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Bram Stoker's Dracula

Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic novel, reinterpeted as a Gothic romance.

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  • Aug 31, 2000
  • by
Pros: a pleasant retelling of his oldie

Cons: ..

Dracul - Gary Oldman
Elisabeta/Mina - Winona Ryder
Jonathan Harker - Keanu Reeves
Van Helsing - Anthony Hopkins

In a twist to this timeless tale, we are finally given a peek into the background and lifestyle of Count Dracul, played remarkably well by Gary Oldman. In his life (former life, first life?) Dracul is the defender of the mighty Catholic church. Though reported to have performed unseeming acts upon his enemies, Dracul nevertheless is a tireless soldier for the unforgiving church.

Hearing a false tale of her husbands death, Elisabeta commits suicide dooming her immortal soul according to the church. Learning of his wife's death, Dracul revokes his faith and becomes one of the undead. Doomed forever to seek the blood of living souls, Dracul remains in his castle a virtual prisoner of his demons.

Flash forward - now known as Count Dracula, he has contacted real estate agent Jonathan Harker who has traveled to the castle to close a huge business deal on London property. Dracula sees a picture of Harker's financee Mina who is hauntingly the image of his long dead wife. Dracula becomes obsessed with Mina and travels to London to find her, leaving Harker prisoner in his castle. Harker becomes the captive slave of three of Dracula's demon wives, virtually draining the soul from his body until he is able to escape.

Bedecked in a pair of really snappy glasses, Dracula confronts Mina and overwhelms her senses. Unable to understand the pull of Dracula, Mina fights to remain true to Harker. Of course, nature being what it is, Dracula must have food and turns to Mina's sassy friend Lucy, who eventually meets her demise at Dracula's hands.

In the end, love conquers all as Mina kills Dracula, not out of hate but love. Yes, I know, this many time told tale, similar to the constant rehashing of the hated Titanic, never truly changes over the decades. Fortunately great advances in cinematography have helped create a powerful and awe inspiring story this time around. There are some breathtakingly beautiful love scenes between Dracula and Mina and Dracula and Lucy.

Ryder plays a powerful part in this movie both offering the strength of love and the pain of fear when facing Dracula as his true self. Seeing past his horror and into his heart, she proves that she is indeed the strong one here and releases him from his life of pain and depravity.

Dracula's transformations are truly frightening - a little Stephen Kingish which was fine with me. The music was eerie and beguiling and a perfect background to this horror. Beautiful costumes and set direction added to the magic of this epic. Highly erotic!


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October 18, 2010
Great review, I thought Tom Waits was brilliant in this.
More Bram Stoker's Dracula reviews
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2010
my favorite
review by . December 23, 2008
Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film, Bram Stoker's Dracula, is a lavish, visually stunning treatment of the Dracula tale. The film features exquisite production design, startling special effects, and one of the best film scores that I've heard in a long time. But the film, which had so much potential, is deeply flawed. Altogether Bram Stoker's Dracula suffers from an excessive amount of visual stimuli, which takes priority over characterization and acting. Much of the cast gives either flat, unconvincing …
review by . October 26, 2008
Bram Stoker's Dracula
In an exercise of cosmic madness, the essence of vampire lore is born with Count Dracula and his centuries-long yearning for the deceased Mina, an erotic love story lost in a netherworld of dreamless musings.   In this sensual feast of images, saturated with thick, red blood, an epic struggle is waged, a battle for eternity. Count Dracula purchases real estate in Victorian London, transferring crates of Transylvanian earth, where he will rest by day, pursuing the reincarnated Mina (Winona …
review by . November 08, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
I was a junior in high school when this film first came out. I went with one of my friends on one of the coldest Louisiana evenings of that year. That cold atmosphere, along with the dark, damp and aging cinema that I saw the film in made "Bram Stoker's Dracula" one of my favorite films of all time. It's been awhile since I read the book, but I think the film follows the pages of Stoker's novel reasonably close, with a couple of adjustments in characters and in sequences(as is the usual for books-to-the-big-screen) …
review by . July 07, 2001
This is a fascinating movie, but not just for the reasons Coppola might have intended. It's a lushly shot, beautifully staged affair, oozing over-ripe, autumnal colours in obvious counterpoint to cool blues and bloodless hues asociated the cast of vampires. It is outwardly a fairly faithful rendering of Bram Stoker's novel, but in pretty much every other respect it puts a novel spin on the well worn story. For one thing, it's not very scary; any horror is supplanted by the decadence and sexuality …
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