Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a film produced by Francis Ford Coppola. It won three Academy Awards for best costume design, best make-up, and best sound effects and editing in 1993.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Prince Vlad (Dracula)
Dracula is one of the main characters in the movie. When he learns of his wife's suicide after returning from battle, he renounces God. After stabbing a cross and drinking the blood from it, he turns into a vampire. Since then, he has been trying to find his reincarnated wife Elisabeta.
Elisabeta is Prince Vlad's first wife. After learning of Dracula's supposed death, she commits suicide by jumping into the river from her castle. She is later reincarnated as Mina.
Mina is engaged to Thomas Harker. She stays in London when Harker has to travel to Transylvania to meet Dracula. When Dracula sees the picture of Mina that Harker is carrying, he realizes that this is Elisabeta reincarnated and travels to London to find her. Dracula later bites her when she realizes she is Elisabeta reincarnated.
Thomas Harker is Mina's fiancée. He works at a firm that deals with real estate. Harker is chosen to go close a deal in Transylvania that will grant him a permanent position at the firm. When he returns to London after being captive at Dracula's castle, he goes with Van Helsing to track down and kill Dracula. Harker is furious that Dracula has bitten Mina.
Lucy is one of Mina's good friends. Although she has suitors at her house very frequently, she is still not married. Finally, she decides she is going to marry Lord Arthur. First Dracula travels to London, sees her, and ravages her, which turns her into a vampire.
Lord Arthur is one of Lucy's suitors who she agrees to marry. He does not get to marry Lucy, but because of what has happened to her, he wants revenge and goes along with Van Helsing to try and kill Dracula.
Jack is Lucy's physician and a potential suitor. He tries to treat Lucy after the attack by Dracula but is unable to help. He asks Abraham Van Helsing to come and take a look at her situation.
Quincy is also one of Lucy's suitors. He does not play a major role but is one of the few men who are going after Dracula with Van Helsing. Since he was one of Lucy's suitors, he wants to get some revenge for her death.
Abraham Van Helsing
Abraham Van Helsing is a doctor that has mentored Jack. Van Helsing has long been interested in the tale of Dracula and is intrigued by the information Jack has sent him. His goal is getting close to Dracula and killing him once and for all.
The movie begins with a flashback to the year 1462. The Turks were sweeping into Romania and headed towards Transylvania. A member of the Order of the Dragon, known as Dracula, was sent to fight off the Turks. On the eve of the battle, he said goodbye to his wife Elisabeta, because he knew that he might not return.
Dracula was victorious in the battle. However, the Turks sent an arrow into the castle that led them to believe Dracula had been killed. Then Elisabeta flung herself off the castle into the river at the news of her husband death. Since she had committed suicide, her soul could not be saved. Upon hearing of the news, Dracula renounced God and stabbed himself with a cross. Blood began to pour from the cross, and he drank it stating that “the blood is the life… and it shall be mine.”
Harker Meeting Dracula
The next scene begins in London, 1897. Jonathan Harker meets with his boss. He is then told that if he travels to Transylvania, to close a real-estate deal in London, he will have a permanent position at the firm. Before he leaves for Transylvanina, to insure his position at his job he meets with Mina, his fiancée, to inform her of his travels.
Harker arrives at a castle in Transylvania and is quickly greeted with the presence of Dracula. Surprisingly, Dracula proceeds to offer Harker some food and explains some of his ancestry. Harker accidentally offends Dracula during conversation by snickering at the battles of his ancestors.
Dracula and Harker finish up their property deal, and Dracula finds a picture of Mina that Harker has. He realizes that she looks exactly the same as his wife Elisabeta. He proceeds to tell Harker that the luckiest man is a man who finds love. Then Dracula insists that Harker should stay with him for a month’s time, before he returns home.
Later that night while staying at the castle, Harker finds Dracula in his room. Dracula’s behavior, and strange happenings he has noticed occurring around the castle begin to annoy Harker. Once Dracula leaves his room, Harker wanders around the premises, and eventually finds his way to Dracula’s room. He lies down on the bed, and three women come out from the covers. They begin to kiss him and then start to bite him. After a few moments, Dracula appears and is very angry. He states that Harker is his property not theirs. They ask Dracula if they are to have nothing tonight, and Dracula hands them a baby upon which to they feed. Harker screams in disgust.
