| 82 MINS | COLOUR | HAMMER |
Jonathan Harker goes to castle Dracula to take employment as a librarian. When he gets to the castle, he finds the hall deserted and a note explaining the host’s absence. A woman in white appears and implores Harker to take her away from the castle. When Harker sees an ominous figure at the top of the stairs, none other than Count Dracula, the woman disappears, and Dracula descends. Dracula exchanges some words with Harker and then shows him to his room, locking the door behind him. It is then revealed that Harker has not come to the castle as Dracula’s librarian, but as his destroyer; at the service of Van Helsing – the great vampire hunter.
Testing the door that night, Harker finds it unlocked. Investigating, he again sees the woman in white, and is bitten on the neck. When Harker awakens, he finds the bite mark on his neck.
A few days have passed and Van Helsing arrives in Klausenberg to look for Harker. He is given Harker’s journal by an innkeeper’s daughter and goes to Dracula’s castle to find that Harker is a vampire. After staking Harker he leaves to deliver the news to Arthur and Mina Holmwood, the brother and sister-in-law of Harker’s fiancee, Lucy Holmwood.
Dracula already has a hold over Lucy Holmwood, and Lucy eventually becomes one of the undead. Van Helsing has to stake her. Now Dracula’s desires turn to Mina. Van Helsing discovers just in time that Dracula has been hiding in Arthur and Mina’s home – in the cellar. Van Helsing confronts Dracula.
Dracula escapes into the night with Mina and rushes to his castle in Klausenberg, hoping to get there before sunrise. He is pursued by Van Helsing and Arthur and is discovered trying to bury Mina alive. While Arthur stays with Mina, Van Helsing pursues Dracula into the castle. Inside, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle. Dracula is transformed into dust as Van Helsing tears open the curtains to reveal the sunlight and uses two candlesticks to form a crucifix. Outside, Mina’s transformation into a vampire is reversed.
BritishHorrorFilms.co.uk: You can’t fault it. Forget Coppola’s load of tosh, as a horror film it still works.
Classic-Horror.com: This film shows that Christopher Lee’s Dracula is capable of equaling or even exceeding Bela Lugosi’s version.
Classic-Monsters.com: Hammer’s Dracula gets pretty much everything just right.
Count Dracula: I am Dracula and I welcome you to my house.
- Directed by Terence Fisher
- Produced by Anthony Hinds
- Music by James Bernard
- Cinematography Jack Asher
- Production company hammer Film Productions
- To avoid confusion with the original Universal film, the title was changed to Horror of Dracula in the U.S.
- Christopher Lee speaks only thirteen lines during the whole film.
- Dracula (1958) is the first Dracula film in the Hammer series.