Tag Archives: Dracula Untold

Silver Screen Dracula

<em>Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in</em> Dracula (1931); Photo: Todd Browning

Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in Dracula (1931); Photo: Todd Browning

“There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.”

– Bram Stoker’s Dracula

There are mysteriously thrilling stories from literature that have inspired excellent additions to the horror film genre. Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula is one such story. It’s the grandfather of the eternally pop-culture-relevant vampire fandom – American Horror Story: Hotel, Underworld, Only Lovers Left Alive, Interview with the Vampire (my personal favorite) and The Lost Boys, to name a few. While Stoker’s Dracula has been adapted into a television miniseries and has inspired several television characters and episodes (including the short lived series, Dracula), the story really shines on the silver screen.

Probably the greatest of them all is Universal’s 1931 silent film, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. The film’s original release coincided with the shift from silent pictures to “talkies.” With limited sound technology in existence, the film had no musical soundtrack and few sound effects. For its 1998 restoration of the film, Universal commissioned legendary composer Philip Glass to write a hypnotic new instrumental score, blowing the cobwebs off the horror classic and adding depth to the emotional layers of the drama.

Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet performing Glass's score for <em>Dracula</em> (1931)

Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet performing Glass’s score for Dracula (1931)

Tomorrow night, LA Opera presents Dracula with a live performance of Glass’s score, providing an eerie counterpart to the suspense of the creepy classic projected on the big screen. Philip Glass will share the stage along with the celebrated Kronos Quartet for the performances (running through October 31) at the gorgeously restored Theatre at Ace Hotel.

In honor of LA Opera’s presentation of Dracula, here is a list of film adaptations we found that you should check out to get in the vampire spirit:

Nosferatu (1922) – The Count may have a different name in German director F.W. Murnau’s silent film adaption (he’s called Count Orlok), but he gets up to many of the same antics as Stoker’s Dracula. Nosferatu is a hauntingly cinematic piece known as one of the great influences on the later film noir genre.

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

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