We are halfway through our 20 Days to Halloween movie marathon and tonight on the Creepy Couch we are watching the essential classic of all vampire films, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. This movie is a must see for anyone who calls themselves a fan of vampires. Though it has been said that Lugosi’s eastern European accent is downright cringe worthy, this movie has proven itself to be a classic take on Dracula and sits at the forefront of the Universal Studios monster films.
This true gem of vampire films, and horror films as a whole, needs very little introduction. The 1931 film is based on the original novel of the same name by Bram Stoker. Being that we are halfway through our marathon we will be giving some fun facts on this classic movie in place of trying to explain why it is in our top 20 vampire picks.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about Dracula (1931)
5. Bela Lugosi originally played Dracula on Broadway
That’s right, Lugosi broke out his role of Dracula on stage along with Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing and Herbert Bunston as Doctor Seward. Oddly enough, Sloan and Bunston would join Lugosi behind the camera, playing their stage roles in the 1931 film as well.
4. The opening scene was painted glass
In the opening scene, a coach can be seen riding along a dirt road, and in the background a magnificent castle belonging to Count Dracula. While the coach was real the back drop was painted on a piece of glass and placed in front of the camera.
3. Dracula’s hypnosis was just clever light work
When Dracula stares down his victim and uses his hypnotic powers to bend them to his will, white dots appear in his pupils. It is actually the clever light work of cinematographer Karl Freund who used two pencil thin lights pointed at Lugosi.
2. Drácula en Español
Many don’t know that there is a version of Dracula in Spanish that has an entirely different cast. Even stranger is the fact that the Spanish version was filmed at the same exact time and on the same set as the English version.
1. Lugosi was a method actor
Before and in between shots, Lugosi could be seen strutting up and down the set saying things like “I am Dracula!” and staring at himself in the mirror and speaking to himself in order to get into character. It should be noted that Lugosi was a classically trained actor in Hungary.
We hope you enjoyed this peek into the film that singularly launched the horror genre in Hollywood. So now go and watch Dracula and let us know what you think. Come back tomorrow for another vampire movie on the Creepy Couch!