TBTo the Screen

"Dracula" (1931):

Everyone wants to be loved. Including a bloodsucking Count named Dracula. Dracula already had a few wives but wanted another: Mina. What was so special about Mina? Nothing really except for her perfectly coiffed hair.

The part of the story that is the same as today’s film is that the clueless fiancé has a basic name. In this film, the fiancé of Mina is named John. There was an appearance by Dr. Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) who practically drooled at the sight of Count Dracula. The story of Van Helsing deserves another shot onscreen, by the way. The cape on Dracula is iconic because of the slow rise above his head and the horror of what was going to happen after he let go of the cape.

For the film to just show Dracula about to devour his victims was something special. It added to the mystery of what the teeth marks and the blood dripping from the neck would look like. Dracula never displayed his fangs. His teeth weren’t shown much for that matter. Black & White films are visionary and the special effects in this film are fascinating to watching. What would the script have looked like? There were a lot of silent moments. It helps hold the imagination as well.