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HORROR OF DRACULA (WS)
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Horror of Dracula (DVD) Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Britain’s premier masters of the macabre, bring the Horror of Dracula to vivid, full-color death in this retelling of Bram Stoker’s spellbinding vampire tale. Dracula (Lee), a centuries-old Transylvanian nobleman damned to an eternal half-life, regularly finds new victims. He also finds Dr. Van Helsing (Cushing), a scientist who becomes the Count’s implacable foe in a deadly game of bat and mouse. The dread is here – as are the power and pathos of this genre landmark by which Hammer Studios ushered in a new era of screen chills from classic evildoers. Tremble through that era again. Unleash the horror.
Horror of Dracula (DVD)
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Britain’s premier masters of the macabre, bring the Horror of Dracula to vivid, full-color death in this retelling of Bram Stoker’s spellbinding vampire tale. Dracula (Lee), a centuries-old Transylvanian nobleman damned to an eternal half-life, regularly finds new victims. He also finds Dr. Van Helsing (Cushing), a scientist who becomes the Count’s implacable foe in a deadly game of bat and mouse. The dread is here – as are the power and pathos of this genre landmark by which Hammer Studios ushered in a new era of screen chills from classic evildoers. Tremble through that era again. Unleash the horror.]]>
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 2.45 Ounces
- Item model number : 1000000224
- Director : Terence Fisher
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 22 minutes
- Release date : September 6, 2005
- Actors : Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
- Producers : Anthony Hinds, Michael Carreras
- Language : Unqualified, English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B00006G8K0
- Writers : Jimmy Sangster
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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First things first: Ignore the armchair experts who've given this one and two stars. They know NOTHING of what this film should look like and what it, in fact is. Their entire knowledge is based on stuff they've heard or read, not the truth. They scream that Warners is horrid for not including the extra six seconds (yes, that is what we're talking about here) that were added to the Japanese release of the film and which exist only in a print from Japan. Well, kids, that six seconds was NEVER EVER in the film in the UK or United States. It was ONLY in the Japanese print so I, for one, don't want it because it was never part of the film I saw on its release and have loved ever since. So, discount these "people" instantly and listen to someone who actually knows whereof they speak, namely me. Everyone says there was some blue wash over the entire image on the UK Blu-ray. I think these people have so screwed up their color settings that they don't know what they're going on about - or at the very least they don't actually know what color they're seeing. I don't see a blue wash on the UK disc - I do see milky contrast and little color, that is what I see. If that was a choice, and it was, it's a stupid choice because that's not what the film looked like.
Warners, on the other hand, have simply used the raw scan that they provided the BBC back in 2007 and have done their own color correction on it, using a dye transfer Technicolor print as their guide. Well, guess what? We now have proper color and it's obvious in the very first frame of the film - the sky isn't brown - it's blue as it should be and always was in the Tech prints. Hallelujah. It's also darker than the UK Blu and that is as it should be - someone who has a 35mm dye transfer print has posted that that is what the film looks like. All previous transfers were lightened for home video, but since 90% of the people who carry on about this stuff have never actually seen the film in a theater, only on home video, well, anyone who thinks previous home video releases are proof of anything are dopes of the highest order.
Do I wish Warners had done their own brand new scan? Sure - a lot of technology has been bettered in the past decade, but maybe they know something we don't, maybe the negative is in worse shape now an this was the easiest out. But color-wise this is a very pleasing disc, and anyone who loves the film AS RELEASED ORIGINALLY should be tickled pink with this Blu-ray.
Horror Of Dracula (most of the world title) aka: Dracula (UK title) is unquestionably the greatest Hammer horror film the studio ever produced. Released in 1958, following on the heels of Hammer's revolutionary color take on the Frankenstein mythos (Curse Of Frankenstein), Horror Of Dracula reinvented and established a blueprint for gothic horror that has been a tremendous influence on especially vampire films for decades to follow. The film is rightly regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made.
Previously, "Horror Of Dracula" has been problematically restored and remastered by the BFI in 2007 for UK theatrical showings as well as a Blu-ray release that features a controversial revisionist color grading that pushes deep blues especially for night scenes that was never present in the original film. On the plus side, the UK transfer reinserted the UK "Dracula" title in the opening credits, correctly framed the movie, included the original UK/US cut of the film as well as a slightly expanded version that included newly discovered Japanese footage that contained an alternate scene as well as significant additional footage of the film's climax featuring Dracula's disintegration. Best of all, the complete last 30 minutes worth of surviving Japanese footage was included as a stand-alone extra in it's raw, unrestored glory. A German release by Anolis a few years ago added a few more frames of footage to the climax from the Japanese footage packaged in graphically beautiful mediabooks. These UK/German releases are region B locked.
