Friday, October 15, 2010

October Movie Reviews: Count Dracula (1977)

For my October Reviews I am back on Dracula.

Count Dracula (1977, BBC)

I am half-tempted to count this one as two movies.  It does come in two-parts and it was rather long.

Ok let's start with the good.
This is closer to the book than any other movie so far.
There are some differences though.  Minor are Lucy and Mina are sisters here.  Arthur Holmwood and Quincy Morris have been combined to a single character, Quincy Holmwood, but he is still American.  An aside, I love it when English actors do American accents.  Quincy is so stereotypically Texan that it comes off more endearing than comedic or even bad.  The actor is very earnest about his role.

Louis Jourdan is a fantastic Dracula.
Susan Penhaligon as Lucy does remind me quite a bit of Sadie Frost, who played Lucy in the 1992 movie.  One gets the feeling that Francis Ford Coppola watched this movie to get ideas.

Judi Bowker (who would later earn her geek cred playing Andromeda in the original Clash of the Titans) plays a wonderful Mina here.  She has the sweet innocence that one needs in Mina in the early part of the tale.  She was the best Lucy up that time and rivals that of Kate Nelligan in the Hollywood film of 1979.

The bad. Though it is not really that bad.

The effects are Doctor Who-in-the-70's quality, but this should not be a surprise given it was in the 70s on BBC.  Missing Holmwood is not that big of an issue.  When you are doing this on stage fewer actors are better, but as we would later see in the FFC Dracula (1992) that it can be done.

It suffers from some of the same issues as the book.  Long and drawn out in places.

All in all a great movie, tribute to the BBC.  I am glad I finally got a chance to watch it.

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