Jonathan Harker, a student of vampires, ventures to Dracula's castle and attacks him. The revengeful vampire leaves his dark abode to prey on the family of his attacker's fiancee. The only man able to protect Harker and hi... more »s fiancee is Dr. Van Helsing, a friend of Harker's. As a fellow-student of vampires, he's determined to destroy Dracula.DVD Features:
Watched last night on the holiday, Good plotline with a tower dracula that played his part just right.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A True Hammer & Stake Affair.
Maximiliano F Yofre | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 04/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The film "Dracula" (1958) (Aka "Horror of Dracula" in the USA) was a turning point in vampire's movies. The use of Technicolor and profusion of blood shed produced a shock to audiences when released At that time I was one of the teenagers that crowded the theater. What an experience! Since the starting titles with blood dripping over Dracula's name until the last scene we were enthralled with fear & horror! At the present times general public is used to much more gore and violence, but this film still make your hair stand straight!
British director Terence Fisher is able to instill true Stoker's spirit to the film; it is a subtle combination of suspense and Grand Guignol. That "touch" was lost in successive new versions and resurrections the dreadful Count. But in this particular first release Christopher Dracula Lee & Peter Van Helsing Cushing are at their peak.
The story in this particular adaptation of Stoker's book is as follows: Jonathan Harker is sent by Dr. Van Helsing to Dracula's Castle in order to destroy the hideous vampire. That fate is easier to plan than accomplish as the unfortunate Harker will learn. After defeating this attack the Count starts an all out revenge aimed to Harker's fiancée and her sister. To stop him there is only one person: Dr. van Helsing. The film chronicles this confrontation.
Christopher Lee with his eyes full of tiny red veins and enormous fangs rends a paradigmatic characterization. Peter Cushing as Dr. van Helsing is at the same height.
This is an unforgettable horror movie. It is highly recommended for fans of the genre. Reviewed by Max Yofre."
Lee brought new life to the role
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 11/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chris Lee has had a love-hate relationship with Dracula. He played him in a series of films (progressively WORSE) for Hammer Films, and was often very vocal because the works got farther and farther from Stoker's story. He did a Spanish version where he starts out with grey hair and moustache, and he felt it was a more faithful adaption. Interesting, but it really does not hold a candle to this first outing. The poor lensing and production quality was a stake to the heart to the Spanish version. Hammers production is lush in quality and colour, with the powerful, aristocrat Count (Lee) meeting Harker in his castle in Transylvania, then later flees to England to stalk Harker fiancé. Only, in seducing Mina and Lucy, he comes up against a formidable foe Van Helsing, wonderfully played by the late great Peter Cushing (the second pairing for the duo, the first Hammer's Frankenstein). They were super in their struggle, climaxing in their battle of good against evil swashbuckle style.Lee was dynamically menacing, with courtly European grace and manners, and turned on the sensual magic that saw him soon recognised as a star world wide. The best of the Hammer Vampires, and despites Lee's often dismissal of the films and others for Hammers, it stands as a brilliant work.At this price, it's a super bargain!"
Fine Dracula film with excellent Lee and Cushing
FairiesWearBoots8272 | USA | 09/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Horror of Dracula, Christopher Lee's first performance as The Count, is surely among the finest versions of Bram Stoker's classic tale. Lee has amazing presence and style as Dracula and his is certainly one of the definitive portrayals of the classic character. Having just seen both this film and Tod Browning's classic 1931 Dracula film in close proximity, I am eager to compare and contrast them. Browning's film is older and grittier and it benefits greatly from this. The raw, black and white photography gives it an incredibly eerie, creepy atmosphere which is missing from Horror of Dracula. Browning's film bore the influence of German Expressionism, particularly F.W. Murnau's classic Nosferatu. This sense of atmosphere, along with Bela Lugosi's knockout performance as the Count is what makes the 1931 Dracula great. Hammer Films' Horror of Dracula from 1958 was filmed in Technicolor and has no trace of that German-Expressionist creepiness. However, Horror of Dracula has many advantages over the earlier film. For one thing, the performances are far better. Peter Cushing is perhaps the greatest Van Helsing ever, and Christopher Lee's Dracula is excellent. Horror of Dracula moves by faster and feels like a more cohesive whole, not to mention that the ending is far better than the ending of Browning's film.Horror of Dracula is an incredibly solid variation on the story. Keeping in mind that it was made in the late '50s, I think most viewers will be satisfied. It's more enjoyable than the 1931 Dracula, but far less atmospheric. The performances of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee propel this fine film. I just wish that Christopher Lee was given more screen time. His Dracula appeared onscreen significantly less than Bela Lugosi's. He doesn't even speak at all in the second half of the film. Lee's powerful voice is one that demands to be heard.The DVD is nice, but could be better. The picture quality is great for a 45-year-old film. However, the disc is seriously lacking in supplemental material. Christopher Lee is an extraordinary man to listen to, and any commentary track with him is worth listening to. Lee did a commentary for the forgettable Hammer film The Devil Rides Out, but none for the classic Horror of Dracula???? At the price point that Warner is selling this DVD at, there should at least be some decent extra features. However, extras or no, this film is indispensable for horror fans."
The Best Vampire Movie Ever!
Jonathan M. Lampley | Nashville, TN United States | 05/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite horror movie of all time--probably my favorite film period--is this classic Hammer horror film. I like this picture so much because it captures the spirit of Stoker's novel better than any other version. Dracula is portrayed as a ruthless, sexual predator--he is not just a mysterious nobleman ala Lugosi or (even further off the mark) a tragic romantic hero ala Langella, et al. Christopher Lee makes the most out of his six minutes of screentime, and Peter Cushing is great as the heroic Dr. Van Helsing. I also like Michael (Alfred in BATMAN) Gough and the gorgeous Valerie Gaunt. James Bernard's music is terrific, the best ever in a horror picture; and can anything top the wonderful finale? Don't miss HOD!"
Definitive version of the Dracula legend
www.DavidLRattigan.com | United Kingdom | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Terence Fisher's stunning 1958 adaptation of Stoker's famous novel is far and away the finest of several screen versions.
HORROR OF DRACULA has several points to commend it, all of which converge to make this a true masterpiece of horror cinema: First, Terence Fisher's strongly Christian mythological framework, rarely so brilliantly brought to the screen as it was here; second, Jack Asher's superbly atmospheric photography and lighting, bringing us the most memorable and carefully articulated images of vampirism of all time; third, Bernard Robinson's splendid sets; fourth, James Bernard's score, his most famous, complementing excellently Fisher's blend of fairy-tale, sexuality, horror and drama; fifth, Jimmy Sangster's intelligent script; and sixth, two sterling performances by relative newcomers to stardom, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
This film has haunted me since I first watched it at the age of ten, and it still weaves a powerful spell. Later versions have tended, perhaps inevitably, to be highly derivative, where the Hammer version set the tone for a whole genre of films, putting its stamp irrevocably on the face of Dracula and its surrounding mythology for almost half a century to come."