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... more » 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.« less
"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". I never really cared for Coppola's version anyway but I will give it high marks for production values. One of the big mistakes with Coppola's film was the changing of Dracula's character from Stoker's concept of evil vampire to that of a silly, romantic love-struck vampire. Louis Jourdan (Gigi, Octopussy) does a fine job as the Count despite the fact that he is one of the few things in the film that doesn't quite mesh with Stoker's original concept. He does however convey very well that strange dichotomy of vampires. Namely the sensual yet evil qualities we've come to expect from many other screen Dracula's.
To sum up: this film may be cheap in the production values department but if you are looking for a version that is faithful to Stoker's original story, character and concepts then you are on the right track with this offering from 70's era BBC. There's lots of atmosphere and plenty of good chills to be had from this version despite the shortcomings it may have."
WOW!....YES!!!, AT LAST!!!
Gregory E. Foster | Portland, ME, USA | 07/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
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"
Most accurate version by far. Bram Stoker would have been pr
Armchair Pundit | Durham City, England. | 08/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At last, although it's been a while since I last saw this. I had never forgotten it, especially the scene where Harker looks out of his castle window and see's Dracula clinging to the walls. Louis Jourdan breathes new life into the titular character. (With just the right air of a European nobleman, polite, curteous but with an arrogant streak). This was the first time I'd seen the delightful Judy Bowker on TV since Black Beauty. The ever reliable Frank Finlay plays a wonderful Van Helsing. (His 1971 Casanova is worth a look too.) And Jack Shepherd really excels as Renfield. If you have never read the novel, then this is the most accurate version I have ever seen. Bram Stokers characters and prose are faithfully transferred to the small screen. Production values are typically BBC late 70's videotape, but it's the story and acting quality I buy for, and not a slightly dodgy TV stage set! Original airdate:~ 22/12/77."
THE "Bram Stoker's Dracula" - accept no other
Kathy | Fort Lauderdale, FL USA | 06/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I still feel this is the best adaptation of the book ever done. It remains as true to the original as possible (given the public's expectations of the gentleman vampire compared to Max Schreck's physically accurate performance in "Nosferatu"). What it lacks in sophisticated special effects it makes up for in imaginative use of what they had available to them. Add to that wonderful performances all around - not just Jourdan.
Frank Finlay's Van Helsing is wonderful. With all due respect to Edward Van Slone, Finlay is the one I would want at my bedside protecting me from vampires. He's charming, gentle, caring, eccentric...yet at the same fiercely determined and wise. He's my favorite of all the Van Helsings to date.
Judy Bowker (Andromdeda in "Clash of the Titans") is finally given a chance to act and she rises to the occasion beautfully. Susan Penhaligon is coquettish as Lucy rather than borderline slutty as some productions would have her.
They even appear to have hired an American actor to play an American character for once - a novelty for the BBC.
This production was the first thing I ever recorded on my first VCR (a Betamax!). I bought a region 2 disc (and a multi-region player) when it was released in the UK. This is a wonderful production and worth it at twice the price of this disc."
"The BBC version of "Dracula" IS "Dracula".
HorrorMan | The Marsten House | 04/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. The creators of the BBC "Dracula" paid very close attention to detail regarding Bram Stoker's story of Count Dracula thereby capturing Stoker's perception of the vampire, Dracula, which is a completely evil and unnatural monster that must be destroyed at all costs. To the BBC version's credit, we do not get the lovelorn Dracula as that was not present in Bram Stoker's novel either. To place Dracula in a romantic capacity humanizes the vampire, and this is simply an erroneous modernized perception of the vampire that dilutes the horror associated with the vampire monsters. Count Dracula is interested in only one thing and that is blood. In order to get this blood, Dracula kills people and makes more vampires thereby imprisoning their souls in his world of evil.
Perhaps what is most interesting about the BBC version of "Dracula" is the way it personifies the good versus evil theme; from this standpoint, the BBC version of "Dracula" is also artistically captivating. In essence, the BBC version of "Dracula" is a virtuoso of horror, a portrait of good versus evil, and a classic that transcends time. This is something that is unique to the BBC version of "Dracula.
In short, the BBC version of "Dracula" is a stylistic portrayal of the vampire story which is a simple yet powerful horror movie that deserves more credit than it is given. In the BBC version of "Dracula", you have a movie that is scary, but it is also a classic that you can actually show to your kids. Now that this version is finally available to the public, I hope more people will discover how great a movie this is. The BBC version of "Dracula" is the greatest version of "Dracula" in the entire world, and garners FIVE (5) STARS and HorrorMan's official stamp of approval as the quintessential "Dracula". In short, the BBC version of "Dracula" is "Dracula"."