Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bela's Birthday Double Feature: Countdown to Halloween (Day 20)

As today was Bela Lugosi, King of the Vampires, birthday, tonight on THE GOODS we have a…


Bela was a self-made man, coming to America in the early 1920s as a seaman and gaining the lead as Dracula in the 1927 play adaptating Bram Stoker's book of the same name.  A role he made so popular that a film adaptation was to be made.

Still, he wasn't the studio's first choice for the lead role, even though his hypnotic performance made the play a hit.  Browning was brought in as director last minute.  And Lugosi's hard lobby for the role and probably his willingness to accept a pittance for the part eventually won over the studio.

The dashing, mysterious Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), after hypnotizing a British soldier, Renfield, into his mindless slave, travels to London and takes up residence in an old castle. Soon Dracula begins to wreak havoc, sucking the blood of young women and turning them into vampires. When he sets his sights on Mina, the daughter of a prominent doctor, vampire-hunter Van Helsing is enlisted to put a stop to the count's never-ending bloodlust.

Sir Borotyn (Holmes Herbert), a prominent Prague resident, is discovered murdered in his home, with all indications pointing to a vampire assault. The victim's friend, Baron Otto (Jean Hersholt), and the physician who analyzes the body are certain that the vampire is the mysterious Count Mora (Bela Lugosi), or perhaps his daughter (Carroll Borland), but receive little help from the law. Professor Zelen (Lionel Barrymore), an expert in the occult, is called in to assist with the investigation.

And, of course, all these years later,
BELA LUGOSI’s still dead:


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