The Brides of Dracula

The Brides of Dracula is a 1960 British horror film made by Hammer Film Productions. Directed by Terence Fisher, the film stars Peter Cushing, David Peel, Freda Jackson, Yvonne Monlaur, Andrée Melly, and Martita Hunt.[2]

The film is a sequel to Hammer's original Dracula (US: Horror of Dracula) (1958), though the vampires possess abilities denied to vampires in the previous film, much like those in the original novel. Alternative working titles were Dracula 2 and Disciple Of Dracula. Dracula does not appear in the film (Christopher Lee would reprise his role in the 1966 film Dracula: Prince of Darkness) and is mentioned only twice, once in the prologue, once by Van Helsing.

Shooting began for The Brides of Dracula on 16 January 1960 at Bray Studios.[3] It premièred at the Odeon, Marble Arch on 6 July 1960. The film was distributed theatrically in 1960 on a double bill with The Leech Woman.

The Brides of Dracula
The-Brides-of-Dracula-poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTerence Fisher
Produced byAnthony Hinds
Screenplay byJimmy Sangster
Peter Bryan
Edward Percy
Uncredited:
Anthony Hinds
StarringPeter Cushing
Martita Hunt
Freda Jackson
Yvonne Monlaur
Music byMalcolm Williamson
CinematographyJack Asher
Edited byAlfred Cox
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • 7 July 1960
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Box office1,266,561 admissions (France)[1]

Plot

A gloomy wood is seen as a voice is heard, narrating:

Transylvania, land of dark forests, dread mountains and black unfathomable lakes. Still the home of magic and devilry as the nineteenth century draws to its close. Count Dracula, monarch of all vampires, is dead. But his disciples live on to spread the cult and corrupt the world...

Peter cushing the brides of dracula (1)
Peter Cushing in The Brides of Dracula

Marianne Danielle, a young French schoolteacher en route to take up a position in Transylvania, is abandoned at a village inn by her coach driver. Ignoring the warnings of the locals, she accepts the offer of Baroness Meinster to spend the night at her castle. There, she sees the Baroness's handsome son, who is said to be insane and kept confined. When she sneaks into his quarters to meet him, she is shocked to find him chained by his leg to the wall, and when he tells her that his mother has usurped his rightful lands and pleads for her help, she agrees to steal the key to his chain from the Baroness' bedroom.

Discovering this, the Baroness is horrified; yet when her son appears, she obeys him and accompanies him back to his room. Later, Marianne discovers the Baroness' servant Greta, who has also taken care of the Baron since he was a baby, in hysterics: She shows Marianne the Baroness' corpse, and the puncture marks in her throat. Marianne flees into the night upon seeing this, while Greta chastises the Baroness for raising her son on cruelty and cavorting with bad company in the past, which lead to one such being (Dracula) turning him into a vampire and the Baroness having to chain him in his room and feeding him any girls that she lured to the castle. Despite knowing the evil he intends to the village, Greta remains loyal to the Baron.

Marianne is later found, exhausted, by Dr. Van Helsing the following morning. She doesn't remember all that has happened, nor is she familiar when asked about the words "undead" or "vampirism." He escorts her to the school where she's to be employed.

When Van Helsing reaches the village inn, he finds there is a funeral in progress. A young girl has been found dead in the woods with wounds upon her throat. Van Helsing contacts Father Stepnik, who had requested Van Helsing's presence, having suspicions about the castle and the Baroness. He tries to dissuade the girl's father from burying her, but he doesn't listen, allowing her transformation to be completed. Stepnik and Van Helsing go to the cemetery that night, only to find Greta aiding the newly vampirised village girl to rise from her grave. The men try to stop them, but Greta holds them off and allows the girl to flee. Van Helsing goes to the castle and discovers the Baroness, now risen as a vampire herself, as well as the Baron. After a brief scuffle, the Baron flees on a coach driven by the village girl, abandoning his mother, who is full of self-loathing and guilt over her actions with her son. Knowing that the transformation was Meinster's revenge on his mother for locking him up, Van Helsing takes pity on her and, after sunrise the next morning, kills her with a wooden stake as she slumbers.

