Dracula (2006 film)

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Dracula
Directed by Bill Eagles
Produced by Trevor Hopkins
Written by Stewart Harcourt
Bram Stoker
Starring Marc Warren
Rafe Spall
Stephanie Leonidas
Music by Dominik Scherrer
Cinematography Cinders Forshaw
Edited by Adam Recht
Distributed by BBC
Granada Television
WGBH Boston
Running time
90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Dracula is a television adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula produced by Granada Television for WGBH Boston and BBC Wales in 2006. It was written by Stewart Harcourt and directed by Bill Eagles.

Plot summary[edit]

Arthur Holmwood attempts to cure the syphilis with which he was born and which killed his father. Arthur receives his diagnosis soon after becoming engaged to Lucy Westenra. He contacts an occult group called the Brotherhood led by a man named Singleton. The Brotherhood claims they can clean his polluted blood, but at a price.[clarification needed]

Lucy's best friend is Mina Murray. Mina's fiancé, Jonathan Harker, has just passed his solicitor’s exams. Arthur hires his firm to convey several properties of England, and Jonathan will bring the documents to Count Dracula in Transylvania. Not so long after Jonathan leaves, his boss is murdered and all documents about the transaction vanish. Singleton calmly confesses the deed, telling Arthur the "young man" will never return from Transylvania.

In Transylvania, Jonathan meets Dracula, but survives only long enough to attract Dracula's attention to Mina. Energized by Jonathan's blood, Dracula is soon en route to England aboard the Demeter. A newly married Lucy watches the wreck of the ship as it arrives in a storm. With her is Mina, visiting Holmwood Castle in Whitby so the two friends can comfort each other.

The Demeter seemingly contains nothing but its dead captain and some cargo. Mina and Lucy both meet to a stranger, Count Dracula, at a nearby graveyard. Arthur, enraged[clarification needed] to find Dracula in his home (invited by Lucy for dinner), finds himself powerless as Lucy suddenly falls victim to the vampire. Arthur's old friend, Dr. Seward, is suspicious when Arthur refuses to take Lucy to the hospital. Arthur forces Seward at gunpoint to give her a blood transfusion. Lucy dies and Seward is convinced Arthur is responsible for her illness.

Seward investigates and finds the Chelsea home of the Brotherhood, where Singleton and others have been murdered. In the basement, surrounded by crosses made of twigs, he finds Van Helsing living like an animal, insisting they must free at once.

Van Helsing explains that he was employed as a folklorist by the Brotherhood to investigate vampires. He found one, and was released with a message to the Brotherhood.[clarification needed] The vampire would come to them if invited but wanted property.[clarification needed] Frightened of what happened to Van Helsing[clarification needed] they sent an innocent (Harker) and locked Van Helsing away.

Seward confronts Arthur and the truth comes out.[clarification needed] As the three[clarification needed] go after Lucy (presumably a vampire now),[original research?] Dracula manages to get to Mina as she lets her cross slip.[clarification needed] He is about to bite[clarification needed] when Arthur stakes and kills his now-undead bride.[clarification needed] Dracula feels it,[clarification needed] allowing Mina to escape.

Mina now joins them as all four go to Singleton’s home. In the cellar, they confront Dracula who brutally kills Arthur by tearing his head off. Seward manages to stake Dracula from behind. Van Helsing panics, asking if he got the heart and Seward confirms he did. The vampire melts away. The film ends with Van Helsing returning to Holland, pleased with their victory. He bids Seward and Mina farewell. Mina has said her final goodbye to Jonathan, with a hint that she may have a future with Seward.

One of London's countless beggars looks up as the two of them pass, revealed to be the withered Dracula[clarification needed] of the beginning.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to the film has been mixed. MaryAnn Johanson of FlickFilosopher.com called the film "fresh and erudite" and "a valuable new angle on an old story."[1] The SF, Horror and Fantasy Film Review wrote that "the film does finally gain some sizzle when it comes to the scenes of Marc Warren’s Dracula seducing Sophia Myles’s Lucy" but added that "Warren occasionally creates a dark magnetism, but mostly looks too cute and boyish to fill a role as big as Dracula."[2] Felix Vasquez Jr. of Cinema Crazed said, "Your best bet for your fanged fix would be to sit down and watch Bram Stoker’s Dracula, instead, and for the hell of it, Horror of Dracula, and Universal’s Dracula, because they’re worthy variations. This isn't. ... It's not awful, but it's still rather anemic."[3]

Release[edit]

It aired on 28 December 2006 in the United Kingdom. It premiered in the USA on PBS as part of the WGBH series Masterpiece Theatre on 11 February 2007.

Background[edit]

One member of the cast, Sophia Myles, had actually portrayed a vampire before this production (in the motion picture Underworld). Marc Warren had previously worked with David Suchet in the film Five Little Pigs for Poirot, while Donald Sumpter had appeared in The ABC Murders.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]