Dracula returns in the 1979 retelling of the classic tale as directed by John Badham. This rendition, which was similarly adapted from the Broadway play by Deane and Balderston, has undergone a number of noticeable changes in the plot and characters to give the film a unique life of its own. Frank Langella stars as the infamous Count, bringing with him the same youthful exuberance and seductive charm that earned him a nomination for the Tony Awards on stage. His captivating screen presence and overt sexualization of the role make this a refreshing new take on the old familiar character. Langella is joined by film legends Donald Pleasence and Laurence Olivier as Dr. Jack Seward and Professor Van Helsing, along with Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, and Jan Francis. The battle of wills between Olivier and Langella in their first conflict exerts an enormous amount of power and tension that makes the screen tremble. DRACULA is also filled with thrilling special effects, including the villain's first vertical descent down the castle walls, and several transformations into wolf and bat. The image of the pale-faced and ruby-eyed Mina that is discovered feeding on the town's children is beyond terrifying. John Williams sets the mood with a chilling score as well. John Badham's DRACULA is often overlooked and highly underrated, and ranks among the best film versions of the character to date.
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