The Baron, meanwhile, visits Marianne at the school and asks her to marry him. She accepts, much to the good-natured envy of her roommate Gina. However, once Gina is alone, Baron Meinster appears in her room and drains her of her blood. When Van Helsing visits the next day, he finds the school in an uproar over Gina's death. After inspecting Gina's body, Van Helsing orders that her body be placed in a horse stable with people watching it until he returns. That night, Marianne relieves the headmaster's wife of her watch. Initially she is with the stable keeper, Severin, when one of the padlocks on the coffin falls off without unlocking. Severin goes outside to fetch another lock, but is killed by a vampire bat. Inside, the last lock falls from the coffin; the lid is pushed open, and Gina rises, now a vampire. As she approaches Marianne, Gina reveals the whereabouts of the Baron, who is hiding at the old mill.

Van Helsing discovers the body of Severin and enters the stable, saving Marianne from being bitten by Gina, who then flees. Van Helsing takes Marianne back to the school to calm her down, and makes it clear to her that the Baron and his vampiric consorts pose a danger to her. Reluctantly, Marianne tells Van Helsing what Gina told her. The vampire hunter goes to the old mill and manages to find the Baron's coffin, but is soon confronted by both of Meinster's brides as well as Greta. Van Helsing wards the brides off with his cross, but Greta, who is still human, wrestles it away from him, only to trip and plummet from the rafters, dying in the fall. The cross falls into the well below the mill and is now out of Van Helsing's reach as the Baron arrives. In the fight that follows, the Baron manages to subdue Van Helsing and bites him, inflicting him with vampirism before leaving. When Van Helsing wakes, he heats a metal tool in a brazier until it is red hot, then cauterises his throat wound and pours holy water on it to purify it, upon which the wounds disappear.

Baron Meinster, meanwhile, abducts Marianne from the school and brings her to the mill, intending to vampirise her in front of Van Helsing. As Meinster attempts to hypnotise her to make her compliant to his will, Van Helsing throws the holy water into the Baron's face, which sears him like acid. Meinster kicks over the brazier of hot coals, starting a fire. He runs outside as the brides make their escape. Van Helsing takes Marianne up into the mill, then out via the huge sails, which he moves to form the shadow of a gigantic cross over Meinster, who is killed by his exposure to the symbol. Van Helsing comforts Marianne as the mill burns.

Cast

Martita hunt the brides of dracula (1)
Martita Hunt

Production notes

Hammer commissioned Jimmy Sangster to write a sequel script, Disciple of Dracula, with Count Dracula only making a cameo and the rest of the film about an acolyte of the vampire. This script was rewritten by Peter Bryan to remove references to Dracula, although Van Helsing was added. The script was then rewritten by Edward Percy.[4]

  • "My own personal involvement in a film like Brides was always 100 percent, not because I felt it to be my duty but because I felt very strongly that the pictures were mine. No doubt Terry [Fisher] thought they were his and Jimmy Sangster thought they belonged to him. And Peter C knew they were his." — Producer Anthony Hinds[5]
  • Most of the interior shots were done at Bray Studios. The exterior shooting locations were in nearby Black Park and Oakley Court.
  • The ending was to have originally had the vampires destroyed by a swarm of bats released from Hell by an arcane ritual. This ending was rejected by Peter Cushing, who claimed that Van Helsing would never resort to the use of black magic. The concept of this ending was used three years later for the climax of Hammer's The Kiss of the Vampire.
  • Christopher Lee was rumoured to have been approached to reprise his role as Dracula for the original version of this film, but this has never been 100% confirmed.
  • Jimmy Sangster, director Terence Fisher and Peter Cushing were reportedly involved in rewriting the script.
  • The scene in which the locks drop from Gina’s coffin was derived from M. R. James’ story ‘Count Magnus’.

Reception

The Monthly Film Bulletin of the UK wrote: "The genuinely eerie atmosphere of traditional Vampire folk-lore continues to elude the cinema. This latest sequel in Hammer's apparently endless series adds little to the Dracula legend other than a youthful, good-looking vampire, and nothing to the familiar Hammer format of inappropriate colour and décor, a vague pretence at period and a serious surface view of the proceedings."[6] Bosley Crowther of The New York Times dismissed the film as "but another repetition of the standard tale of the vampire ... There is nothing new or imaginative about it."[7] Variety called the film "technically well-made" but thought the script "adds little to the Dracula legend and follows formula horror gimmicks," and that "it would have been considerably more scary if it had been filmed in old-fashioned black and white."[8] Harrison's Reports wrote that Martita Hunt and Freda Jackson were "excellent" in the film and the direction and photography were "first class," but that it was "not overly frightening."[9]

The Brides of Dracula holds a score of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. The famous Spanish cult film director Jesus Franco credits this film as the one that inspired him to enter the horror film genre in 1961, resulting in his highly acclaimed The Awful Dr. Orloff.

