Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Director: Lambert Hillyer

Writers: Garrett Fort, David O. Selznick, John L. Balderston, Charles Belden, Finley Peter Dunne, Kurt Neuman, R.C. Sherriff

Composer: Heinz Roemheld

Starring: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill, Edward Van Sloan, Gilbert Emery, Irving Pichel, Halliwell Hobbes, Billy Bevan, Nan Grey, Hedda Hopper, Claud Allister, Edgar Norton, E.E. Clive

More info: IMDb

Tagline: She gives you that weird feeling!

Plot: Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, in hopes of freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

At first it was a little annoying that there was so much exposition that opens the film (and with some idiot coppers) that was all covered in the first film, DRACULA (1931), until you realize that this is the 1930s and audiences hadn't seen the other film for five years.  That and it's actually important to the story.  Also at first, Gloria Holden's performance (as the titular character) is low, breathy and mysterious.  The problem is that she doesn't change her delivery for the rest of the picture.  That makes her either look like a bad actress or her character about as boring as they come.  I can't see whey anyone would want to be around her and not everyone is under her spell.  She's almost constantly in a 'woe is me' mode.  Her performance brings the picture down a lot.  Then there's the plot line where her (Contessa Marya Zeleska) vampirism is compared and somewhat treated like an addiction.  That was great except they abandoned it before the end.  I'd like to seen that explored more.  You could make a case that she changed her mind and decided not to kick the blood sucking habit.  If that were true then it's the failing of the actress to show any kind of transition from wanting it to not and I didn't see it.  I'm watching this (again but for the last time) from the great Universal Legacy Collection with the Dracula films.  The only extra for this film is the theatrical trailer.

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