Dracula

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Gatsby84, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Gatsby84

    Gatsby84 Familiar Face

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    I watched the original version of Dracula on AMC and was very disappointed. They played the version to which music was recently added. To me this just kills the atmosphere of the movie. I love the original version because it just seems more horrifying without the music... like it was intended to be. What is everyone elses opinion?

    Allen
     
  2. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    Gosh - which version? They stretch back into the teens...

    The 1931 Lugosi picture? I can't imagine it with music added - it has always been known for its lack of music. Adding some is like sticking arms on the Venus De Milo.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    That's the version done several years ago with a score by Philip Glass -- very outre and avant-garde, part of that whole trend of "moderning up" classic old films to make them relevant to today's hipster intellectuals, the same sort of trend that gives us discordant banging-tin-pan scores for classic silents.

    I saw it on VHS when it was first released in this form, and what bugged me even more than the music was the sonic disconnect between the modern recording of the music score and the extremely rough original 1931 dialogue track. Made my ears hurt.
     
  4. Cousin Hepcat

    Cousin Hepcat Practically Family

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    Don't tell me they're doing this now with SOUNDIES?

    The colorization was fine, you could turn down the color... and when they did a Joe Turner and "got into the kitchen & made some noise with the pots & pans" on the silent films, you could just turn down the volume... but if they're going to irreversably pollute an existing soundtrack with avant garde, I wish they'd stick with John Cage's "Silence" :eusa_doh:

    [edit] Thankfully I just saw, it's not TCM doing this, it's only AMC... :)

    - C H
     
  5. K.D. Lightner

    K.D. Lightner Call Me a Cab

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    Why would they add sound to a sound movie!?

    Did you mean Nosferatu? Now that was a creepy silent film...

    karol
     
  6. Lee Lynch

    Lee Lynch One of the Regulars

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    It can't be as bad as that 1992 "Bram Stoker's Dracula", which beyond the first 1/4 of the movie, bore little resemblance to the book.

    Although it had the best Dracula costume to date, they wasted all that visually stunning effort on a horrid re-writing of the interaction between Mina and the count. So much of that footage could have gone toward telling the book story.
     
  7. Gatsby84

    Gatsby84 Familiar Face

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    Sorry for the confusion... yes the 1931 Lugosi version. It was the first version of Dracula I ever saw so I tend to think it as the "first original", but I do realize that others have come before it. The part of the new "soundtrack" that really got me was that the style of music they chose didn't really seem to fit and make sense, to me anyway, with the atmosphere that was projected by the actors.
    Allen
     
  8. GOK

    GOK One Too Many

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    **shudders** That was a travesty, not a film. :( I don't know what was worse, Keanu's appalling accent, Dracul's armour or the castle shaped like a throne. :eek: Winona's costumes were lovely though and I liked Richard E. Grant's character....or rather, his portrayal of the doctor.

    The BBC recently aired one of their own versions of Mr Stoker's tale. Despite Marc Warren in the title r?¥le, the film was utter dross.

    I don't think there will ever be a good version of the story on film....not unless someone that understands every nuance of the book has the clout to make it properly.

    Has anyone seen Shadow of the Vampire? 'Tis most good! :D
     
  9. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    I enjoy most versions of the story - including the Bela Lugosi classic, an early fave - but my very favorite Dracula adaptation isn't too well known these days:

    Done on videotape for British TV in around 1977, it stars Louis Jourdan as the Count - an outstanding choice, as at that point he seemed creepily young for his age in an almost Dorian Grey-like way. It includes sterling support from a solid cast including Frank Finlay as Van Helsing, uses interesting psychedelic effects shots to indicate Drac's hypnotic powers, and remains one of the closest-to-the-book adapations ever made.

    I highly recommend it if you're a serious Dracula fan...
     
  10. GOK

    GOK One Too Many

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    I remember that one. If you can get past the obvious '70s VT thing, then yes, it's not bad. I'm not that keen though. [huh]
     
  11. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    .

