dracula by Bela Lugosi, combined with horror specialist director Tod Browning, help to create the film's eerie mood. Dracula remains a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time. Dracula (Featuring New Music By Philip Glass) The original version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi has been remastered to feature a specially-composed musical score by world-renowned composer Philip Glass and performed by Kronos Quartet. Glass' music lends greater depth to an already timeless classic! Dracula (Original Spanish Version) Filmed simultaneously with the English language version, the Spanish version of Dracula is completely different, yet equally ominous vision of the horror classic. Utilizing the same sets and identical script, cinematographer George Robinson and a vibrant cast including Carlos Villarias and Lupita Tovar deliver this chilling and evocative tale.
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It was mainly a sentimental attraction, borne of my original reading of the novel in high school, that kept me returning to Todd Browning's 1931 version. But it was always rocky going, dealing as I had to with the clumsy exposition (especially the romance between Harker and Mina – that balcony scene!); leaden pacing; the bats on the strings (were there no wranglers back then? I guess not); the egregious overacting (Renfield); the unnecessary comic relief (the caretaker and the maid) . . . but these things were always mitigated by the lovely photography, the spectacular production design, and the crackling chemistry between the Count and Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan, to my mind the film's most effective performance).
Well, I am happy to say that this new edition augments those pleasures admirably, first and foremost by virtue of the stunning score by Phillip Glass, an infinite improvement over the sadly pedestrian original accompaniment. I should mention, in passing, Mr. Glass' similar contribution to Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, also worthy of investigation.
Secondly, the inclusion of the Spanish language version, filmed nocturnally over the same time period on the same set, but with different costumes, and a wholly different approach to the subject matter, an approach informed for the better by the availability of the rushes from day's earlier shoot, which allowed the crew, feeling a little competitive, a baseline upon which to improve.
A must for the completist, it perhaps best appreciated alongside the many other films that benefited from it, as well as the one that proceeded it. Not Todd Browning's finest moment; for that I recommend you seek out Freaks.
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According to numerous other reviews that appear with this product, it has the recently added score by Philip Glass.Read more
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