Top Ranked Dracula Movies

Posted on 19 Jun 00:00

 

 

The Dracula movie series features some of the most captivating, thrilling, and even terrifying plays and scenes fans and movie buffs have ever come across. Based on a horror novel authored by Bram Stoker in 1897, Dracula movies have been on release since 1931, with notable productions including Dracula In Istanbul, Shadow of the Vampire, The Monster Squad, and the Dracula Untold. Listed is some of the most popular versions.

 1.  Nosferatu (1922)

Plot: It is in 1838, and Thomas Hutter is living in Wisborg, a town in Germany. Herr Knock (a real estate agent), his employer, sends him to Transylvania to meet Count Orlok (Max Schreck), a client interested in buying a house in Wisborg. During his stay in Orlok’s house, Hutter suspects his host of being a vampire. He finds Orlok resting dormant in a coffin, which horrifies and prompts him to escape. However, he is knocked into unconsciousness and finds himself in a hospital. In the meantime, Orlok decides to ship coffins to Wisborg, though they are discovered to be containing rats. A commotion ensues on the ship, which leaves the captain dead, while Orlok manages to escape and move into his newly purchased house in Wisborg. A deadly plague erupts in the town, causing massive deaths, and the cause is attributed to the rats. Ellen, Hutter's wife, schemes to kill Orlok, but she is defeated, and Orlok drinks her blood, leaving her to live long enough to die in her husband’s arms. 

The Director: The movie Nosferatu (1922) was directed by Friedrich Wilhelm "F. W." Murnau, best known as an influential director of silent films. He was greatly influenced by Nietzsche, Shakespeare, and Schopenhauer in his works. Some of the movies directed by F. W. Murnau include Faust, Phantom, The Last Laugh, and Marizza

Main Cast: Count Orlok was played by Friedrich Gustav Maximilian Schreck, a German actor professionally known as Max Schreck. Max was featured in several other movies, such as The Vampire, The Street, and Mysteries of a Barbershop. However, he is well known for his leading role in Nosferatu (1922).

Gustav von Wangenheim, a German actor, screenwriter, director, and nobleman, played Thomas Hutter's role. He also featured in The Struggle, Hoegler’s Mission, and Warning Shadows. 

Special Awards: Nosferatu (1922) won the Best DVD nominee award in 2014 and the OFTA Film Hall of Fame for Motion Picture in 2010. 

Interesting Information: The movie Nosferatu (1922) was not the first to be released based on Dracula by Bram Stoker. Moreover, Count Orlok, the vampire, had a spooky last name, Orlok, which means “terror” in German.


2.  Dracula (1931)

Plot: This horror movie features Renfield, a solicitor, on his way to visit Count Dracula. He is warned against entering Dracula's castle, but Dracula drives Renfield to his castle in disguise, where he ultimately becomes Dracula's slave. Dracula leaves by ship to London in search of new prey, feeding on the crew along the way. In London, Dracula meets Seward and his daughter Mina, Lucy, a family friend, and John Harker, Mina's fiancée. Dracula tries and succeeds in devouring some of his new acquaintances, such as Lucy, who was fascinated by Dracula, she becomes a vampire. Count Dracula eventually kills Renfield over a 'perceived' betrayal, and Professor Van Helsing kills Dracula as the movie ends. 

The Director: Dracula (1931) was directed by Tod Browning, an American actor, director, vaudeville performer, and screenwriter. His career spanned the eras of sound and silent film and featured in several movies, including Freaks (1932), The Devil-Doll (1936), and Mark of the Vampire (1935). 

Main Cast: The role of Count Dracula was played by Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, professionally known as Bela Lugosi. He was a Hungarian-American actor best known for his role in horror movies, such as White Zombie, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and Night of Terror. Another leading role was played by Helen Chandler as Mina Seward. Helen was an American theater and film actress and featured in other films, including Salvation Nell, A House Divided, and The Last Flight. 

Special Awards: Dracula (1931) won the Saturn Award as the Best DVD in 2005, 2013,2015, and 2018. Also, the movie won the OFTA Hall of Fame in 2018 in the Motion Picture category and was nominated for the Satellite Award in 2008 as the Best Classic DVD. 

