Dracula (1931)

Directed by Tod Browning

Dracula is well known. Even those who have never read the book or watched the movie will recognize the name and will speak with the stereotypical accent ‘I vant to drink your blood!” However, very few are as familiar with the Spanish version of the film. 

The original Dracula movie starring Bela Lugosi is a classic. While a bit slow by today’s standards, it was produced during a time when movies were still called moving pictures, and immortalized Brahm Stoker’s novel. It became very popular as it displayed the evil of those seeking power over death. 

At the time, many movie studios were creating foreign language films to appeal to a larger (and more international) audience. Universal Pictures decided to produce a Spanish language version of Dracula which meant the studio hired two sets of actors that would film at different parts of the day. The English version was filmed during the day while the Spanish version would be filmed in the evening. This often meant that the filming crew would get a ‘second chance’ to improve the film.

The story, script, characters, and set are all the same for both films, but there are subtle differences that turn the Spanish language version of Dracula into a superior film. The actors (save for a lack of Bela Lugosi) play their parts with an extra flare and passion, the costuming is more appealing, and the videography is more cohesive. 

Overall, while a trip into the macabre world of vampires is always a delight, finding time to watch the Spanish language Dracula (which is available at the Orem library), will provide a newfound appreciation for this classic film. 

Review by Nora (General Reference)