Greetings my darling, darling children. Have you missed me? Yes, yes. I know. How ever did you manage so long without me?

I once said that I might return and give some thoughts on Dracula. To that end...


Frank Langella, oh...Frank Langella.

One of my favorite 'Draculas'.

M. Langella first stepped into this role on Broadway in 1977, my children. Based on this, he was asked to star in the film version of 1979. This is not only one of the most viewed versions of the story in my collection, but one I consider (as do others) a pivotal moment in the annals of Dracula films.

Frank Langella created a sensual, yet menacing Count. He was the first to truly ooze sensuality in this role, offering a deliciously dangerous sex appeal. Hmm...is this beginning to remind you of anyone, my darlings?

Now, this isn't merely because mon cher Frank is sensual without exerting himself-- just look at him --but because he is a skilled thespian. He not only caused everyone to swoon for him, he brought (and it was his own idea) a different sort of animal nature to the role; that of the bat. No, darlings, I am not speaking of the bat on a wire. I am speaking of Frank himself.

Note how he uses his hands, his fingers, like claws, when, for example, he attempts to steal his way into Lucy's room through a locked window. How he scratches at the glass. Note his cool expressions, his subtle body language, note, even those hypnotic eyes, how they...quiver.

But it is not merely my love affair with M. Langella that brings this film to new heights. Truly, children, I could go on about him all night, but...non, non.

The film is beautiful, why, it is quite simply pretty, and gloriously gothic. It has a wonderful musical score. Yet, the single most memorable scene (and it does not contain Frank-- quite a shock, I know) is such, because it is the most poignant of the film, and indeed, of many films, particularly in the Dracula series.

Imagine that you, a God fearing man and brilliant doctor, who apparently moonlights as a vampire hunter, must face your darling daughter, the light of your life, in the belly of the earth below her coffin. You must face her, because she is now one of Dracula's children. In your mind, you are saving her, setting her free, yet imagine, if you can, staking your dear, sweet little girl through the heart.

Le gasp, le sniffle, le sigh. Oh, my darling Mina!

To save her, you must kill her and behead her.

I will admit, my lovelies, that to this day I shed a tear when Mina speaks to him; it's one simple, yet not so simple word, spoken in such a sweet, sad, pleading little voice.


Papa.


Oh! I require a hug. Let us finish on a less somber note. I also feel that contained in this film is one of the sexiest blood kisses committed to celluloid. Sadly, Frank himself feels-- mostly due to special effects (or lack thereof), that the scene I speak of is horrid.

Au contraire. I beg to differ! It is the red, red glow, the music, and the simplicity of it that works, darling Frank. That, and your performance. Everything leading to this moment was perfectly played, and so...perhaps it is that many of us do not notice this "cheese" you speak of.


Mmm. I now require something other than a hug. Ciao for now, dearlings.


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