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"I am....Drac-u-la. I bid you velcome." Thus does Bela Lugosi declare his presence in the 1931 screen version of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Director Tod Browning invests most of his mood and atmosphere in the first two reels, which were based on the original Stoker novel; the rest of the film is a more stagebound translation of the popular stage play by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane. Even so, the electric tension between the elegant Dracula and the vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) works as well on the screen as it did on the stage. And it's hard to… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An exciting melodrama, not as good as it ought to be but a cut above the ordinary trapdoor-and-winding-sheet type of mystery film."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Not by any means the masterpiece of fond memory or reputation, although the first twenty minutes are astonishingly fluid and brilliantly shot by Karl Freund."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Bela Lugosi gives his greatest performance as the mesmerizing menace from Transylvania. Dracula chilled audiences in the 1930's, and it still gives me goosebumps."
‑ Paul Chambers, Movie Chambers
"...it's clear that the movie simply doesn't hold up terribly well all these years later."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Stark, cold, and deeply sensual, "Dracula's" atmosphere and intention is rooted in a fear of unknown lust and desire from which there can be no escape. To view "Dracula" is to be bitten by the vampire's desperate attack."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"A sublimated ghost story related with all surface seriousness and above all with a remarkably effective background of creepy atmosphere."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"With Mr. Browning's imaginative direction and Mr. Lugosi's makeup and weird gestures, this picture succeeds to some extent in its grand guignol intentions."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"It's a case of lightning-in-a-bottle casting and there's no way of telling if anyone else as Dracula would've become the model for every single Dracula that followed."
‑ John Gholson, Cinematical
"Lugosi's seminal performance and the striking opening act are what distinguish Browning's version of the classic tale."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"A classic despite numerous flaws."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter
"The opening scenes, set in Dracula's castle, are magnificent -- grave, stately, and severe. But the film becomes unbearably static once the action moves to England."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Dracula deserves its status as a classic, although one might be tempted to append the word 'lesser' to that label."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"It remains the most subtly romantic and highly atmospheric rendition of Bram Stoker's tale about the Transylvanian count, with Browning orchestrating the opening scenes to macabre perfection."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"A perfect example of the worst traits of Hollywood films in the early sound era."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"All time horror classic starring Lugosi; still creepy as blazes."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
More reviews for Dracula on Rotten Tomatoes

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