Dracula (1958) – One Of The Most Horror Movie Of 1950’s

Dracula(1958) Technicolor British horror film directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster based on Bram Stoker's novel of the same name. The first in the series of Hammer Horror films inspired by Dracula, the film stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, and Melissa Stribling. In the U.S. the film was retitled Horror of Dracula to avoid confusion with the earlier Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi, and the film was released in the U.S. in 1958 on a double bill with the Universal film The Thing That Couldn't Die.

In May 1885, Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenburg (Cluj), to take up his post as librarian. Inside, he is startled by a young woman who claims she is a prisoner and begs for his help. Dracula then appears to greet Harker and guide him to his room, where he locks him in. Jonathan starts to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he is a vampire hunter and has come to kill Dracula.


Freed sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She begs him for help, but quickly reveals herself as a vampire and bites his neck. Just as she does, Dracula – fangs bared and lips bloody – arrives and pulls her away. Harker tries to stop him but Dracula quickly knocks him out. When he awakens in daylight, Harker finds the bite marks on his neck, knowing that he is doomed to become undead unless he kills Dracula. After writing his final entry, he hides his journal in a shrine to the Virgin Mary outside the castle and descends into the crypt, where he finds Dracula and the vampire woman resting in their coffins. Armed with a stake, he impales the woman first, who, as he looks on, immediately ages from young to old. However the sun sets, and when he turns to Dracula's coffin with the intention of killing the vampire, he finds it empty. Dracula soon reveals that he has awakened and closes the door to the room.

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A day passes and Dr. Van Helsing arrives in Klausenburg, looking for Harker. An innkeeper's daughter gives him Harker's journal. When he arrives at the castle a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it, nearly hitting him. Searching the castle he find it deserted though comes across the portrait Harker had of Lucy and Mina only with the photos now gone. Exploring further, Van Helsing eventually reaches the crypt where he finds the remains of the vampire woman and, to his horror, Harker in Dracula's coffin, transformed into a vampire. Van Helsing solemnly stakes Harker before he leaves to deliver the veiled news of Harker's death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker's fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her and Tania, Gerda's daughter. But when night falls, Lucy removes the crucifix from around her neck, opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck – already, it bears the mark of a vampire bite. Soon Dracula arrives and bites her again.

Mina seeks out Van Helsing's aid in treating Lucy's declining health, but Lucy begs Gerda the maid to remove his prescribed garlic bouquets, and she's found dead the next day. Realizing that Lucy will arise as a vampire, Van Helsing turns over Harker's journal to the grief-stricken Arthur to reveal the truth about Jonathan's death. Three days after Lucy is interred, Tania is spirited away into the night and is returned by a policeman, claiming to Arthur and Mina that Lucy had beckoned her, much to their shock. Later that same night, Lucy, now un-dead and evil, lures away Tania once more to a graveyard with the intent to feed on her and turn her into a vampire. But the child is saved when Arthur, having come to investigate Lucy's tomb and found it empty, stops her. Lucy sets to attack him but Van Helsing manages to ward her off with a cross and forces her to flee back to her crypt.

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After ensuring Tania is okay and finding Lucy back in her coffin, Van Helsing explains to Arthur that she was targeted to replace the woman Harker killed. Van Helsing suggest using her to lead them to Dracula, but Arthur refuses out of fear of others she could potentially infect. As such Van Helsing goes to stake her, telling Arthur the Lucy he knew is long dead and she is now nothing more than a "shell", a walking corpse under Dracula's command, and it's the only way to grant her eternal peace is to destroy her body. Van Helsing stakes her in her coffin and, when Arthur takes one final look at Lucy's body, he sees her body free of corruption and finally at peace.

Van Helsing and Arthur travel to the customs house in Ingolstadt to track down the destination of Dracula's coffin (which Van Helsing saw carried away when he arrived at Dracula's castle). Meanwhile, Mina is called away from home by a message telling her to meet Arthur at an address in Karlstadt – the same address Arthur and Van Helsing are told the coffin was bound for – and Dracula is indeed waiting for her.

The next morning, Arthur and Van Helsing find Mina in a strange state. They leave for the address they were given, an undertaker's, but find the coffin missing. When they decide to set off again to inspect an old graveyard they suspect might be the coffin's new resting place, Arthur tries to give Mina a cross to wear, but it burns her, revealing that she is infected by vampirism and is slowly turning into a vampire herself.

During the night, Van Helsing and Arthur guard Mina's windows outside against a return of Dracula, but Dracula nonetheless appears inside the house and bites her. She is saved when Arthur agrees to give her an emergency blood transfusion administered by Van Helsing. When Arthur asks Gerda to fetch some wine from the cellar, she tells him that Mina had forbidden her to go to the cellar. Upon hearing this, Van Helsing realizes the coffin's location: the cellar of the Holmwoods' own house. He bolts downstairs to find it but Dracula is not in the coffin and instead escapes into the night with Mina, intent on making her a new bride. After planting a cross inside Dracula's coffin, Holmwood and he realize that Dracula now has only his castle to hide in.

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A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise. He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle. Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the sunlight and, forming a cross from two candlesticks, he forces Dracula into it. Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing looks on. Mina recovers, and the cross-shaped scar fades from her hand, indicating that she has been saved. As she recovers, Dracula's ashes blow away, leaving only his clothes and ring behind.


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