Dracula [DVD] [1979]

  • SKU: 6776214
  • Release Date: 10/19/2004
  • Rating: R
The sexy 1978 film production of Dracula hits DVD for the second time with this release from Universal Home Video. Controversy has surrounded the picture ever since the original laserdisc release, when director John Badham desaturated the original vibrant photography to try and finally realize his original stark vision for the film. This disc finds the helmer tweaking away once again, though the results are actually quite startling. While the theatrical film struck a chord right at the height of the garish disco era, this new version's look and feel evokes the classic mythos far more effectively than the released print (though the colorful psychedelic love scene is still intact). The good news for the black-and-white detractors is that at least this time, the film is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen format, (updated from Image's previously cropped 2.15:1 disc) and its anamorphic face-lift is impressive to say the least. The disc has the benefit of a few new bonus features that prove Universal's dedication when it comes to their reissues, starting with the inclusion of Badham's audio commentary. The newly recorded track finds the director a few years older and wiser as he looks back at a film from his early career. Coming straight off of Saturday Night Fever, Badham was shocked to find himself directing a quite frail Sir Laurence Olivier and a stern leading man (Frank Langella) whose battles with the producers are now legendary. The 40-minute "Revamping of Dracula" featurette delves even more into the production and contains interviews with Langella, John Williams, and others, while the photo gallery is packed with incredible production designs as well as behind-the-scenes photos and promotional advertising. This release might scream of the same kind of questionable revisionism that rocked the Star Wars set, but it does right in giving the film much more love than what was there before, and that is certainly a good thing.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

Special Features


  • Feature commentary with director John Badham
  • "The Revamping of Dracula"
  • Photo gallery

Synopsis


Dracula
In the late '70s, Frank Langella starred in the hit Broadway play Dracula, written by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. Langella's charisma and the surreal, black-and-white sets designed by cartoonist Edward Gorey were the chief outstanding features of the play, which was otherwise undistinguished. While this film production of the play boasts performances by stage veterans Lord Laurence Olivier and Donald Pleasance, as well as Frank Langella as the suavest of counts, it was neither a critical nor a box-office success, doubtlessly because expectations ran too high. One highlight of this production is its skillful use of special effects. The standard story of Bram Stoker's original novel is re-created here: the undead count arranges to move from his home in Transylvania to Whitby, and once there, a reign of terror begins. He is opposed by the canny Doctor Van Helsing (Laurence Olivier), who eventually triumphs. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Frank Langella
    Frank Langella - Count Dracula
  • Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Olivier - Abraham Van Helsing
  • Donald Pleasence
    Donald Pleasence - Jack Seward
  • Kate Nelligan
    Kate Nelligan - Lucy Seward
  • Trevor Eve
    Trevor Eve - Jonathan Harker



Customer rating

4.8
100%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Presenting His Excellency, Count Dracula

    Posted
    Galadrielle

    Frank Langella's Count Dracula is truly a graceful dashing elegant early 20th century nobleman. He thoroughly enjoys a dinner, given in his honor, by his neighbor Dr. Jack Seward (Donald Pleasence). Later, you see the joy in his face as he waltzes with Seward's daughter Lucy (Kate Nelligan), who becomes his true love. He takes great pleasure in doing a perfectly normal activity - dancing. We get to see and appreciate Count Dracula long before we see Dracula the vampire. Langella maintains this grace throughout the entire film. I found his romantic Dracula similar to Laurence Olivier's troubled nobleman Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. Olivier is magnificent as Abraham Van Helsing, who must kill Dracula in order to avenge the murder of his daughter Mina (Jan Francis). Like Langella as Dracula, Olivier plays Van Helsing as a complex nobleman. Van Helsing is tender, graceful, and genuinely compassionate, but he is steadfast and determined to avenge the death of Mina, no matter what the cost. Indeed, Langella and Olivier make this movie great, despite the many flaws in the plot. Despite this movie being a great romance as well as being a great horror film, I had some difficulty with some parts of the plot. Jonathan (Trevor Eve) keeps throwing propriety to the wind by wanting to see Lucy at odd hours, even though there are times when this is, by the English standards of the early 20th century, completely inappropriate. Equally inappropriate is the way Lucy keeps stringing Jonathan along, even though she is absolutely determined to run away with Dracula! After seeing this movie, I read Stoker's book for the first time and discovered that this version of Dracula makes many deviations from Stoker's classic novel, in which, interestingly, Jonathan is the hero! Nevertheless, I still consider this Dracula to be an excellent movie, due to Langella's and Olivier's finesse and the great cinematography. Overall, I found this Dracula to be an excellent film.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome

    Posted
    mike
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I already owned a dvd copy of it, but it had no subtitles so I decided to go with the blu ray. The blu ray had subtitles plus the video transfer is great. Great sound as well. Always fast delivery with amazon. Highly recommend.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Adjust the Color on your Television

    Posted
    KLLB
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The original production was in color, vibrant color. Universal sucked it out. Before you watch it, jack up your color settings on the TV and blu player. Good quality.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic

    Posted
    Melly
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I love this version of Dracula. I am so glad that I found it on Blu-ray with the extras.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome!

    Posted
    Grendel2225
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Absolutely Great! Highly Recommended. Get it Now!!

    I would recommend this to a friend




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