Name Occurs Before Title
Print Viewed By AFI
() (Dirigida por [Dir])
Havana, Cuba opening: 11 Mar 1931; New York opening: 24 Apr 1931
23 Oct--Nov 1930
Duration (in mins):
Duration (in reels):
Print this page
Display Movie Summary
Pablo Alvarez Rubio
José Soriano Viosca
[The following plot summary is based on the English-language version of this film,
; character names refer to that version.] English businessman Renfield has a harrowing journey to Transylvania, where he is to arrange a lease of the Carfax Abbey in England for Count Dracula. Unknown to Renfield, Dracula is a centuries-old vampire, who lives off the blood of humans and cannot withstand the light of day. Renfield is greeted at Dracula's castle by Dracula himself, but after he passes out from drinking drugged wine, his host descends upon him to feed on his blood. Renfield, weakened by the attack, and Dracula board an England-bound ship which also carries the coffin in which Dracula sleeps during the day and several coffins filled with his native soil, which is required for his survival. When the ship docks in Whitby Harbor, the entire crew is found dead. Only Dracula and Renfield, who appears to have gone insane, survive. Renfield is installed in Dr. Seward's sanitarium, where the physician studies his strange habit of consuming the blood of small animals. Meanwhile, Dracula drains the blood of the female population of London. One night at the opera, Dracula introduces himself to Dr. Seward and meets his daughter Mina, her fiancé, John Harker, and friend Lucy. Lucy is enchanted by Dracula's romantic manner, and later, Dracula attacks and kills her. German scientist Van Helsing arrives in London to assist Dr. Seward, and correctly assesses the situation. As Carfax Abbey is next to Seward's estate, Dracula has easy access to its occupants, and he takes advantage of his ability to transform himself into a bat to attack his next victim, Mina. However, she does not die immediately, but undergoes a change over several nights. Van Helsing confirms for Seward and Harker that Dracula truly is a vampire when Dracula's reflection does not appear in the mirror of a cigarette box. Meanwhile, Renfield constantly escapes from the hospital as ordered by his master, Dracula. Despite the precautions of Van Helsing to prevent Dracula's entry into Mina's room, he hypnotizes her maid to open the windows to admit him. Mina succumbs to a final bonding with Dracula and becomes a vampire. She confesses to Van Helsing that she has seen Lucy since she was buried, which confirms his suspicions that the "woman in white" who has been attacking young children is Lucy. Dracula tries to hypnotize Van Helsing to force him to do his will, but Van Helsing resists and is saved by his crucifix, upon which Dracula cannot look. Dracula, followed by Renfield, takes Mina to Carfax Abbey, where he plans to make her final transition to vampirism. Van Helsing and John follow Renfield there, but when Dracula discovers their presence, he kills Renfield. Dawn approaches, and when Van Helsing finds Dracula in his coffin, he drives a stake through his heart, killing him for eternity. At the same time that Dracula is killed, Mina is released from her spell. With the horror ended, John and Mina reunite.
Universal Pictures Corp.
Universal Pictures Corp.
(Dirigida por [Dir])
Enrique Tovar Avalos
Carl Laemmle Jr.
(Producida por [Prod])
(Productor asociado [Assoc prod])
B. Fernández Cué
(Versión española de [Spanish version])
Charles D. Hall
(Director artistico [Art dir])
(Editor del film [Film ed])
(Supervisor de la edición del film [Supv film ed])
C. Roy Hunter
(Supervisor de acústica [Sd supv])
Jack P. Pierce
Based on the novel
by Bram Stoker (London, 1897).
Sistema Western Electric [Western Electric Sound System]
Death and dying
Universal simultaneously made a Spanish-language version of the 1931 English-language
, which was directed by Tod Browning and starred Bela Lugosi. Both versions utilized the same sets. Most of the Spanish-language version was shot at night, while the English-language version was shot during the day. The actor who plays Dracula in the Spanish version is billed on screen as Carlos Villar, but was more commonly known as Carlos Villarías
Many films have been based on the Dracula legend. A partial listing includes the following: The 1921 German production
Nosferatu - Eine Symphonie des Grauens
, which was unofficially based on Bram Stoker's novel, directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and starring Max Schreck; the 1932 German-French film
, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and starring Julian West and Henriette Gérard; the 1956 Italian film
, directed by Riccardo Freda and starring Gianna Maria Canale and Antoine Balpêtré; the 1958 British film
, directed by Terence Fisher and starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee; the 1973 British television production of
, directed by Dan Curtis and starring Jack Palance; the 1979 American
, directed by John Badham and starring Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance and Kate Nelligan; the 1979 German film
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht
, directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani; and the 1992 film
Bram Stoker's Dracula
, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder.
Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the
AFI Catalog of Feature Films
and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
© 2013 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.