Count Dracula TX: 22/12/77
Before there was Dracula, there were vampires. The term can be traced back to the Oxford dictionary in 1734 but obviously the term had been around before that. To me when I was young, Dracula wasn’t a novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897, it was a film that starred Bela Lugosi. I didn’t know more than that. The idea that this came from a novel from the late 1800s was something I never considered yet this character would go on to be the most famous vampire.
I think it was back in 10th grade in high school that I finally read the novel. The novel is constructed in a narrative that personally annoys me. It is not a narrative that flows in the moment from the third person but a series of letters and other documents pieced together to tell the story. I know this is a very intimate way to tell a story but it is not a favourite way for me to read anything and as much as I did enjoy the novel, I still found it a chore to get through.
This year we lost two actors to have played Dracula. Sir Christopher Lee and Louis Jourdan. As I mention in this article I wrote for Warped Factor, Dracula The Prince of Darkness, I was never a really big fan of Lee’s portrayal of the vampire. I know that is sacrilege especially from a site the focuses love on all British media. To me, Lee’s Dracula just stared at people and that was it. Then we move on to Jourdan.
Right from the start of the production, my interest is piqued. I love the opening credits to this play. It evokes horror of the undead. It immediately grabs my attention. We don’t see Dracula or anyone from the cast with the exception of the one of the women that played one of Dracula’s brides. Yet with one cool aspect we get a questionable production decision. The action moves from the title sequence to black & white stock footage of a train travelling. This is to give the impression that Jonathan is travelling to Transylvania by train. Why black & white footage? Why not just colour stock footage? I thought this might have been some artistic way to show movement in the production, maybe we get a few more shots like this throughout the production but we get nothing. It’s odd and really sticks out.
|Articles from Radio Times 1977|
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