DVD and Blu-ray Releases

  • A region 1 DVD edition of the film (in a two double-sided disc box set, along with seven other Hammer classics originally distributed by Universal International) was released on 6 September 2005. This set was re-released on Blu-ray on 13 September 2016.
  • A region 2 DVD edition of the film was released on 15 October 2007.
  • A region B Blu-ray/DVD Double Play was released on 26 August 2013.[10] This release was somewhat controversial among fans as the original aspect ratio was overcropped from 1.66 to 2.0.

See also

References

  1. ^ Box office information for Terence Fisher films in France at Box office Story
  2. ^ unclecreepy (18 May 2012). "Ving Rhames Needs His Legs in Latest Piranha 3DD Clip". Dread Central.
  3. ^ Rigby, Jonathan (July 2000). English Gothic : A Century of Horror Cinema. Reynolds & Hearn. p. 256. ISBN 978-1903111017. OCLC 45576395.
  4. ^ "The Brides of Dracula". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. ^ Little Shoppe of Horrors #14, 1999
  6. ^ "The Brides of Dracula". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 27 (319): 111. August 1960.
  7. ^ Crowther, Bosley (6 September 1960). "The Screen: Double Bill". The New York Times: 41.
  8. ^ "The Brides of Dracula". Variety: 6. 18 May 1960.
  9. ^ "'Brides of Dracula' with Peter Cushing, Freda Jackson and Martita Hunt". Harrison's Reports: 83. 21 May 1960.
  10. ^ "The Brides of Dracula Blu-ray" – via www.blu-ray.com.

External links

Andrée Melly

Andrée Melly (born 15 September 1932) is an English actress.

Born in Liverpool, Lancashire, she appeared in many British films, including the comedy The Belles of St Trinian's (1954) and the Hammer Horror film The Brides of Dracula (1960). In between, she played Tony Hancock's girlfriend in two series of Hancock's Half Hour (1955–56) radio series. In 1958 she appeared with the Jamaican actor Lloyd Reckord in the Ted Willis play Hot Summer Night, a production which was later adapted for the Armchair Theatre series in 1959. She continued to appear on British television until 1991.Her stage work includes the original West End production of the farce Boeing-Boeing at the Apollo Theatre in 1962.In the early years of the long-running BBC radio comedy Just a Minute she was a regular panellist. Along with Sheila Hancock, she was one of the most regular female contestants, appearing in fifty-four episodes between 1967 and 1976. In 1972, she chaired an episode. She was the first panellist to win points for talking for the prescribed 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

She also appeared in several episodes of The Benny Hill Show.Her brother, George Melly, was a jazz singer. She now lives in Ibiza with her husband Oscar Quitak.With the death of Bill Kerr in 2014, Andree is the last surviving regular cast member of Hancock's Half Hour.

Bibliography of works on Dracula

Bibliography of works on Dracula is a listing of non-fiction literary works about the book Dracula or derivative works about its titular character Count Dracula.

Brides of Dracula

The Brides of Dracula are characters in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. They are three seductive female vampire "sisters" who reside with Count Dracula in his castle in Transylvania, where they entrance men with their beauty and charm, and then proceed to feed upon them. Dracula provides them with victims to devour, mainly infants and children.

Like Dracula, they are the living dead, repulsed by sunlight, garlic and religious objects. In chapter three of the novel, two are described as having dark hair, and the other as blonde.

David Peel (actor)

David Peel (19 June 1920 – 4 September 1981) was an English film and television actor.He was born in London on 19 June 1920. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was a minor player in a few films. In 1960, he was cast in the starring role of Baron Meinster in Hammer Film Productions’ The Brides of Dracula. After appearing in The Hands of Orlac later in the year, he retired from the film industry and became an estate agent and antiques dealer. He died in London on 4 September 1981 aged 61.