Interesting Information: It took more than six decades for Dracula (1931) to receive a musical score. Also, Bela Lugosi, who played Count Dracula, first played the role on Broadway and was not the first choice for Dracula (1931).


3.  Count Dracula (1977)

Plot: Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to visit Count Dracula for business. On his way, Harker is warned against visiting Dracula's castle, but he proceeds and stays with Count Dracula for one month. Suspicious events at the castle prompt Harker to try to kill Dracula, unsuccessfully, and flees the castle. Count Dracula travels to England, where he meets Mina, Harker's wife, and Lucy, her sister, among others. The events that ensue lead to Dracula killing Lucy and fleeing, but he is followed by Mina and Van Helsing, who manages to kill Dracula. 

The Director: Count Dracula (1977) was directed by Philip Saville, a British actor, screenwriter, and director. With a career spanning around 50 years, Philip played roles in movies such as The Three Crooked Men, To the Public Danger, and Murder At 3 am. Moreover, Philip directed numerous movies, including The Fruit Machine, Mandela, and The Gospel of John. 

Main Cast: The leading role of Count Dracula was played by Louis Jourdan, a French Television and film actor, who was featured in several productions: The Paradise Case, The Best of Everything, and Letter from an Unknown Woman. Another leading role was that of Professor van Hesling, played by Francis Finlay. Professionally known as Frank Finlay, he was an English film, television, and stage actor and won an Oscar award for his role in Othello in 1965. 

Special Awards: Count Dracula (1977) did not receive any award, either an Oscar or a nomination. 

Interesting Information: Since its release in 1977, Count Dracula (1977) has yet to receive an award, despite its powerful production.


4.  Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979)
 

Plot: Jonathan Harker visits Count Dracula in Transylvania for business purposes. Harker stays in Dracula's castle for four weeks, during which he learns that the Count is a vampire. Dracula leaves for Wismar, Harker's hometown, to purchase a house. Dracula is lured into bed by Lucy, and he turns her into a vampire. Everyone is now on to the count.  They  destroy all of his resting places causing him to flee back to his castle where they find and destroy him. 

The Director: Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) was directed by Werner Herzog, a German writer, actor, screenwriter, as well as film and opera director. Werner directed a number of films, including Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, and Into the Inferno. 

Main Cast: Klaus Kinski, who was a German actor, played the role of Count Dracula. Also, Klaus played the leading roles in the films directed by Werner Herzog, such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, and Woyzeck. On the other hand, Lucy Harker was portrayed by Isabelle Yasmina Adjani, a French singer and film actress. Her roles in movies such as One Deadly Summer and Possession won her the Cesar Award five times, becoming the only person in history to do so.. 

Special Awards: The movie won the Saturn Award for Best Costumes in 1980 and an NBR Award for Top Foreign Films in 1979. Individually, Klaus Kinski won the Santi Jordi Award for Best Performance in Foreign Film and was nominated for an NSFC Award for Best Actor in 1980. In the same year, Klaus Kinski won the Golden Pelican Award for Best Actor, while Henning von Gierke won the Silver Berlin Bear for Outstanding Single Achievement. 

Interesting Information: The grey rats used in this movie were initially white but had to be painted grey since the scene where Nosferatu arrived had insufficient grey rats. Furthermore, Henning von Gierke, the production designer (als0 an accomplished chef), prepared the food himself the breakfast shot.


5.  Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
 

Plot:  In 1492, Vlad Dracula returns home from a victory to find his wife dead from suicide, he denounce God. Now present day, 1897, Jonathan Harker meets Count Dracula for business matters in Transylvania, and Dracula travels to England. On Dracula's arrival, events erupt, leading to Lucy's (Mina's friend) demise (Dracula turns her into a vampire, and she is later killed by Van Helsing and others). Mina (Harker's fiancée, and the spitting image of Dracula's dead wife) runs off  to marry Harker in Romania. In the meantime, Dracula escapes to his castle, followed by hunters after his life. The events at Dracula’s castle lead to Dracula renouncing God and imploring Mina to be merciful and kill him, she does.

