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|“||The children of the night! What music they make!||„|
|~ Count Dracula's most famous line|
Count Dracula is the titular main antagonist of the 1931 Universal horror film Dracula. He is also the father of Countess Marya Zaleska from Dracula's Daughter (1936) and Alucard from Son of Dracula (1943). He is based on the character of the same name in Bram Stoker's original novel Dracula, himself based on the real life Romanian prince Vlad Tepes III. He is the main antagonist in the Universal Classic Monsters franchise.
He was portrayed by the late Bela Lugosi (who also played another horror icon, Frankenstein's Monster, in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man) in the first film, as well as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, the late Carlos Villarías in the Spanish version, and the late John Carradine in the two sequels House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula.
Count Dracula resides in his castle of Transylvania where he installs fear amongst the villagers - who are aware that he is a vampire. At the start of the film, he meets with Reinfield in his castile to discuss a business matter involving the leasing of Carfax Abbey in London, where he intends to travel the next day. He first picks up Reinfield under the guise of a driver and flies back to his castle as a bat to meet him there. He prepared food for the man and barely resists the urge to drink some blood from a paper clip on his finger - only to be stopped by the cross around his neck given to him by the villagers. As Dracula goes upstairs, it is revealed he drugged Reinfield's wine. The man later passes out after witnessing Dracula as a bat. Dracula's three brides attempt to drink from him, but are stopped by Dracula, who attacks him himself.
Driven insane by his encounter with Dracula, Reinfield takes Dracula's coffin aboard the schooner Vesta with him to London. During a stormy night, the Count emerges form his coffin and murders the entire crew. Once the ship reaches London, Reinfield is found in the morning to be the only survivor, and is taken to a mental asylum. Dracula later meets with Seward, his daughter Mina, her fiancé John Harker, and their family friend, Lucy. Dracula immediately takes an interest in Lucy, and sneaks into her room to bite her that night in her sleep. Lucy dies the next day from several failed transfusions. Dracula proceeds to do the same with Mina the next night.
The next evening, Dracula meets with Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing, who both discover he does not have a reflection in the mirror of a jewelry box. Once Van Helsing shows this to Dracula, he smashes it. During that night, Dracula hypnotizes Mina into meeting him in the garden, where he attacks her. Lucy, now a vampire, lures children with candy under the Count's influence and drains them of their blood. After reading about this in the news, Mina deduces that the woman killing these children is Lucy. Van Helsing later orders nurse Briggs to keep a necklace of wolfsbane around Mina's neck during her sleep, and to not remove it. Dracula later arrives outside the asylum Reinfielf is being kept at, revealing through telepathy what he intends to do to Mina, much to Reinfield's horror.
The next night, Dracula meets with Van Helsing in the Seward parlor, threatening him if he tries to interfere with his plans. He attempts to hypnotize the man, but his will proves to strong. Once he tries to attack him, Van Helsing holds a cross out, warring him off.
Once Mina has a talk with Harker, she begins exhibiting odd behavior before Dracula appears in the form of a bat-forcing Mina to nearly kill Harker before he is saved by Helsing and Seward. Mina breaks down and admits what Dracula has done to her, ending her relationship with Harker for his safety.
Later that night, Dracula hypnotizes Briggs into taking the necklace off of Mina's neck and lures her to his castle. Once Harker and Helsing are on his trails, Dracula suspects Renfield of betraying him and strangles him to death in his castle. Once Harker and Helsing arrive, it is day time and Dracula goes to sleep in his coffin. Van Helsing uses a stake to hammer it through the Count's heart, killing him, and returning Mina to normal.
Spanish Version (1931)
Within the spanish version of the film, Dracula's charterization is relatively the same as that of the American version-with the exception being that unlike in the original when he stopped his brides from drinking Reinfield's blood from his neck so he could, in this version he lets them do so.
Dracula's daughter, Countess Marya, would later be introduced as the main antagonist of the sequel, Dracula's Daughter, to avenge her father's death.
