Dracula (1979)

R   |    |  Drama, Horror, Romance

Dracula (1979) Poster

In 1913, the charming, seductive and sinister vampire Count Dracula travels to England in search of an immortal bride.




  • Donald Pleasence in Dracula (1979)
  • Kate Nelligan in Dracula (1979)
  • "Dracula" Frank Langella 1979 Universal
  • Tony Haygarth in Dracula (1979)
  • Frank Langella and Kate Nelligan in Dracula (1979)
  • Dracula (1979)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

28 October 2015 | Hey_Sweden
| So-so version of the oft-filmed story.
This interesting if not all that successful version of the familiar Bram Stoker tale is largely a vehicle for Frank Langella. He plays a soulful, romanticized Count Dracula, whose ship crashes on an island shore. As he makes himself at home in Carfax Abbey, he becomes acquainted with the likes of Dr. Seward (Donald Pleasence), Jonathan Harker (Trevor Eve), and Dr. Sewards' daughter Lucy (the lovely Canadian actress Kate Nelligan). He becomes determined to make Lucy his bride, while the intrepid Professor Van Helsing (Laurence Olivier) catches on to what he is doing.

"Dracula" '79 isn't without its pleasures. However, purists may take exception to a script by W. D. Richter that makes a number of unfortunate changes from the original material. (Mina is VAN HELSINGS' daughter?) Director John Badham, who became an action genre specialist in the 80s, does a decent enough job with this horror film. It's quite visually striking at times (with matte shots by the legendary Albert Whitlock), although some viewers may not care for the way that Badham has desaturated the colour; this plays almost like a black & white production, albeit shot in widescreen by Gilbert Taylor. One highlight is a memorable lovemaking sequence.

Langella does a fine job as our smouldering, blood sucking antihero, especially when he's seducing Mina and Lucy or facing off against Professor Van Helsing. And Olivier is fun as the vampire hunter / expert. Pleasence is amusing as Seward, as is Tony Haygarth as the loony, bug munching Renfield (who's more sympathetic here than in other adaptations of the story). Nelligan does alright as Lucy, but Eve is a fairly bland Harker. Sylvester McCoy has a small role as an asylum attendant.

This is noteworthy for its atmosphere, its production design (by Peter Murton), and rousing score by John Williams. It's suitably creepy at times (dig those "crawling the walls" shots) and appropriately erotic.

Six out of 10.

Metacritic Reviews

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

20 July 1979


English, Dutch, Romanian, Russian

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK

Box Office


$12,164,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,141,281 22 July 1979

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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