Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

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Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
Draculahasrisen.jpg
U.S poster
Directed by Freddie Francis
Produced by Aida Young
Written by Anthony Hinds
Starring Christopher Lee
Rupert Davies
Veronica Carlson
Barbara Ewing
Music by James Bernard
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Edited by Spencer Reeve
Production
  company
Hammer Films
Distributed by Warner-Pathé (UK)
Warner Bros.-Seven Arts (USA)
Release date(s) 7 November 1968
Running time 92 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave' is a 1968 British horror film directed by Freddie Francis for Hammer Films. It stars Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, with support from Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barry Andrews, Barbara Ewing, Ewan Hooper and Michael Ripper.

This was the fourth entry in Hammer's Dracula series, and the third to feature Christopher Lee as the titular vampire.

Storyline[edit]

Prologue[edit]

The story opens Ten years in 1905 a east-European village still living in fear of the Prince of Darkness. A young altar boy (Norman Bacon) makes his way up to the bell-tower. He is about to ring the bell when suddenly something wet drips on his cheek. Inspecting it, he discovers it is blood. He climbs into the bell tower and to his horror discovers the corpse of a young woman crammed inside the church's bell with two bloody punctured holes in her neck. The unfortunate girl is another victim of Count Dracula...

Plot[edit]

A year later in 1906, the following events depicted in the last instalment, Dracula has been destroyed. A Monsignor (Rupert Davies) comes to the village on a routine visit only to find the altar boy is now a frightened mute and the Priest (Ewan Hooper) has apparently lost his faith. The villagers refuse to attend Mass at the Catholic church because the shadow of Dracula's castle touches it. To bring to an end the villagers' fears, the Monsignor climbs to the castle to exorcise it.

Count Dracula and Maria Muller

The terrified Priest follows only partway up the mountain, and the Monsignor continues alone. As the Monsignor exorcises the castle, attaching a large metal cross to its gate, a thunder and lightning storm occurs. The Priest flees, stumbles, and is knocked unconscious when his head strikes a rock. The blood from the wound on his head trickles into a frozen stream. It trickles through a crack in the ice onto the lips of the body of Count Dracula – bringing it to life. The Monsignor returns to the village, reassures the villagers, and returns to his home city of Kleinenberg where he lives with his sister Anna (Marion Mathie).

Unknown to the Monsignor, Dracula's first act is to place the Priest under his control. Furious that his castle is now barred to him, Dracula forces the enslaved Priest to reveal the name of the exorcist. The Priest desecrates a coffin to provide a sleeping place for the Count and leads Dracula to Kleinenberg, where the Count decides to wreak his revenge first on the Monsignor's beautiful niece, Maria (Veronica Carlson). Dracula bites and enslaves Zena the tavern girl (Barbara Ewing). Zena almost succeeds in bringing Maria under Dracula's power. But Maria's boyfriend Paul (Barry Andrews) lives and works in the bakery beneath the tavern, and he rescues her. Dracula punishes Zena by killing her. Dracula orders the Priest to burn Zena's corpse in the bakery ovens before she turns into a vampire (she is already showing fangs). The Priest then helps Dracula locate Maria. Dracula climbs over the rooftops of nearby buildings, enters Maria's room, and bites her.

The Monsignor enters Maria's room just after Dracula has bitten the girl and pursues a fleeing figure across the rooftops. He is knocked down by the Priest. Paul (also in pursuit of the attacker) discovers the Monsignor, who with his dying breath begs Paul to help. Paul is an atheist but his love for Maria drives him swear to help. He enlists the Priest's help. Unable to break free from Dracula's influence, the Priest attacks Paul one night as they both watch over Maria. Paul defeats the Priest, then forces him to lead him to Dracula's lair. They try to stake Dracula through the heart, but the faithless Priest and the atheist Paul cannot complete the rite. They believe Dracula is dead, but the Count wakes after they leave and removes the stake himself. He kidnaps Maria and flees back to Castle Dracula, pursued by Paul and the Priest.

At the castle, Dracula orders Maria to remove the cross from the door. She throws it over the parapet into the ravine below. Paul fights Dracula on the parapet and manages to throw him over the side, too. Dracula is impaled on the cross. The Priest recites the Lord's Prayer and Count Dracula perishes, dissolving into dust. Reunited with Maria and having regained his Christian faith, Paul crosses himself while looking down on the sight.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

This Hammer Dracula production was shot at Pinewood Studios situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, approximately 32 kilometers, 20 miles west of central London. Notably missing are the approach road, coach path and moat seen in front of Castle Dracula in 1958's Dracula and 1966's Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Those films were made at Bray Studios.

The film was photographed by Arthur Grant using colored filters belonging to director Freddie Francis, also a cameraman by trade, who used them when photographing The Innocents (1961). Whenever Dracula (or his castle) is in a scene, the frame edges are tinged crimson, amber and yellow.

Initially Terence Fisher was to direct the film, but dropped out due to illness; Freddie Francis stepped in.

In Australia, the film was the first Hammer Dracula to be passed by the censors; the previous films Dracula (1958) and Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) were banned. The film was slightly censored and ran for a three-week season at Sydney's Capitol theater in January 1970.

Critical reception[edit]

The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films called the film "a minor triumph of style over content", writing that the film "succeeds by virtue of Francis' adventurous direction".[1] The film currently holds 79% on Rotten Tomatoes.

DVD release[edit]

On 6 November 2007, the film was released as part of a DVD four-pack along with Horror of Dracula, Taste the Blood of Dracula, and Dracula AD 1972.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hearn & Barnes 2007, p. 123.
  2. ^ Christopher Lee (Actor), Peter Cushing (Actor) (2007). 4 Film Favorites: Draculas (Dracula A.D. 1972, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Horror of Dracula, Taste the Blood of Dracula) [4 Film Favorites: Draculas] (Motion Picture DVD) (in English). Burbank, California: Warner Home Video. ASIN B000U1ZV7G. ISBN 9781419859076. OCLC 801718535. 
Sources
  • Hearn, Marcus; Barnes, Alan (September 25, 2007). "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave". The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films [The Hammer Story] (in English) (Limited ed.). Titan Books. p. 192. ASIN 1845761855. ISBN 978-1845761851. OCLC 493684031. 

External links[edit]