Dracula 1979

Dracula is a 1979 American/British horror film starring Frank Langella as Count Dracula. The film was directed by John Badham and the cinematography was by Gilbert Taylor. The original music score is composed by renowned composer John Williams.

The film also starred Laurence Olivier as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Jack Seward, Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward, Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, Tony Haygarth as Milo Renfield, and Jan Francis as Mina Van Helsing. It won the 1979 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.

Like Universal’s earlier 1931 version starring Bela Lugosi, the screenplay for this adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula is based on the stage adaptation by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which ran on Broadway and also starred Langella in a Tony Award-nominated performance. Notable for its Edwardian setting, and strikingly designed by Edward Gorey, the play ran for over 900 performances between October 1977 and January 1980. It is also notable for switching the character’s roles of Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra.

The film was shot on location in England: at Shepperton Studios and Black Park, Buckinghamshire. Cornwall doubled for the majority of the exterior Whitby scenes; Tintagel (for Seward’s Asylum), and St Michael’s Mount (for Carfax Abbey).

Trivia:

The car that Jonathan Harker drives is a Hispano-Suiza.


Donald Pleasence was initially offered the role of vampire hunter Van Helsing, but rejected it, saying it was too similar to his role as Dr. Loomis in the “Halloween” films. He accepted the smaller role of Dr Seward instead.

 


This is a film adapted from a hit Broadway play. Frank Langella was nominated for a Tony Award for his stage performance of the title character.

 


Sylvester McCoy was interviewed for Renfield

 


The part that Teddy Turner played was spilt into two because the production team wanted to cast Sylvester McCoy in a role.

 


Most of Sylvester McCoy’s role was deleted from the final print.

 


Frank Langella, like Bela Lugosi, never wore fangs for the role of Dracula. He has stated that he considered it a compliment when fans of the film would comment on them anyway.

 


When Dracula hypnotizes Mina, he uses the line, “When I will something, it should be done.” A line once used by Bela Lugosi when he gave his “Great Vampire Bat Illusion” on an episode of “You Asked For It”.

 


This movie was based upon the production of “Dracula” that opened at the Martin Beck Theater in New York on October 20, 1977 and ran for 925 performances.

 

Filed under: Horror

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