Dracula A.D. 1972

Dracula A.D. 1972 is a 1972 horror film, directed by Alan Gibson and produced by Hammer Film Productions. It was written by Don Houghton and stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Stephanie Beacham. Unlike earlier films in Hammer's Dracula series, Dracula A.D. 1972 had (at the time of filming) a contemporary setting, in an attempt to update the Dracula story for modern audiences. Dracula is brought back to life in modern London and preys on a group of young partygoers that includes the descendant of his nemesis, Van Helsing.

It is the seventh Hammer film featuring Dracula, and the sixth to star Christopher Lee in the title role. It also marked the return of Peter Cushing as Van Helsing for the first time since The Brides of Dracula (1960), and was the first to feature both Lee and Cushing in their respective roles since Dracula (1958).

It was followed by the last film in Hammer's Dracula series to star Christopher Lee, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, which similarly utilized a modern setting and featured most of the same central characters.

Edward Percy Smith

Edward Percy Smith (5 January 1891 – 27 May 1968) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Born in Wandsworth, London, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashford at a by-election in 1943, and held the seat until he stood down at the 1950 general election. Under the name Edward Percy, he was also a popular playwright. His plays included The Shop At Sly Corner and, with Reginald Denham, Ladies in Retirement (Reginald Denham, Stars in My Hair, 150). He also worked occasionally in television and film, including contributing to the screenplay for the 1960 Hammer horror film The Brides of Dracula. He died in Eastbourne aged 77.

Smith has earned mild infamy among biologists for releasing 12 specimens of the marsh frog in his garden at Stone-in-Oxney, Kent, during the winter of 1934-5. The amphibians escaped into a nearby mere, before steadily spreading further afield. Today, the frog is regarded as an invasive species, accused of eating the tadpoles of the common frog among other negative impacts.

Freda Jackson

Freda Maud Jackson (29 December 1907 – 20 October 1990) was an English stage actress who also worked on the stage and well as in film and TV.

Horror film score

A horror film score is music used and often specially written for films in the horror genre.

Iubilaeum Anno Dracula 2001

A tribute to the historical character that has contributed to the creation of the myth of the vampire which gave inspiration to Bram Stoker for his famous novel. With these compositions we wish to celebrate the 570 years of the birth of an immortal myth, that has become for many, the main reference in the compiling of literary works as well as musical, theatrical and all other forms of art. A myth that will never die.

Iubilaeum Anno Dracula 2001 is the first EP by the Italian band Theatres des Vampires. The name of the album, as well as the logo in the cover art is a parody on the Great Jubilee of 2000 ("Iubilaeum Anno Domini 2000").

Jack Asher

For the shinty player and referee, see Jack Asher (shinty)Jack Asher B.S.C. (29 March 1916, London – 1991) was an English cinematographer. His brother Robert Asher was a film and TV director with whom he worked on several occasions.

He began his cinematic career as a camera operator, and made his first film as cinematographer or "lighting cameraman" on The Magic Bow (1946).

Asher is best remembered for his work on Hammer films, beginning with The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the first of Hammer's gothic horrors, and the earliest colour version of the Frankenstein story. He was the director of photography on several of the Hammer horror films including Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Mummy (1959) and The Brides of Dracula (1960).His style was characterized by a fantastical use of colours, such as non-realistic purples and greens. Director Terence Fisher said of him, "Jack Asher had a very distinctive style of lighting, which was quite different from Arthur Grant's...(Who) had a more realistic approach to the situation. Jack Asher's was almost theatrical lighting with little tricks, like color slides placed over the lights and so on." Asher's non-Hammer films included The Good Die Young (1954) and Reach for the Sky (1956).

In 1964, he was nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Cinematography (Colour) for his work on The Scarlet Blade.

List of horror films of 1960

A list of horror films released in 1960.

