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Mar 18 15 11:56 AM
Mar 18 15 12:26 PM
Mar 18 15 1:50 PM
Wich2 wrote:All your points are valid, Casey. And yes, it's all speculation, Ted.
BELIEVE me, I truly "get" the response to the fan edits. It does make DRACULA 1931 play a little smoother in one some ways - though I still agree with several other posters, that the final SCRIPT is the source of the film's worst shortcomings.
But I'll bet we've all seen literally dozens of films where we've thought while watching them, "geez, why didn't they do this instead at that point? (That's why fan edits came to be - even way back in the 8mm era.)
This is all fine and fun, but obviously not proof that we've gotten closer to the director's vision.
Mar 18 15 4:09 PM
Mar 18 15 7:12 PM
stephendsullivan wrote:It doesn't make sense to me that a director of Browning's experience would make cuts that harm the storylines of the film. Browning's films tend to have problems, IMO, but disjointing the story to create an eerie feeling in the audience isn't one of them. Browning knew how to creep people out with story alone, and his storylines tend to be fairly easy to follow, despite what I sometimes feel are unnecessary twists. DRACULA has story issues that, to me, don't seem related to the source materials (including the play), bur are rather because of editing choices. And, as a professional writer and storyteller, I have trouble believing that Browning would have made those choices. He didn't seem to in his other films. (I also doubt that they are entirely the result of it being an early talking picture.)
Since the Spanish-language version of the film (shot at the same time) has fewer of these issues, it makes sense to me that someone in the editing room made some "bad" choices. Maybe it was Browning; we'll likely never know. But in the light of his other, less disjointed work, I tend to think the problems were more likely with a studio edit -- no matter who ordered them.
Nor do I see any issue with Clark and Kerry re-editing Dracula to show what "might have been" and how with a few tweaks (and perhaps following the script), the film could have been better.
And I'm pretty sure that all of us love DRACULA as it exists (flawed or not), or we wouldn't be engaged in such exercises or discussions to begin with.
But sadly, we may never actually know why the DRACULA we have took the final form it did. All we have from the Spanish version and script are intimations of what might have been.
So, if you don't like reconstructions (or deconstructions), don't watch 'em. We'll always have the DRACULA we have.
Mar 18 15 7:28 PM
Mar 18 15 10:06 PM
Mar 19 15 12:20 PM
Mar 19 15 2:20 PM
Mar 19 15 4:56 PM
ryanbrennan wrote:I'll be getting Gary's book eventually but I have another question in the meantime. This film is a pre-code and we know how the studios often ignored the advice of the Hays office. However, does Gary discuss any concerns from the Hays office either at the script stage or after the initial edit?
Mar 19 15 5:15 PM
Mar 19 15 7:03 PM
cjh5801 wrote:You could probably fix the castle problem by replacing the first shot of Dracula's castle in the 31 film with the shot of the castle in DD and then fading into Dracula and his wives rising from their coffins. I'd cut the next shot of the 31 castle when Renfield's coach approaches and just show the coach entering the castle gate.
Mar 19 15 7:10 PM
Mar 19 15 8:38 PM
SteveZodiak wrote:For me, Lugosi's Dracula is the example where the film's character far exceeds the film itself. . The Dracula we role played as kids was truly scary. He didn't have the outward appearance of a monster, as Frankenstein's monster, the Wolf Man, the Creature, or Kharis did, but we instinctively knew he was more horrifying than those more visually . No attempt at sympathy with Dracula, he was evil incarnate and we knew it. Our young impressionable minds saw a much more horror in
the character than the single viewing of softly light B&W 19in screen actually provided. It wasn't until the home video release of Dracula along with the other Universal Horrors that the film diminished in my mind. Multiple viewings lead to creeping disdain for the actual movie. Classics scenes are enjoyed, to be sure, but the movie itself became a slog and that is a shame because Lugosi's performance as Dracula deserves a better showcase, IMHO. For that reason, I welcome any editing, cut, or whatever that will increase the watchability (not a word, I guess) of Dracula. For that effort, I bid thee, welcome.
Clark may get your criticism of DRACULA, but I don't. What is it exactly about the home video release and multiple viewings that lead to "your creeping disdain for the actual movie". Is it really a problem with DRACULA or a simple case of "familiarity breeding contempt". In other words, you have become so familiar and influenced by what you have read about the film over the years that it has colored your original perception of the film to the extent that you now feel disdain for it, because obviously if those who are supposed to be in the know feel nothing but disdain for it who are you to feel otherwise. Sometimes a little knowledge can not only be a dangerous thing, but also a source of crushing those rose colored glasses that we used to view old films like DRACULA. And once those rose colored glasses are crushed, guess what, you will never be satisfied with anything that is done to "enhance" the film whether it be remastering, restoring, editing, or recutting. You will always be seeking to recapture that initial viewing experience, but can't because rose colored glasses can't be replaced once smashed.
Mar 19 15 8:42 PM
cjh5801 wrote:Astute observation, SteveZodiak, and not only because I agree with it.
Mar 19 15 8:57 PM
infinite1 wrote:...And that is the danger of recuts Clark, the feeling that they are needed to increase a films watchability in place of the original film itself. When that happens why keep the original?
Mar 19 15 10:13 PM
Mar 19 15 10:33 PM
Mar 20 15 5:42 AM
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