"I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome." Welcome indeed! When Bram Stoker wrote that famous greeting from the vampire king in his influential 1897 novel, he created a cultural icon that has spread over the past 100 years like the vampire plague he invented. Most cultures throughout the world have some type of vampire-like creature included in their folklore and these tales fascinated Stoker in his native Ireland. Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent years studying European folklore and was so impressed by the tales of Transylvania that they inspired the creation of his now famous vampire. Stoker's novel, though not the first vampire story - for example, John Polidori published Vampyre in 1819 and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu published Carmilla in 1871 (which later became the basis of 1932 German film Vampyr) - has certainly become the most famous.
The Dracula story has been filmed well over 100 times throughout the world. The first film adaptation of Stoker's novel was the 1922 German silent film Nosferatu. The director of the film, F.W. Murnau, could not obtain the rights from the Stoker family to name his film Dracula so they named it Nosferatu, a word Stoker used to describe vampires in his novel, though the word doesn't seem to exist in Romanian vocabulary. It may be a corrupted form of "nesuferit" in Romanian or the Greek "Nosophoros," both of which translate as "plague-bearer."
Perhaps the most famous of these film adaptations is the 1931 Universal Pictures version starring Bela Lugosi as Dracula. The Hungarian born Lugosi's portayal of Count Dracula is still considered the quintessential vampire role today.
In 1992 director Francis Ford Coppola released another film adaptation that won three Academy Awards. Though Coppola titled his film Bram Stoker's Dracula, it is not an entirely faithful adaptation of Stoker's novel.
There are many, many other film and book variations on the plot and themes that Stoker created. So why not read the great novel and then compare it with the great film adaptations listed above!
- Submitted by Dan @ Central