    Bad move.:mad:
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Practically Family

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    As it stands now, I've yet to see the old film. The fact that it was made without music has my curiosity up, and it will probably move up a few notches on my Netflix list now.

    I started drafting the book into a screenplay a while back, maybe it will sell someday and we'll have that faithful rendition. I mean, with my avatar, how could I not capture a good horror novel? ;)
     
  13. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    I believe several of the adaptations have been pretty good (like the "Count Dracula" TV version I mentioned above). The original novel is written as a bunch of letters, telegrams, diary entries, etc., which doesn't exactly lend itself to a straight narrative approach. It's worth nothing that the 1931 film (and several others, like the Frank Langella film) worked off of the earlier Broadway play adaptation vs. the novel itself.

    Let it also be said that the novel is not exactly a *great* work of fiction that especially deserves enormous fidelity. (I looked at the Wiki entry on it this morning, and it said something like "a typical Victorian potboiler that wasn't especially successful until after the 1920s film Nosferatu.") Not that I don't love it anyway...
     
  14. CharlieH.

    CharlieH. One Too Many

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    Philip Glass added a score to Lugosi's Dracula?? Next to that, a colourized Citizen Kane doesn't sound so bad...
     
  15. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    Best Dracula movie isn't based on the book. The Shadow of the Vampire! Just because of one scene where Willem Dafoe as Count Orlock gives his opinion on the book Dracula. So good.

    The 92 one was horrid. The original Lugosi one is my favorite, though none of the versions have yet to win me over. I can't imagine an added score would help it at all.
     
  16. Sefton

    Sefton Call Me a Cab

    Even when it's an acknowledged "Classic" it's seems that horror films receive little respect as "serious" art. I love the fact that there is little to no music in the Lugosi version. The film has such a wonderful atmosphere and really needs no music. I wonder if they will add music to the first Karloff Frankenstein next? Maybe extend the end credits so they can add some pop music...:eusa_doh:
     
  17. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Adding music...

    ...is roughly akin to colorizing a film. My views on altering the artistic vision of a director are well documented here, and this travesty of adding music is no different.

    In my opinion, restoration should be limited to just that, restoring a film to its original luster.
     
  18. Twitch

    Twitch My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It may have been Leonard Maltin who ran a segment a long while ago on how the movies are butchered up. No only do they edit in a devil may care way but they even speed up sequences to get them to fit time allotments and shorten them. He showed 2 clips and one out-sped the others by several seconds. Every time there is a part where is a non-dialogue part of a scene they sped it up as if the silence was bad or non-essential to the storyline.:mad:
     
  19. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    The music was composed by Philip Glass and performed by the Kronos Quartet. It was a project undertaken about a decade ago - so it's a little late to get your panties all knotted up about it - as an alternative score to a then current restoration and reissue of the film by Universal. It was never intended to replace the original film (the score of which consists of nothing more than a few snippets of Tchaikovsky, also used in The Mummy - if I remember correctly), so again... R-E-L-A-X.

    Glass and the Kronos Quartet toured with the film performing live as the film played. I saw it here in Toronto when it came through and it was extraordianry. The score is a trip and the film was defintitely enhanced by it in that situation. How well it works on television this far down the road for viewers who aren't expecting it... I can't say. I have the dvd and watch the original score more often than I do the Glass score, but I do sometimes listen to the score apart from the movie.

    Glass and the KQ are artists in their own right creating work inspired by another artist's work - that happens frequently and it's not necessarily bad. It's also nothing like colourization where there is nothing creative in play whatsoever, it's simply a slopping on of colour with the assumption that a contemporary audience won't watch a black and white film.

    If you don't like the Glass score, then rent the movie and watch it without.

    No biggie.
     
  20. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    Thanks for the info. I was wondering if the present version was the Kronos scored version.
    I was hoping to read more discussion on Scorsese winning an Oscar this year for doing a remake..
    He can certainly do better and should have been rewarded for his better work.
     

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