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Dracula

Year: 1931
Studio: Universal
Director: Tod Browning
Writer: Hamilton Deane/Bram Stoker
Cast: Bela Lugosi
Not only the film that breathed life into the most famous monster in human culture, but the start of a golden age of cinema as Universal took up the mantle of making movies about the most famous monsters from modern mythology.

If you need to be told the story about the Transylvanian aristocrat who travels to London to make property investments but who turns out to be the cursed undead who feeds on the blood of the living by night, you've probably never read a book or seen a movie in your life.

Desperate to play the part of The Count after touring America playing the part on stage in Hamilton Deane's play, Lugosi could barely speak English as he delivered his lines, resulting in his famous accent.

By modern standards, the production is constricted and clunky. That's partly because of the technology of the day, but partly because in the depths of the great Depression even movie studios couldn't afford to shell out as much as they would have liked on special effects.

The paper bats twittering around the corners of the rooms of the castle and the way Dracula theatrically casts his arm over his face as Harker's crucifix falls into view are unintentionally funny by today's standards, but not even 70 years and CGI can dull what must be one of the four or five most iconic stories in the history of literature.

It's (doomed?) to be endlessly remade both in its original form and any number of variations thereof.

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