The Director: This movie was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an American producer, film director, and screenwriter. Among his outstanding works include The Rain People (1969) and The Godfather Part II (1974). Francis is grouped among the greatest filmmakers in history, having won six Golden Globe Awards, five Academy Awards, two Plames d’Or, and one British Academy Film Award. 

Main Cast: The role of Count Dracula was played by Gary Oldman, an English filmmaker, and actor. He has won several awards due to his versatility and has featured in films such as The Professional and The Fifth Element, and the role of Jonathan Harker was played by Keanu Reeves, a Canadian actor. He played various popular box office hit roles in John Wick Chapters 1, 2, and 3, Speed and The Matrix. 

Special Awards: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) won an Oscar Award for Best Costume Design, Best Effects, and Best Sound Effects Editing and was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration in 1993. 

Interesting Information: Francis Ford Coppola read Dracula for the first time at age 17. Also, Gary Oldman thought he could not be scary enough wearing the bat suit. At Coppola's suggestion, Gary went around whispering something scary in the actor's ears before filming the scene in order to help them to appear frightened during scary scenes.


6.  Dracula (1958)
 

Plot: Jonathan Harker visits Count Dracula to work as a librarian but discovers he is instead a vampire. In the events that unfold in this movie, several people are turned into vampires, including Harker, Lucy, and Mina. However, Professor Van Hesling tries to ward off the affected throughout the movie. As Dracula tries to bury Mina alive, he is confronted by Van Helsing, who manages to expose him to morning sunlight, which destroys Dracula, and the vampire curse is lifted and Mina is rescued. 

The Director: This movie was directed by Terrence Fisher, a film director born in Britain and famed for his outstanding works in the Hammer movies. 

Main Cast: Count Dracula's role was played by Sir Cristopher Frank Carandini Lee, an English author, actor, and singer. He also made appearances in The Man with the Golden Hand and Lord of the Rings. Doctor Van Helsing's role was played by Peter Cushing, an English actor best recognized for his other role in many Hammer films. 

Special Awards: This movie managed two nominations, including Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1959 and IFMCA Award for Best Re-release in 2020. 

Interesting Information:  Christopher Lee, as Dracula, wore a replica of the ring formerly worn by Bela Lugosi in the Universal Pictures’ Dracula. In addition, the scary contact lenses he wore were uncomfortable and impractical, rendering him almost blind during the filming.


7.  Dracula (2020) (TV Series)

 Plot: This movie series follows Dracula's events in his Eastern European origins, where he continually battled with Van Hesling's descendant's and others. It is a gory and entertaining trilogy (3 episodes)

The Director: The series is directed by Jonny Campbell, a British director, Damon Thomas, and Paul McGuigan, a Scottish Television and film director. Paul has also directed films such as Push, Gangster 1, and Lucky Number Slevin. 

Main Cast: The leading role of Count Dracula was played by Claes Bang, a Danish musician, and actor. Claes became the first Dane to win the European Film Award for Best Actor in The Square. Another leading role in this Dracula series is Jonathan Harker, played by John Heffernan, who has worked with The Royal Shakespeare Company, the English Touring, and the National Theater. He has taken lead roles in various films, such as Edward II and Oppenheimer.

Special Awards: Billboards featuring Count Dracula were constructed and erected outdoors, with the words "In case of vampires, break glass." These billboards won several awards during the Outdoor Media Awards event in 2020. The same year, the series was nominated for the Best New Drama Award, while Claes Band was nominated for the Best Actor Award. 

Interesting Information: The Dracula TV Series was filmed for five months, and its development first began in 2017. Also, the series features the seaside town of Whitby, which hosts The Whitby Goth Weekend - first held in 1994, forming a connection with Bram Stoker’s original version of Dracula. 

Conclusion

Movie buffers now have a multitude options to choose from when deciding to watch a Dracula movie. And though there are many versions of the Dracula movie, those discussed in this article are classic and timeless.


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