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The Return of Dracula

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Joe Macclesfield » September 12th, 2014, 2:00 pm

WG, Of course you're right. But Chaney did try, even if he didn't quite pull it off. And that's part of the fun. Incidently, this picture marks the first appearance of the great trick effect, devised by John P. Fulton, that shows the Count changing into a bat (and back). It's interesting that bats actually didn't figure in the traditional vampire folklore of Europe till much later than is usually supposed.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Joe Macclesfield » September 12th, 2014, 6:00 pm

In passing, I'd love to know why the people at Gramercy Pictures (the makers of RETURN OF DRACULA) chose to use a stock shot of R.M.S. Aquitania to suggest the Count's Atlantic crossing. The Aquitania (last of the beautiful four funnelled liners) was withdrawn from service and scrapped in 1950! It's a nice conceit though, and appropriate in a sort of poetic way.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 18th, 2014, 2:50 pm

To me, the top two Dracula's are Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee.

Bela was top notch for his limited appearance as the Count - but, I have to give the nod to Christopher Lee for his memorable roles in the Hammer Years of which he played the Count on numerous of occasions.

To me, Mr. Lee is the one and only one - Bela came in a close second.

Image

Christopher Lee as Count Dracula

RedRiver
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby RedRiver » September 18th, 2014, 8:38 pm

Lee was elegantly spooky as the blood thirsty count. Those Hammer horror films are memorable. I had several enjoyable times watching double features in the mid 1960s.

Western Guy
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Western Guy » September 18th, 2014, 10:14 pm

Me too, R.R. Can't imagine my childhood without those Saturday afternoon Hammer double bills that played frequently at our Downtown Theatre. Got me through that looonnnggg school week. In fact, I think I became familiar with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing before I knew who Karloff and Lugosi were -- and I was fortunate to share an hour or so of Christopher Lee's time many years ago when he was in Winnipeg promoting BEAR ISLAND. Later, I had the privilege of meeting Saint Peter and enjoying a lengthy correspondence with him. I treasure those wonderful letters. Both kind, gentle and generous men.

My only quibble with Lee's Dracula. He certainly carries the intimidating, aristocratic presence, but his voice is so decidedly British for a Transylvanian.

RedRiver
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby RedRiver » September 19th, 2014, 10:54 am

double bills that played frequently at our Downtown Theatre

As it happens, I'm currently doing community theatre in that old movie palace! It's over 100 years old!

I had the privilege of meeting Saint Peter

I hope you don't meet the real Saint Peter any time soon!

Western Guy
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Western Guy » September 19th, 2014, 1:17 pm

I hope you don't meet the real Saint Peter any time soon![/quote]

Hadn't thought of that, R.R. But if I were to meet St. Peter Cushing at the Pearly Gates, wouldn't be too bad. A kindly, indeed saintly man.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Joe Macclesfield » September 20th, 2014, 9:04 pm

My first place is reserved for Mr. Lederer. He brought to the part a certain suave quality and an air of aristocratic aloofness not matched by Bela. A barely concealed (almost seething) contempt for the mere mortals he had, of necessity, to interact with. A close (very close) second is Bela (who once told some English fans that the correct pronunciation of his first name was "Baylor"). Some of his finest moments as the Count are to be seen in A&C MEET FRANKENSTEIN! I've never taken to Christopher Lee. In that respect I'm in the same boat as Leslie Halliwell (and that makes two of us!).
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Western Guy » September 21st, 2014, 8:15 am

Joe, I'm going to have to give RETURN OF DRACULA another look. Haven't seen it in many a moon, though I remember quite enjoying it. But you've piqued my curiosity regarding Lederer's performance.

Although not a "Dracula", I thought Karloff gave a very eerily effective performance as a vampire (or Wurdalak) in my personal vote for scariest film of all time BLACK SABBATH.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Joe Macclesfield » September 21st, 2014, 6:52 pm

In my last post I wrote that Bela once told some English fans that the correct pronunciation of his first name was "Baylor". It occurs to me that "Baylaw" might be a better aproximation for folks on the other side of the pond. W.G., the day for night shots in RETURN OF DRACULA have been panned by some reviewers. And it's true that not all of them work. For me the cemetary shots are OK though. The technique gives them a nice, still, dream-like quality. I've not seen BLACK SABBATH. A situation I'll have to remedy.
Last edited by Joe Macclesfield on September 22nd, 2014, 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Western Guy » September 21st, 2014, 8:35 pm

Friend Joe, I heartily recommend BLACK SABBATH - but the original Italian version (even though Karloff's dubbing is jarring). I've grown up on horror films but to this day still find that film unsettling. "The Telephone" episode is fairly weak (especially in the English translation), but for sheer terror "A Drop of Water" and "The Wurdalak" cannot be beat. And then for a wild ride off into the excursion, watch those final moments of the film . . .

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Joe Macclesfield » September 22nd, 2014, 6:42 pm

I was delighted to learn that Francis Lederer reprised his role as the Count in a 1971, 25 minute, segment of Rod Serling's NIGHT GALLERY, entitled THE DEVIL IS NOT MOCKED (complete with evening dress, cape, and Hammer style fangs). Will catch it later (when I've access to a PC). Any opinions on Jack Palance's effort in the role (I've not seen it)?
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Western Guy » September 22nd, 2014, 8:56 pm

From what I can recall, Palance's version of Dracula was somewhat offbeat, playing up the romantic angle of his vampiric history. It's been a while since I saw it, but I seem to remember that Palance is more sympathetic than sinister. One version I haven't seen but have heard good things about is Louis Jourdan's BBC telecast of DRACULA.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Joe Macclesfield » September 23rd, 2014, 12:23 am

I remember the Jourdan version being touted at the time W.G. That was quite a while ago. Back then I was wont to scorn anything not at least twenty years old, and in glorious black and white! Jourdan's image would've seemed a little soft for the Count (to me at the time). I do remember seeing the Count Yorga pictures with Robert Quarry. They were OK. And, THE NIGHT STALKER ('though not a Dracula pic) with Darren McGavin, that was good. Mr. Lederer, in RETURN OF DRACULA, presents an image not unlike some renaissance prince from an oil by the old masters. And no small part is played by the music of Gerald Fried.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: The Return of Dracula

Postby Western Guy » September 23rd, 2014, 8:44 am

Yes, I kind of enjoyed the COUNT YORGA films, too, although the sequel gave no hint as to how Yorga was resurrected, and I'm a fan of those types of gimmicks. Also fondly recall BLACULA. William Marshall made one frightening vampire, IMO. Although I haven't seen Jourdan's DRACULA, I think I could agree with you that his image might be less . . . intimidating than other players of the part. Maybe Jourdan and Palance would have done well to switch productions; as I said, to my recollection Palance's rendition of the Count was more sympathetic than frightening. Then we can go way off the charts with Reggie Nalder's Nosferatu-like vampire, Barlow, in SALEM'S LOT - still one of the better made-for-TV movies of the time. With some good genuine scares, to boot!


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