Monday, March 28, 2011

James Whale’s Dracula’s Daughter (part two)

Thanks to the magic of “Memorama” (a term I just invented!), we can learn about the Dracula’s Daughter that never was.




In the original script, the title gal was a peasant girl, one of a bunch of young lovelies kidnapped by Dracula for the pleasure of a party of noblemen in Castle Dracula. Jane Wyatt, young and fresh-looking, would have been a great fit for this role.



She becomes Dracula’s Daughter when the King Vampire makes her into one of the Undead after desecrating her husband’s corpse in front of her.



Both she and Dracula would remain in the castle until she is released through the blundering of a couple of English would-be tough guys who are showing off for their girlfriends by exploring broken-down Castle Dracula. After this point Dracula (to be played by Lugosi) would exit the film’s storyline.



Now, after becoming Undead, DD is exotically beautiful, her country-girl charms having taken on a new, dangerous seductiveness. She enslaves one of her unwitting liberators and uses him to enter England, where she established herself as the rich and mysterious Countess Szelenski.



Professor van Helsing, and Dr Seward, reprising their roles from the first film, become involved in the quest to rescue the film’s “hero” from the clutches of Dracula’s Daughter.

Read this “The Main Idea” for original author John Balderstone’s take on the – umm, more sensational, shall we say? – other aspects possible by using a FEMALE vampire.




The three-page early treatment of the idea, like the actual eventual film, picks up precisely at the end of the 1931 film. Besides van Helsing and Seward, John and Mina Harker from the first film also appear, giving aid and advice to their friends, one of whom is enthralled to the vampire.



More on this creepy non-extant classic next time!

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