Son of Dracula
Dracula's son, Alucard (which is 'Dracula" spelled backwards) is the main antagonist of Son of Dracula, where he is portrayed by the late Lon Chaney Jr. (who also played the title character in The Wolf Man and Groton in Dracula vs. Frankenstein)
House of Frankenstein
Count Dracula makes his return in the 1943 film, House of Frankenstein, itself a sequel to Frakenstein Meets the Wolfman. The coffin containing Dracula's body is taken by a traveling showman named Professor Bruno Lampini. After Dr. Gustav Niemann and his hunchback assistant, Daniel, escape prison one rainy night, they help Lampini's carriage out of a pot hole and are given a ride for their efforts. However, they kill Lampini and his driver so Gustave can revive Dracula and use him to etact revenge on Bürgermeister Hussman, one of the men who put him in prison. Niemann travels to Reigelberg, pretending to be Lampini's brother.
After he shows off the Dracula exhibit, he removes the stake from the heart of Dracula's skeleton, reviving the vampire. Dracula tries to kill Niemann, but the doctor puts a stake near his heart, threatening to kill him if he tries. He attempts to hypnotize him, but Niemann's will proves too strong. Niemann makes a deal with Dracula to keep his coffin safe should the vampire lord kill Hussman. Dracula agrees to this and picks up Hussman, his son, Karl, and his daughter-in-law, Mina, in a carriage to their home under the alias Baron Latos.
He manages to hypnotize Mina into wanting to become a vampire just like him. After he kills Hussman, he kidnaps Mina in his carriage and is chased by Karl. He tries to follow Niemann in his carriage, but Niemann, not wanting to get caught, has Daniel throw Dracula's coffin off and Dracula crashes, causing himself and Mina to fall out. Dracula attempts to get back into his coffin before the sun comes up, but he fails and is killed. Mina is then free of his spell.
House of Dracula
Through unexplained means, Dracula is revived and breaks into the house of Dr. Franz Edelmann's where he request that the doctor cure him of his vampirism. Edelmann agrees to this, deciding that he must perform a series of transfusions in order to do so. Dracula has his coffin placed in the basement of the doctors castle. However as time goes on, Dracula takes a romantic interest in one of Edelman's assistants, Militzia. He tries to seduce her at some point, but is warded off by the cross on her necklace.
Once Edelmann's other assistant, Nina, spots Dracula with Mitlitzia, without a reflection in the mirror, she tells Edelmann about this. Edelmann becomes suspicious of his intentions and intends to give a transfusion that will kill the Count. However, during the transfusion, Dracula hypnotizes both Nina and Edelmann, injecting his blood into the doctor's afterwords. Once Dracula tries to take Militzia for his bride, they, along with Lawrence Talbot, manage to ward him off with a cross once they wake up, and Dracula goes down into his coffin due to the sun rising. Edelmann goes into the basement and opens his coffin directly under the sunlight killing him.
The effects of Dracula's transfusion eventually turn Edelmann into a homicidal monster who changes back and forth, much like Mr. Hyde.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Dracula once again returns with no explanation for his revival in the horror comedy film, Abbot and Costello Meet Frakenstein (though it can be safely assumed the film isn't canon with any of the previous films). He becomes head of the lab and the other doctors that obey him (like Professor Stevens) receive a lot of electrical equipment. They don't know why, but Dracula plans to use the necessary type to revive the monster. So, Dracula goes into his coffin which is headed for the McDongall's House of Horrors so that he can meet Frankenstein's monster there and then deliver both the monster and his coffin to the lab. The crates that he and the monster were recently shipped in were eventually delivered to the McDogall's House of Horrors by Wilbur and Chick, two baggage handlers.