Michael Ripper

Michael George Ripper (27 January 1913 – 28 June 2000) was an English character actor born in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

He began his film career in quota quickies in the 1930s and until the late 1950s was virtually unknown; he was seldom credited. He played one of the two murderers in the Olivier film version of Richard III (1955). Ripper became a mainstay in Hammer Film Productions playing supporting character roles: coachmen, peasants, tavern keepers, pirates and sidekicks. Appearing in more of the company's films than any other performer, these included The Camp on Blood Island (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Mummy (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Captain Clegg (1962), The Scarlet Blade (1963), The Reptile (1966), The Plague of the Zombies (1966) and The Mummy's Shroud (1967). Occasionally he was disguised almost beyond recognition, yet his raspy voice remained unmistakable. Some of his parts were little better than glorified bits (as in The Curse of the Werewolf), but his penultimate role for Hammer Films was a significant supporting part as a landlord in Scars of Dracula in 1970. (His very last Hammer role was as a railway worker in the atypical comedy That's Your Funeral two years later.)He is also well remembered for his role as a jockey/horse trainer in The Belles of St Trinian's and the liftman in the next three of the St. Trinian's comedies, and on television for his role as Thomas the chauffeur in the BBC comedy Butterflies (1978–83) and as Burke, one of the two criminals in the youth television series Freewheelers (1968–71). His other TV roles include Mr Shepherd, Aunt Sally's owner, in Worzel Gummidge, Phunkey in The Pickwick Papers (1985) and the Drones Porter in Jeeves and Wooster (1990–91).

Miles Malleson

William Miles Malleson (25 May 1888 – 15 March 1969), generally known as Miles Malleson, was an English actor and dramatist, particularly remembered for his appearances in British comedy films of the 1930s to 1960s. Towards the end of his career he also appeared in cameo roles in several Hammer horror films, with a fairly large role in The Brides of Dracula as the hypochondriac and fee-hungry local doctor. Malleson was also a writer on many films, including some of those in which he had small parts, such as Nell Gwyn (1934) and The Thief of Bagdad (1940). He also translated and adapted several of Molière's plays (The Misanthrope, which he titled The Slave of Truth, Tartuffe and The Imaginary Invalid).

Mona Washbourne

Mona Lee Washbourne (27 November 1903 – 15 November 1988) was an English actress of stage, film, and television. Her most critically acclaimed role was in the film Stevie (1978), late in her career, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award.

The Kiss of the Vampire

The Kiss of the Vampire (also known as Kiss of Evil on American television) is a 1963 British vampire film made by the film studio Hammer Film Productions. The film was directed by Don Sharp and was written by producer Anthony Hinds, credited under his writing pseudonym John Elder.

The Leech Woman

The Leech Woman is a 1960 black-and-white US horror film from Universal-International, produced by Joseph Gershenon, directed by Edward Dein, and starring Coleen Gray, Grant Williams, Gloria Talbott, and Phillip Terry. The Leech Woman's 1960 US theatrical release from Universal was as a double feature with the British horror film The Brides of Dracula. Rank Film Distributors handled the film's UK release.

The Leech Woman's storyline is about a middle-aged American woman, desperate to be young again, who uses an ancient, secret African potion to regain her lost youth and beauty. The potion works, but only temporarily, requiring repeated usage. Her quest ultimately drives her to commit murder and finally suicide.

Under the Silver Lake

Under the Silver Lake is a 2018 American comedic neo-noir mystery film written, produced and directed by David Robert Mitchell. Set in Los Angeles, it follows a young man (Andrew Garfield) who sets out on a quest to investigate the sudden disappearance of his neighbour (Riley Keough), only to stumble upon an elusive and dangerous large-scale conspiracy.

The film had its world premiere on May 15, 2018, at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or, before being released nationwide in France on August 8. It was released in the United States on April 19, 2019, by A24. Under the Silver Lake polarized critics; although its originality, direction, soundtrack, cinematography, and Garfield's performance were praised, some found the script confusing, too cryptic, and lacking the substance and depth the film was aiming for.

Victor Brooks (actor)

Victor Brooks (11 November 1918 – 19 January 2000) was a prolific English film and television actor. He specialised in character roles, police inspectors in particular, in British thrillers such as Cover Girl Killer (1959), Witchcraft (1964), and Devils of Darkness (1965). His best known films are probably Goldfinger (1964), The Brides of Dracula (1960) and Billy Budd (1962). On television, he was noted for playing a pipe-smoking authority figure in crime series like Dixon of Dock Green, Gideon's Way, Detective, Z Cars and Crown Court. He also appeared in the television series Raffles, in the recurring role of the Albany porter.

Yvonne Monlaur

Yvonne Monlaur (born Yvonne-Thérèse-Marie-Camille Bédat de Monlaur; 15 December 1939 – 18 April 2017) was a French film actress of the late 1950s and 1960s best known for her roles in the Hammer horror films.

Films directed by Terence Fisher
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As director

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