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This is a great movie, and this really scared the shit out of me when I was little.
Alternative rip From FH
Directed by: John Badham
Starring : Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Jan Francis, Janine Duvitski, Tony Haygarth, Teddy Turner, Sylvester McCoy, Kristine Howarth, Joe Belcher, Ted Carroll, Frank Birch, Gabor Vernon.
Having turned John Travolta into a sex symbol in "Saturday Night Fever", the director John Badham turned his attention to a much older figure. This version of "Dracula" is romantic without being over-sentimental and Gothic without being creaky and old-fashioned.
The pivotal role of Count Dracula is played with style and charm by Frank Langella - now more famous as a supporting actor in films such as "Dave". Langella had played the role in a stage production, when he had attracted many female admirers. This is Dracula as a sort of New Romantic Sex Symbol, but he also has a fierce temper and is capable of unpredictable violence. He sets about seducing the young women of England and can only be stopped by Professor Van Helsing - played with a comedy accent by Laurence Olivier. Olivier is actually rather good, once you get over his voice, and has a steely determination which matches well with the Count. He also has an intense stare, which shows that Van Helsing may be an old buffer, but is capable of matching anything Dracula might throw at him.
It is a slow film, but it looks fabulous. There are incredible set-pieces, such as the opening storm scene and the marvellously scary meeting with the female vampire in a deserted mine. Some scenes don't quite work so well, such as the moment when Dracula seduces the heroine and the image goes into negative. Fortunately, John Williams provides a memorable and atmospheric music score which keeps the mood right even when the film goes wrong. Apart from the aforementioned scene in the mine, it isn't particularly frightening, although there is some effective gore in places. The ending is spectacular and, it has to be said, rather unusual. Not a stake in sight.
I recommend the film highly - it is a damn sight better than Coppola's 1992 effort - but I can't really say much for the DVD. It sounds pretty good, despite being in Dolby Surround only, but it looks horrible. All the colours have been faded so that the image almost looks black and white. This was at the request of the director, but it just doesn't work. When I saw the film in the cinema in 1979, it looked wonderfully rich, but here it looks limp. The print quality is adequate, although some artifacts crop up from time to time and prove rather distracting in the night scenes. No extras apart from scene selection, which is very depressing.
The film is one of the more interesting versions of the old, old story and is well made and enjoyable to watch. But this DVD doesn't do it justice, so I really can't recommend anyone to buy it.
Video Codec...: XViD
Video Format..: 2Pass 734kbit
Audio Format..: 153kbits/s VBR mp3
Aspect Ratio..: 2.42:1
Frame Size....: 624 x 256
Audio Language: English
Subs..........: English, Spanish, French
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