Thursday, March 31, 2011

James Whale's Dracula's Daughter, last part

The actual script printed here, as I’ve said, actually includes Bela Lugosi’s Dracula character for a good fourth of the movie. It explains how Drac became a vampire, and the origin of the gal who plays the title role of Dracula’s Daughter.

It is also very plain in this script from 1933 that the author (probably screenwriter and Laemmle friend R.C. Sherriff) was sixty years ahead of his time. See if these plot elements don’t remind you of Coppola’s Bram Stoker's Dracula. It appears that James V Hart, credited writer of the 1992 film’s screenplay, *might* have been inspired by some things in THIS script. Here are some similarities:

-- Dracula was Vlad Dracula, who led his armies to success against the Turks

-- He was a cruel despot who enjoyed torturing his subjects

-- He was converted to a vampire for his evil

-- When van Helsing leads his party of vampire hunters back to Castle Dracula in pursuit, they must encamp in the snow.

-- van Helsing protects them by making a circle in the snow and crumbling communion wafers into the circle, saying, “I have a dispensation.”

Quite a few similarities, eh?

The film treatment uses many plot points from the original novel that were not used in the 1931 film – chasing back to Transylvania after the vampire; using the vampire’s victim as a clairvoyant aid to track the monster; and so on.

But the finished script takes another tack, first by introducing Dracula in the 1400s and his conversion to vampirism, and then by showing the sexual enthrallment that his “daughter” casts over her (male) victims.

If you are fascinated by monsters and what might-have-been, you must read this book!

As another bit of fun, take a good hard look at this unused publicity piece for Dracula’s Daughter. Then look at the original depiction of Magenta from Rocky Horror. Coincidence? I think not!

See you later, Gator!

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