Harker finds out that Dracula’s henchmen are filling boxes of earth, which Dracula intends to ship to London where he bought his properties. Upon arriving in England, Dracula emerges from one of the boxes. He finds his way to the home in which Mina is staying and seduces Lucy (Mina’s friend who resides at the home). Dracula shortly ravishes out at Lucy and drinks the blood. Mina sees this and Dracula says, “Do not see me” to Mina. Since Mina is the reincarnation of his wife Elisabeta, she does not remember Dracula as her husband, or recall what has happened in the past.
Mina Meets Dracula
Dracula emerges from a box of the soil that was shipped to London as a brand new man. He looks much younger than he did originally and decides to go into town. While there, he sees Mina walking down the street. He says “See me now,” and Mina looks in his direction. She enters a shop, and Dracula waits outside for her. When she exits she bumps into Dracula. Dracula goes on to try and introduce himself, but Mina has no interest. When Mina says she has a husband, Dracula begins to walk away.
As he leaves, Mina stops Dracula and says she has been rude. Dracula introduces himself as Prince Vlad. Mina introduces herself as well. Mina then directs Dracula to the place he originally asked to take her.
Lucy is Changing
Jack (the physician) has come to check on Lucy after her encounter with Dracula the other night. Upon arrival, he is confounded by her situation. When Lord Arthur (Lucy’s fiancé) returns from riding his horse, Jack informs Arthur that he has asked Abraham Van Helsing to come and look at the situation they are dealing with.
Dracula and Mina are watching a theater production and discussing the new technology. Mina realizes that she should not have come with Dracula to this place, and Dracula says, “Do not fear me.” After this, Dracula sweeps Mina away into a side room where Mina realizes that she somehow knows Dracula. Dracula’s eyes turn red and his fangs appear ready to bite Mina. He changes his mind at the last second after a wolf appears before them. Mina then tries to run away along with the other patrons. When she is close to the exit, the wolf appears in front of her and begins to snarl. Dracula reappears and yells at the wolf to stop. The wolf becomes very tame, and Dracula and Mina begin to pet the animal. Dracula tells Mina, “there is much to be learned from beasts.” Dracula then drops her off at her home, kisses her hand, and departs in his carriage.
Abraham Van Helsing
Abraham Van Helsing is teaching a class describing the vampire bat. He tells them how a vampire bat must drink ten times its own weight in blood, to stay alive. Jack interrupts Van Helsing by handing him a note, and once read Van Helsing cuts the class short and exits.
Van Helsing arrives at Lucy’s home just as Dracula is beckoning Lucy over. Jack begins to tell Van Helsing her symptoms when they hear Lucy screaming upstairs. They rush upstairs, and Dracula has already sucked her blood. They do not see Dracula, as he appears to be a shadow and escapes out the window. They begin to work on Lucy when her fiancé Arthur appears. They drain some blood from Arthur to give to Lucy.
They reconvene outside and begin to discuss what is going on. They determine that there is a monster somewhere outside that is feasting on Lucy’s blood to sustain itself, and they must find out what it is.
Mina Meets Dracula Again
Mina meets Dracula again the next day. When they are sitting down, Dracula decides to makes a drink for her himself. After she takes a sip she asks of Dracula’s homeland. When he begins to tell her about it, Mina interrupts him and describes his homeland exactly. She says that it is his voice that is familiar, and that made her be able to describe his homeland. Mina also tells him his voice comforts her when she is alone.
Mina asks Dracula of his princess. He begins to describe the princess and talks about her in relation to Elisabeta’s death. Dracula tells Mina that she leapt into the river that she had just described.
Harker Escapes Dracula’s Castle
Harker had been a prisoner in Dracula’s castle while these past events were occurring. Dracula’s brides were draining his blood to keep him weak and unable to escape. One night he managed to escape and jump into the river below. He found a church where the sisters help him recover. The sisters send a letter to Mina telling her that they have found him, and he wishes for her to meet them so they will be married.
Dracula Learns of Harker’s Escape
Dracula is sitting in a restaurant waiting for Mina when a letter arrives. The letter is from Mina who tells Dracula that they are not to see each other again, and she is going to meet Harker so they can be married. Dracula is very upset by this and calls upon the winds and storms to come.
Lucy’s Death and Rebirth
Abraham Van Helsing realizes that Lucy is a victim of Dracula. Although he is deeply saddened, he is glad the opportunity has come where he will find Dracula. He has been hunting him for a long time. Before they begin searching for Dracula Jack and Van Helsing go to get something to eat. When they depart, Quincy (Lucy's suitor and a friend of Arthur) is put on watch outside of Lucy’s room. Soon Dracula appears and knocks out Quincy as well as Arthur, who are inside with Lucy. Then Dracula breaks through the window where he turns into a wolf and begins to drink the blood from Lucy’s neck.
