|Binro the Heretic |
While I have utmost respect for Bela Lugosi, I'm afraid Frank Langella will always be Dracula to me.
I saw the 1979 version of "Dracula" before I saw the 1931 version. I'd seen still images from the 1931, but never the actual movie itself. I had seen Lugosi as the gypsy in "The Wolfman", but had no idea he was the same guy who had played Dracula.
So the 1979 "Dracula" came on TV when I was about 10 or 11, so 1980/1981. It was the first serious portrayal of Dracula I'd ever seen. Every portrayal I'd seen before that had been satirical and usually a mockery of Lugosi's performance.
The only exception had been "Frankenstein vs Dracula" which had come on late Saturday night when I was about 6 or 7. It was a cheesy low-budget movie. In a weird twist, it also had Lon Chaney Jr in what would turn out to be his final film appearance. It was hard to take the Dracula in this movie seriously, though. The actor's makeup consisted of silvery whit face paint and heavy black eyeliner. He also had long frizzy hair and for some reason, all his dialogue was given a tinny echo.
Langella's Dracula, however, was smooth, sophisticated and genuinely scary, especially when he did that vibrating eyeball thing. It would be a few more years before I got to appreciate how good Lugosi's performance had been. By then, however, Langella was my go-to Dracula.
John Holmes Motherfucker
>>While I have utmost respect for Bela Lugosi, I'm afraid Frank Langella will always be Dracula to me.
Now I know why the call him a heretic Okay, I guess Frank Langella was the perfect Dracula. Unfortunately, he was playing Nixon at the time.
Lugosi's Dracula captures an East European matinee idol just at the moment when he was about to become a drug-addicted old man. Just for a moment, he was the perfect combination of male beauty and mature gravitas.
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