Friday, October 4, 2013

The Many Faces of Dracula

Dracula has been around for a long long time, and a pretty eclectic group of actors have portrayed him through the ages. Some of the stories behind these adaptations are very interesting; for example, in the case of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), Murnau wanted to make an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula but was denied the rights to it, so he just changed the name of his vampire to 'Count Orlock'. But we know it's really Dracula! The story is the same! Some fit the part perfectly, like for example Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman all of who were perfect embodiments of the character, but others, like Lon Chaney Jr., I never bought as a villain! I mean sure he was great as The Wolf Man (1941) because that character had a duality to him, but Dracula is supposed to be all evil, and Chaney Jr. had this good nature to him, I couldn't believe he'd be Dracula. Other portrayals of the character focus on the more romantic side of things, like Frank Langella in John Badham's Dracula (1979) which also has the distinction of being called "Disco Dracula" by this Film Connoisseur, the guy just looks so 70's. Finally, even though it's Bela Lugosi who is often associated with the character, its Christopher Lee who will go down as the guy who played Count Dracula the most. So anyhows, here's a list of actors who have portrayed the character through out the ages and the movies they have appeared in, in no particular order. Enjoy!

Actor: Bela Lugosi

Films: Dracula (1931), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Quote: “I am Dracula, I bid you welcome”

Actor: Christopher Lee

Films: Horror of Dracula (1958), Castle of the Living Dead (1964), Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Scars of Dracula (1970), Jess Franco’s Count Dracula (1970), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), In Search of Dracula (1975)

Quote: “Sleep well Mr. Harker”

Actor: Frank Langela

Film: Dracula (1979)

Quote: “I am the King of my kind”

Actor: Max Schreck

Film: Nosferatu (1922)

Quote: “Is this your wife? What a lovely throat!”

Actor: Klaus Kinski

Film: Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night (1979)

Quote: “There are things more horrible than death”

Actor: Jack Palance

Film: Dracula (1974)

Actor: John Carradine

Film: House of Dracula (1945)

Quote: “I will explain everything, before sunrise”

Actor: Lon Chaney Jr.

Film: Son of Dracula (1943)

Quote: “We’re here to meet a friend of the Caldwell’s, a Count Alucard”

Actor: Udo Kier

Film: Blood for Dracula (1974)

Quote: “The blood of these whores is killing me”

Actor: George Hamilton

Film: Love at First Bite (1979)

Quote: “Children of the Night: Shut up!

Actor: Duncan Regehr

Film: The Monster Squad (1987)

Quote: “Give me the amulet YOU BITCH!

Actor: Leslie Nielsen

Film: Dracula Dead and Loving It (1995)

Quote: “I never drink wine….oh what the hell, let me try it”

Actor: Gerard Butler

Film: Dracula (2000)

Quote: “I don’t drink…coffee”  

Actor: Richard Roxburgh

Film: Van Helsing (2004)

Quote: “I am at war with the world and every living soul in it!”

Actor: Thomas Kretschmann

Film: Dario Argento’s Dracula (2012)

Actor: Ferdy Mayne

Film: The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Quote: “I am a night bird, I am not much good in the daytime”

Actor: Dominic Purcell

Film: Blade: Trinity (2004)

Quote: “Kill a man, you’re a murderer. Kill a million, a king. Kill them all, a god” 

Actor: Rutger Hauer

Film: Dracula III: Legacy (2005)

Quote: “There are no dead here, just the fucked up dead!”

Actor: David Niven

Film: Vampira  (1974)

Actor: John Forbes Robertson

Film: The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Actor: Gary Oldman 

Film: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1994)

Quote: "I am the monster breathing man would kill, I am Dracula!" 


DrunkethWizerd said...

Nicely done. But we need to know more!

Franco Macabro said...

You are absolutely right Drunketh Wizard, there have been more portrayals of the character...I think I will be doing a part II of this article!

Roman J. Martel said...

Nice list. You reminded me of a couple of incarnations of the film that I haven't seen. "Nosferatu" is still one of my favorites, so darn creepy every time I watch it. Glad to you see you like Gary Oldman's approach. I've seen a lot of folks dislike the film and Oldman as Dracula. It has always been one of my favorites.

For part two, don't forget Willem Defoe in "Shadow of the Vampire". :)

Franco Macabro said...

Hey Roman, agree, Nosferatu always makes for a spooky watch!

I do like Gary Oldman as Dracula, I think that movie, even with its hiccups (I speak of Keanu of course) is a masterpiece in my book, so great in every way. The artistry involved in that film is astounding, a true achievement in my book! I'll be reviewing Bram Stoker's Dracula this week, be on the look out for that review!

I'll remember Willem Defoe for part II!

Maurice Mitchell said...

My Mom adored Frank Langella, but I love “Sleep well Mr. Harker.”

Franco Macabro said...

I am a huge fan of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), to me is such an amazing film, so artistic, so grand, but Horror of Dracula is certainly one of my favorites as well, the atmosphere on that one is difficult to top and it has some truly memorable moments!


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