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Dracula's Daughter

1936

Dracula's Daughter
 

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The Movie

This sequel to Dracula opens in the final scene from 'Dracula', with Edward Van Sloan reprising his role as Van Helsing, arrested by the police for the murder of Count Dracula.

This is a sophisticated and subtle movie. Gloria Holden, tall, dark, and very European, is the title character fighting her nature and seeking a cure for her affliction. A sympathetic psychiatrist, Dr. Garth (Otto Kruger), encourages her to "face her fears," but when she lures a pretty young streetwalker to her room to model for a painting, the temptation proves too much.

Van Helsing is released in the nick of time to help Garth, now at the mercy of the bitter and vindictive vampire. Director Lambert Hillyer makes the most of his low budget, with austere, angular sets and an almost abstract sense of the foggy city night.

Holden's mysterious face and tall, willowy body make her an even more striking vampire than Lugosi, and Irving Pichel's offbeat servant is like an American gangster with the breeding of a European aristocrat: thick and thuggish, but always proper.

The script does rather lose its way from time to time, but the smooth style and Holden's dignified performance lift Dracula's Daughter above most Universal sequels (Based on Amazon's synopsis and review).

  • Directed by Lambert Hillyer
  • Screenplay: Garrett Fort
  • Cast (listed alphabetically):
    Claud Allister as Sir Aubrey Vail
    Agnes Anderson as Elena
    Billy Bevan as Const. Albert
    John Blood as Bobby
    Marguerite Churchill as Janet Blake
    E.E. Clive as Sgt. Wilkes
    David Dunbar as Motor bobby
    Gilbert Emery as Sir Basil Humphrey
    Douglas Gordon as Attendant
    Owen Gorin as Groom's friend
    Nan Grey as Lili
    Gordon Hart as Mr. Graham (host)
    Halliwell Hobbes as Const. Sgt. Hawkins
    Gloria Holden as Countess Marya Zaleska
    Hedda Hopper as Lady Esme Hammond
    Elsa Janssen as Wedding guest
    Guy Kingsford as Radio announcer
    George Kirby as Bookstore proprietor
    Otto Kruger as Dr. Jeffrey Garth
    Edna Lyall as Nurse
    Eily Malyon as Miss Peabody (nurse)
    Paul Mitchell as Messenger
    Clive Morgan as Desk sergeant
    Edgar Norton as Hobbs (Sir Basil's butler)
    Vesey O'Davoren as Butler
    Irving Pichel as Sandor
    John Power as Police official
    Hedwiga Reicher as Innkeeper's wife
    Christian Rub as Coachman
    William Schramm as Groom in Transylvania
    Edward Van Sloan as Prof. Von Helsing
    George Sorel as Police officer
    Pietro Sosso as Priest
    Bert Sprotte as Wedding guest
    Vernon Steele as Squires
    Joseph R. Tozer as Dr. Graham
    Silvia Vaughan as Nurse
    Wilhelm von Brincken as Policeman
    Fred Walton as Dr. Beemish
    Paul Weigel as Transylvania innkeeper
    Eric Wilton as Butler
    Douglas Wood as Dr. Townsend

Reviews

Extracts of reviews, with links for the complete text:

Gloria Holden is first-rate as the title character, alias "Countess Marya Zaleska," who after stealing her father's body from the authorities with the help of her faithful hunchbacked assistant Sandor (Irving Pichel), sets fire to the corpse in hopes of obliterating the family curse of vampirism. Full of clever and often surprising little touches (few other films of the mid-1930s would kill off a comedy-relief character in the second reel!), Dracula's Daughter is among the best of the vintage Universal horror films. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Universal altered the original script of Dracula's Daughter and made a very tame vampire film. Indeed, even the antagonist is merely a lonely woman who wants to escape her lifestyle, not evil personified like her notorious father. Despite this, Dracula's Daughter is a chilling and moody entry to the Universal Monster Classics series. The film hinges on the performance of Gloria Holden as Dracula's female offspring. Aside from being hauntingly beautiful, Holden is enigmatic and vulnerable. Edward Van Sloan's return as Von Helsing lends a valuable continuity to the sequel. Otto Kruger is a bit less impressive, though the sexual tension between him and his assistant Janet (Marguerite Churchill) is very fun. ~ DVD Verdict

They don't make them like this anymore. Where today's horror movies try to one-up each other at shocking their audiences with front-and-center violence, the early Universal horror films achieved a more gratifying subtle effect by suggesting evil in the shadows and corners of ordinary life. Even this middling entry in the Dracula series is effective in this way. It hangs a creepy composite of humor and horror on an uninspired story and turns it into something surprisingly compelling. Gloria Holden is mesmerizing in the title role. ~ At-A-Glance Film Reviews

How To Buy This DVD

This movie is currently only
available on the Region 1
"Legacy Collection"

This includes Dracula (1931), Drácula (1931),
Dracula's Daughter (1936), Son of Dracula (1943)
and the House of Dracula (1945)

The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy