Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dracula - Masterpiece Theatre|
Actors: Marc Warren, Sophia Myles, David Suchet
Director: Bill Eagles
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 03/06/2007 Run time: 90 minutes
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Dracula: The Train Wreck
Darrell Heath | Little Rock, AR USA | 03/12/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Oh dear, where to begin? First and foremost this waste of celluloid bears little resemblance to Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula". Its not even close. Given a 90 minute running time there is no way it could. But that isn't the real problem here. The real blame for this travesty lies with the writing and the casting of this production. The script is a complete and utter mess. Rather than focus on Dracula and the menace he poses for the characters (and by extension Victorian morality) the writers have chosen to fabricate a silly plotline involving Arthur Holmwood trying to purify his syphilitic bloodline (huh??). Apparently he can only do this by joining up with some secret cult and agreeing to buy Dracula a ticket to England. Poor Arthur can't consumate his marriage to Lucy Westenra until he can cleanse himself of the syphilis he's inherited/contracted from his parents. Of course how he's managed to carry syphilis into adulthood without manifesting any symptoms before hand is nothing short of a miracle. Besides why does Dracula even need Holmwood to buy his passage to England when he has all these devout followers in London to begin with? Can't they fork over a few pounds for his travel expenses? Van Helsing (played by Poirot's David Suchet) rather than being the fearless vampire hunter is now some dishevlled madman being held prisoner by the Dracula cult in London. He's no longer the strong paternal figure we usually assoiciate with him and he only has about 10 minutes screen time altogether; he provides a bit of vampire destruction lore to the heroes but thats about it. Quite frankly he no longer serves any real purpose in this version of the story and I can't see why the writers felt it necessary to keep him on.
With any really good version of "Dracula" you need a really good charismatic actor for the lead role. Preferably someone with a hint of sensuality and capable of being menacing at the same time. Unfortunately Marc Warren is not that actor. Nothing personal in regards to Mr. Warren. He's a fine actor (check out "Band of Brothers") but he isn't right for Dracula and having him look like a reject from the band "The Cure" doesen't help. Dracula, former warlord, King of the Vampires is now reduced to being a wimpy Goth club kid. No thanks, I'll pass.
The production values are OK and the cinematography, locations etc. are all fine but this is can't overcome the inept script and poor casting choices. The pacing is also a probelm and even though this thing clocks in at 90 minutes it felt like 2 1/2 hours to me. Anyway this is a poor production of "Dracula" all around and should be avoided like the plague. There are any number of other versions of the famed blood sucker out there but there is one in particular I would easily recommend over this turkey. Ironically it too is from the BBC and was produced back in the 1970's. Its called "Count Dracula" and starred Louis Jourdan in the title role and Frank Finlay as Van Helsing. Not only is that version far more faithful to Stoker's original concepts and story but it has much more gothic flavor and far more chills than the newest production could ever even begin to hope for. It is now available on DVD and can be easily obtained from Amazon (its cheaper too). So, don't waste your time on this bit of rubbish. It will literally suck the very life out of you."
This isn't Dracula
Jeffrey Leeper | Seattle, WA USA | 09/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you tend to watch the movie to save the time spent reading the book, then don't watch this movie as a substitute. Movie adaptations of this novel are difficult with the number of characters and location. Most of these movie versions get around the difficulty by combining characters or getting rid of them altogether. Other movies simply rewrite the story. This version does a little of both. Given that this was for Masterpiece Theatre, I was a little disappointed.
Renfield, Quincy Morris, the vampire sisters, and the gypsies are all gone. Jonathan Harker barely misses this fate. Disease and occult rites make an entry into the story. The end result gives the viewer (especially readers of the novel) the feeling that this was what the screenplay writer would have done if he had written the book.
Does this make it bad? It does if you are a Dracula enthusiast. If you just like a good vampire story, then this is interesting, as long as you don't think of this as Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Skip This. Watch the 1977 BBC Version instead.
Skor | Northern, NJ United States | 11/07/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"What the hell was the BBC thinking when they made this? The BBC produced a fantastic version of Dracula back in 1977 -- Count Dracula starring Louis Jourdan. Don't waste your money on this, instead get the 1977 BBC version instead. You'll be glad you did."
Horribly miscast, and lackluster production
z hayes | TX | 11/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love the novel, and have watched just about every screen adaptation there is to watch. My favorites of the screen Draculas - Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Frank Langella. It's difficult to find a truly faithful adaptation of "Dracula" in the movies, and over the years the story has undergone all sorts of transformations. This latest treatment by the BBC takes a very different approach to the classic vampire tale. Purists will revile it, but I found it watchable. The story here explores the themes of moral corruption, and repressed sexuality as represented in Victorian England. An aristocrat, Lord Holmwood (Dan Stevens who appeared as Edward Ferrars in the 2008 BBC adaptation of Sense and Sensibility) finds himself in torment over the fact that he has inherited syphilis from his parents. He is also engaged to the attractive Lucy Westenra (Sophia Myles) who is clueless about her fiance's condition. When Holmwood finds a secret occult society that is willing to help him cure his blood disease(at a price of course), he dispatches solicitor Jonathan Harker (Rafe Spall) to Transylvania to settle some legalities with a certain Count Dracula. Jonathan also happens to be the fiance of Mina Murray (Stephanie Leonidas), Lucy's best friend.
Well, Dracula (a horribly miscast Marc Warren) eventually makes his way to England, and makes the acquaintance of both Mina and Lucy, much to Holmwood's displeasure and eventual horror. Things start to deteriorate at a rapid pace from here onwards, and it's left to Holmwood, together with Van Helsing and Dr. John Seward (Tom Burke, who is the real hero here) to put an end to Dracula.
The problems with this adaptation are many - the liberties taken with the novel being one. The Dracula in this adaptation is able to walk in daylight, Van Helsing is reduced to a less than dignified raving old man, and the various central characters in the original source are all playing rather different, or diminished roles. The occult society is portrayed as being the group responsible for introducing Dracula to Holmwood, but not much explanation is given as to how this society came to make the acquaintance of Dracula. The relationship between Renfield and Dracula in the original material was much more credibly drawn than this tenuous connection.
Secondly, I felt that the role of Dracula as played by Marc Warren to be horribly miscast. He is the worst Dracula I've ever seen on screen - he's nothing but a predator and bloodsucker here, pure and simple. There is not much depth to his character, and part of that could lie with the length of this production, a mere 90 minutes. Not much time to fully explore the richness of this Gothic horror story. Both the female leads were rather disappointing, though Sophia Myles' Lucy did a good job as the sexually deprived wife, whilst Mina was reduced to playing a melancholic and grieving lover which got stale after a while. The other male leads were also rather ho-hum, and the most disappointing of all was the role of Abraham Van Helsing. David Suchet is a talented actor and he was reduced to the role of an ineffectual old man here, very sad indeed (especially when one considers how the late horror great Peter Cushing played this role - with such dignity and composure).
On the whole, this adaptation of "Dracula" merits a watch if only to draw comparisons with the other adaptations out there, but I would have to say that it was quite an underwhelming and dissatisfying experience."