The next day, Lucy is in a coffin, because Dracula’s attack caused her death. They have a funeral for her, and Van Helsing calls to Jack. He wants a pair of post mortem knives to cut off Lucy’s head and stab her heart.
The night arrives and they dig up Lucy’s grave. Van Helsing says that if Lucy is dead there is no harm done, but she may be alive as a vampire. They remove the top of Lucy’s grave and look inside. Her body is no longer there. Arthur becomes furious, wondering where her body is. Van Helsing tells him that she has become a vampire. During the middle of this explanation, Lucy comes back to her grave carrying a child. Van Helsing pulls out a cross and begins to chant. Quincy grabs the child Lucy was carrying, while Van Helsing is chanting. She backs away into her grave where she spews blood onto Van Helsing. Arthur takes a stake and plunges it into her heart. Van Helsing then takes a knife and cuts off Lucy’s head.
Van Helsing Meets Mina and Harker
Van Helsing meets with the two and asks Harker if he drank any of the blood of the women who had captured him. He says no, and Van Helsing reassures him that he will not turn into a vampire. Van Helsing tells them that vampires are real, and they can take on many forms. He also states that Dracula needs to regenerate with the earth of his homeland. They set out that night to find where Dracula is hiding.
They come upon the boxes that Dracula has sent to Carfax Abbey. They contain soil from London for Dracula to regenerate with. Van Helsing orders the men to destroy all the boxes and to sanitize the earth that is inside. Van Helsing also prepares for the exorcism of the land at Carfax Abbey.
Dracula Finds Mina
Dracula leaves the area and goes to where Mina is being kept. Mina finally remembers who she is and asks Dracula about his true nature. He reveals that he is the monster that the men are trying to kill. Mina becomes upset and starts to hit Dracula because she realizes that he killed Lucy.
Mina then decides she wants to be with Dracula and become what he is. He bites her, and then cuts himself and tells her to drink his blood to have eternal life. But then he stops her and says that he cannot let her be in the shadow of death for all eternity. Mina states that she does not care and wants to be taken away from all the death.
Right after this happens, the men enter the room and Dracula reveals his true self. Van Helsing begins to chant while holding a cross but Dracula sets the cross on fire. Dracula tells them there is no way to defeat him and begins backing into a corner where it is dark. When the men go over to the corner, Dracula’s body is gone because he morphed into hundreds of rats. This made all the men run.
After Dracula’s escape, Van Helsing hypnotizes Mina so she will tell where Dracula went. They find out he is heading back to Transylvania by sea. They leave London that night by train hoping to get to the Romanian port before Dracula. Dracula’s journey would take nearly a week, while by train it will only take three days.
A problem occurs when Dracula reads Mina’s mind. He learns of this plan and changes his own to arrive home earlier. They split up to try and catch Dracula off guard. Van Helsing and Mina take a carriage to Dracula’s castle, while the other men remain on the same path hoping to cut him off. They hope that if they fail, Van Helsing can finish the job.
When Van Helsing and Mina are outside the castle, the other brides of Dracula appear, and try to seduce Van Helsing. He awakens and creates holy ground with fire and yells at the brides to stay away. When they leave, they attack his horse instead.
When daybreak comes, Van Helsing enters Dracula’s castle and kills the three brides.
The sunset appears and Dracula communicates to Mina in her thoughts. He is coming on his carriage toward his castle. However, the men are chasing after the carriage shooting the mercenaries on board. They enter the gates of the castle when the sun just goes below the horizon.
The moment the sun is below the horizon, Dracula bursts out from the box that he was in. Harker is standing in front of him and slashes Dracula’s throat. Dracula grabs Harker, throws him off the carriage, and follows him. Quincy then runs up to Dracula and stabs him through the chest with his knife.
Mina takes Dracula inside the castle, in the room where he renounced God. Mina witnesses Dracula making one with God, releasing Mina, and all the others of the darkness. Their love for one another withstood death itself, which helped to set Dracula free from the darkness. Dracula then asks Mina to stop his suffering, and she stabs him through the heart. After kissing him goodbye, she removes the blade from his chest and beheads him.
The movie ends with Mina looking up toward the ceiling at a picture of Dracula and Elisabeta.
Coppola, F. F. (Writer/Director). (1992) Bram Stoker's Dracula [DVD]. Available from Colombia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232