Dracula

1931

After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina's health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina's fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.

Cast:
Bela Lugosi .... Count Dracula
Helen Chandler .... Mina Seward
David Manners .... Jonathan Harker
Dwight Frye .... Renfield
Edward Van Sloan .... Prof. Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston .... Dr. Jack Seward
Frances Dade .... Lucy Weston
Joan Standing .... Briggs (a nurse)
Charles K. Gerrard .... Martin
Tod Browning .... Harbormaster (voice)
Michael Visaroff .... Innkeeper
Carla Laemmle .... Young girl passenger

Helen Chandler

Helen Chandler was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 1, 1906. By the late 1920s she had become a hugely popular actress on the New York stage. That Hollywood should beckon was inevitable, but unfortunately whatever quality made Chandler a success on the stage did not survive the transition to film. Chandler is probably best remembered by movie fans as the fragile Mina, pursued and nearly vampirized by Bela Lugosi in the original "Dracula" (1931). In 1937 Chandler left Hollywood to return to the stage, but a dependency on alcohol and sleeping pills haunted her subsequent career, and in 1940 she was committed to a sanitarium. Ten years later she was disfigured in a fire, apparenty caused by smoking in bed. Helen Chandler died (following surgery for a bleeding ulcer) on April 30, 1965. Her body was cremated, and as no relative ever came forward to claim the remains, her ashes now repose in the vaultage section (off limits to visitors) of the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles.

Francis Dade

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 14 February 1910, Frances Dade became known as Dracula's most memorable victim and an image of Bela Lugosi lustfully hovering over her prostrate body remains an indelible part of popular culture. A 1931 Wampas Baby Star, Dade arrived in Los Angeles in 1930 as Lorelei Lee in a touring company of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Apart from the role of Dracula's ill-fated Lucy Weston, however, Hollywood had little to offer and she returned to the legitimate stage. Retiring after a short-lived Broadway play, Collision (1932), to marry socialite Brock Van Avery, Dade returned to her hometown of Philadelphia and may later have become a nurse. Date of death 21 January 1968

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