When they put the crates in, not relishing or believing that the two bodies are real, Chick goes out to meet McDogall and when Wilbur takes a look in the Dracula coffin, Dracula hypnotizes Wilbur into staying frozen while he takes out the monster just as Chick comes in with McDogall and an insurance agent. When they see that there are no bodies, they stupidly acuse Wilbur and Chick of stealing them and throw them in jail. Soon enough, they are bailed out by an beautiful female insurance investigator named Joan Raymond, who the two boys mistaken the women to be Sandra Mornay. Sandra had also been ordered by Dracula to impose as Wilbur's girlfriend so that she can in the end use his brain to put it in Frankenstein's head so that Dracula will not repeat Dr. Frankenstein's mistake and revive a monster that will obey him with no will of his own.
Soon enough, Wilbur and Chick meet Talbot and he tells them of Dracula's plans and while Wilbur believes Talbot (but is also a little bit scared) Chick doesn't believe a word. The next day, the boys meet Joan Raymond and after learning that she was the real one who bailed them out, Wilbur decides to take her as another date to the masquerade ball (Wilbur invited Sandra too). Before the ball, the boys meet Dr. Lajos, but really it's Dracula in disguise. Sandra then makes up that she's developed a headache (only to make it up so that she could talk to Dracula about her doubts that the plan will work.
As Sandra privately tells Dracula about her doubts of the plan, Dracula then hypnotizes her and then bites her on the neck, making her his vampire slave so that she'll do anything he says and this time, without any of her doubts and questions about his evil plans.
During the ball, they encounter the fool, McDogall and Talbot. He tells them that he's the Wolfman and will soon turn into a werewolf, but they don't believe him, nor when he points out that Dr. Lajos is Dracula but as Dracula/Lajos points out it's only his costume (but really wearing his real original robes) Talbot still acknowledges that it's "the real thing". As Dracula takes Joan for a dance, he put her under a trance so that she won't interfere with his plans, as Sandra found out that she was an insurance investigator, and takes her to a boat with Sandra.
As Talbot, Chick and Wilbur look for her, Talbot changes into the wolfman and prowls off into the woods and Dracula hypnotizes Wilbur and Chick into a deep sleep and takes Wilbur, Sandra and Joan to the island. After Chick wakes up and meets a now-human Talbot in the morning, Chick now believes Wilbur and Talbot and the two take a boat to the island to rescue Wilbur and Joan before Sandra and Dracula can transfer Wilbur's brain into the body of Frankenstein.
They start the operation at nightfall and while Dracula and Sandra transfer electricity into the monster, making him more stronger and more active, Chick and Talbot rescue Wilbur and Professor Stevens and leave Wilbur at the boat so he can get the boat started as they rush back in to find Joan. Dracula finds out that Wilbur has escaped and then hypnotizes him into coming back. Then him and Sandra strap him to a lab-bed to take out his brain.
But as Sandra prepares to cut open Wilbur's skull, Chick and Talbot arrive just in time and knock out Sandra and free Wilbur. But soon, the full moon rises and Talbot once again transforms into the wolfman and enters a werewolf and vampire battle with Count Dracula. Meanwhile, the monster breaks his straps, throws Sandra out a window and pursues Wilbur and Chick. Chick and Wilbur flee to the boat and escape while Professor Stevens sets fire to the prie and as the monster walks through to kill him, but burns to death as fire can kill him and dies as Wilbur and Chick escape.
Meanwhile, the battle between Dracula and the wolfman takes place from all over the castle to a balcony at the top. Dracula attempts to escape and transforms into his vampire bat form, but Talbot grabs Dracula and claws him and then both fall over to their deaths into the rocky seas below as Joan then awakens from her trance, and also ending Dracula's reign and with him, his evil plans.
- As Dracula is siring Sandra, he casts a reflection in the mirror behind him, despite not having a reflection before as he is a vampire. The producers attempted to remove the reflection before the film's release, but were unable to do so.
- Unlike in the English version, where Dracula forbids his brides from drinking from Reinfield so he can do it himself, in the Spanish version, he allows them to do so.