Universal revives history with the classic Dracula and a rare addition

We have just received word from Universal Home Video regarding their upcoming Collector’s Edition of the classic Dracula. What many fans of the 1930 Universal classic have been hoping for is indeed coming true. Apart from a number of other extras, this Collector’s Edition of “Dracula” starring Béla Lugosi will contain the newly recorded Philip Glass soundtrack, played by the Kronos Quartet as well as the original, unorchestrated soundtrack of the film.

Fans of the film will know however that there is also another version “Dracula” sitting in Universal’s vaults. The Spanish version of “Dracula” was shot at the same time as Tod Browning’s film, even using the same set pieces and props. At a time when film dubbing was non-existent, entire films had to be literally re-shot with native actors. Starring Carlos Villarias and Lupita Tovar the Spanish “Dracula” has been shot using exactly the same shooting script as Tod Browning’s version and had been lost for over 60 years until Universal restored it and finally released it on VHS some time ago as part of their“Universal Classic Monster” series.
For the special occasion of the Collector’s Edition, Universal has decided to also release this version of the film – which is reportedly much more visual, elaborate and atmospheric than Browning’s unappreciative attempt – on the same disc! This will give fans the chance to directly compare the two versions and to see how different directors and cinematographers can interpret the exact same material at exactly the same time. As a matter of fact, while the Browning’s crew used the sets during the daytime, Paul Kohner and his crew used the same set at night to shoot the Spanish film simultaneously.

Kudos go to Universal for this decision. I am sure all fans of their classic horror films will truly appreciate this move. I certainly can’t wait to lay my eyes on this long forgotten gem.

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