Dir. George Melford, USA, 1931
Often praised as being a superior version of the English-language Dracula, Melford’s movie certainly plays less stagebound than Browning’s. While largely following the same beats (by virtue of having to use the same sets) as the English version, there’s enough here to make the film worthwhile in its own right.
Dir. Tod Browning, USA, 1931
The horror film genre didn’t exist before Universal’s Dracula and Frankenstein. There were occasional horror movies – particularly Nosferatu, which casts a long shadow over this first official adaptation of Dracula – but it was Universal in 1931 that kick-started the first cycle of horror films; the re-release of Dracula and Frankenstein in 1938 that initiated the second, and re-makes by Hammer that launched the third. And the two characters have been popularly linked ever since. Andy Warhol and Dan Curtis tackled them both in the 1970s, and there were big-screen adaptations in the 1990s.