Dracula (2006 film)

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Dracula
Directed byBill Eagles
Produced byTrevor Hopkins
Written byStewart Harcourt
Bram Stoker
StarringMarc Warren
Rafe Spall
Stephanie Leonidas
Music byDominik Scherrer
CinematographyCinders Forshaw
Edited byAdam Recht
Distributed byBBC
Granada Television
WGBH Boston
Release date
  • 28 December 2006 (2006-12-28) (UK)
  • 11 February 2007 (2007-02-11) (U.S.)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

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[edit]

Arthur Holmwood is diagnosed with syphilis soon after becoming engaged to Lucy Westenra. Knowing that the disease would kill both him and his fiancée, he contacts an occult group called the Brotherhood, which is being led by a man named Singleton. Singleton claims that they know someone who can cure him of the disease, but for a price.

Lucy's best friend is Mina Murray, who is engaged to Jonathan Harker, a solicitor. Arthur hires his firm to sell several properties to a Count Dracula in Transylvania. Soon after his departure, his employer is murdered and all documents about the transaction go missing. Singleton calmly confesses the deed, telling Arthur the "young man" will never return from Transylvania.

In Transylvania, Jonathan meets Count Dracula, a nine hundred year old vampire. Dracula murders Harker, and is soon en route to England aboard the Demeter. The Demeter eventually reaches Whitby, but struggles to dock during a storm. The next morning, the beached ship is revealed to be empty, save for the deceased captain and some empty crates.

Mina senses that something has happened to Jonathan, and Lucy invites her to stay with Lucy and Arthur in Whitby. Mina's worries are confirmed when she discovers that Jonathan was supposed to have been aboard the ship.

Arthur is becoming cold and distant, and Lucy expresses anxiety over their marriage not yet being consummated. Later on, she encounters Count Dracula who consoles her. He introduces himself to Lucy, who invites him for dinner. Arthur, enraged to find Dracula in his home, 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. He then forces Seward at gunpoint to give her a blood transfusion from his own arm. However, Lucy dies the next morning and Seward is convinced that Arthur is responsible for her sudden death.

He 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 Professor Abraham Van Helsing, living like an animal, who insists they must free him at once. Van Helsing explains that he was employed as a folklorist by the Brotherhood to investigate vampires. He eventually found Dracula, and was released with a message to the Brotherhood: he would come to them if invited, but only if provided with property. Frightened by Van Helsing's ordeal with Dracula, they sent Jonathan instead, and imprisoned Van Helsing. Seward attempts to explain this to Mina but she is skeptical. Seward confronts a grief-stricken and remorseful Arthur, who explains that his syphilis prevented him from consummating his marriage, and that he arranged for Dracula to come to England in the hope that he would cure him of the disease.

The three go after a now undead Lucy, while Dracula pursues Mina, who soon realises Seward was telling the truth when Dracula attempts to bite her, however Arthur is forced to destroy his wife when she attempts to bite him and Seward. Dracula senses this, allowing Mina to escape. Seward, Arthur and Van Helsing meet her at her home where they agree to go after Dracula, just before dawn where he'll be at his weakest. The next morning, the group creep into the cellar of Singelton's home where they discover his body. Mina is caught by Dracula when she attempts to flee. Arthur sacrifices himself to buy her an escape, but Dracula corners her and is about to feed her his blood when Van Helsing fends him off with his crucifix, allowing Seward to stake him from behind. Soon after the ordeal, Mina has now moved on, and is implied to be starting a new life with Seward. As the pair bid farewell to Van Helsing who is returning to Holland, a frail and aged Dracula is revealed to have survived, as he watches the pair walk down the street together.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to the film was 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 was first aired on 28 December 2006 in the United Kingdom. It premiered in the USA on PBS as part of the WGBH series Masterpiece on 11 February 2007.

Background[edit]

One member of the cast, Sophia Myles, had previously portrayed a vampire in (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]