This new Blu-ray from the Warner Archives Collection brings Horror Of Dracula to region A Blu-ray for the first time in the US. The presentation is a bit of a disappointment however. The color grading is far more balanced and faithful to what the original theatrical prints looked like. However, the picture is darker with high contrast and there's significant black crush which obliterates detail in darker parts of the frame. The framing retains the correct, balanced framing of the previous BFI restoration releases (the old DVD release should be avoided due to zoomed in framing which chops off a large portion of the top and bottom of the image). The soundtrack is a bit brickwalled and comparatively louder than similar period home video releases. The only extra included in this release is a theatrical trailer and English language subtitles. This version of the film is the US/UK theatrical cut of the film and does *not* include the Japanese footage. Oddly (or perhaps lazily), WAC didn't include the US "Horror Of Dracula" title in the movie's opening credits, simply going for the BFI transfer's UK "Dracula" title despite the disc and case graphics calling the film Horror Of Dracula.
There's a version of this film that's screened on the TMCHD channel around Halloween every year that is actually the best looking theatrical cut print of this film currently available and includes the original "Horror Of Dracula" title in the opening credits.
It's a shame that this great film hasn't benefited from a proper complete and accurate restoration, no doubt due to original film elements being in poor condition now more than ever and the cost and labor involved. Not just that, but this is a film that deserves a comprehensive home video release from a boutique home video label such as Criterion or Arrow with the multitude of bonus features that the UK Blu-ray release provides that is only crippled due to the revisionist color timing of the film itself.
For potential buyers of this film, the movie itself gets my highest recommendation. The new Blu-ray release by Warner Archive Collection however suffers from a less-than-quality source and transfer and no extra content excepting a trailer.
Top reviews from other countries
Jimmy Sangster's screenplay is true to the spirit, if not the letter of Bram Stoker's novel. In the book, Jonathan Harker is an estate agent who visits Castle Dracula to sell a London property to the count. It takes Harker quite a while in the novel to discover the truth about his host. Since the movie has a relatively short running time of 81 minutes, in order to speed up the development of the plot Harker is a vampire hunter in the film. He takes a job as a librarian at Castle Dracula in order to hunt down and kill the count. Other changes to the book are less easy to explain. In the novel, Lucy is engaged to Arthur Holmwood, but in this film version Lucy is Arthur's sister.
The music score composed by James Bernard and the cinematography of Jack Asher help to create the film's suspense and underscore the moments of terror. Of particular note is Dracula's first appearance in dark shadow at the top of a flight of stairs. Christopher Lee has genuine screen presence as the count, and he successfully combines menace and sexual allure. As Dr Van Helsing, Peter Cushing is outstanding. He conveys an air of calm authority in scenes like the one in which he questions the innkeeper about the whereabouts of Jonathan Harker, but he is also able to show intense emotion, as in the reaction shot of him looking at the death of Dracula. In conclusion, this is not only a classic of horror cinema, it is a true cinema classic.
The American Warner Brothers DVD subdivides the film into twenty six chapters. The viewer is able to access subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portugese. The cast and crew feature is minimal, only listing four members of the cast, along with the writer, director and producer. 'Dracula Lives Again' provides a brief history of the Hammer Dracula franchise. It contains inaccuracies. For example, we are told that in 'The Brides of Dracula', "Cushing returns as Van Helsing fighting a brother/sister team of vampires." In fact Baroness and Baron Meinster are mother and son rather than brother and sister. The other bonus is the original cinema trailer, which provides an entertaining distillation of the main feature in less than three minutes.
The film i best remember with Christopher Lee playing Dracula is the one where in the final scene he falls from his castle and and ends up impaled on a large crucifix cross with loud emotive clasical music playing at his end but what is this film called as its the one i most wanted but can not remember its title to buy,does any one out there know this films title ???
At that age things make a huge impact. Off course I knew that vampires did not really exist, but started to look behind me all the time
It pleased me to see that the film was in such good condition, nice sound, nice colours.
It took me right back to my youth, but now on the couch with a glass of wine and not in aan obscure cinema
a must for people who like horror!