This is without a doubt one of the best or shall I say its considered to be Hammer's finest horror film. A film that departs from its original source and is somewhat re-invented and told in a differ take. So it was due to Universal threatning to sue Hammer if they were to ever produce anything remotely similar to what Universal owned the rights too. So studio execs over at Hammer Films decided to write scripts that had a 'fresh' and differ version or take on the classical monsters and some new ones too!
Many consider this film to be the true deciding factor in both Cushing's and Lee's careers as titans of classic horror films, as well the career of director Terence Fisher and the studio itself. Alot was at stake when this film came out.
It is a gothic, moody and shocking take on the Prince of Darkness, with some fine sets and a well-paced script.
Did You Know?
Director Fisher had nightmares during the filming of Dracula (which is its original title, at least in the U.K.), his wife had mentioned that Terry would toss and turn and wake up screaming, not recalling what had him in such utter terror. But later Fisher could recall what gave him nightmares, the idea of the Count scaling from the wall, like a bat and clawing at his window, trying to get in!!!
Originally actor Christopher Lee was not the first choice to play the Count. Also actor Cushing was offered the role of Dracula but turned it down. In fact, Vincent Price was offered the role at one time.
To this day Dracula (aka Horror Of Dracula) remains as one of the best money making films Hammer had ever produce.
There are rumors that there is a differ version of this film, with cut scenes of Harker being staked and his face and body turning to wrinkled dust. There is also lost scenes of the Count torturing his Bride and Harker wandering the castle. There is also a original cut scene of the final climax with Van Helsing and Dracula, as the the Count slowly dies in the sun. Its said that the BBFC cut those scenes and at one time a import Japanese LaserDisc had these scenes restored! There are more that I can't recall but there were plenty of more cut scenes I assure you...
For me this is one of my all-time favorites of classic horror.