Written by Daniel Benson
Published on Friday, 11 January 2013 23:38
Hammer, Icon Film Distribution and Lionsgate are proud to present a major event in British film history.Terence Fisher's 1958 classic Dracula, fully restored in High Definition and available on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time. The release will contain two versions of the feature (seamlessly branched on the Blu-ray):
The 2007 BFI restoration plus the 2012 Hammer restoration, which adds additional footage that has been unavailable for decades.
The additional footage comprises two of the scenes that were originally censored by the BBFC in 1958 that have now been restored to the film from the “Japanese reels”:
- Dracula’s seduction of Mina
- Dracula’s sunlight disintegration
These will be the most complete versions ever released and taken together fully deserving of the description DEFINITIVE.
Dracula has been unavailable on any UK home entertainment format for many years. This release will be at the correct aspect ratio of 1.66:1 which has never been available for home viewing.
Available 18th March in the UK on 3-disc Double Play, the pack comprises 1 x Blu-ray and 2 x DVD, the release also includes brand new featurettes, a new commentary track, multiple bonus extras and a stills show (see below for full list of extras).
Dracula is the first in the series of Hammer films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. It was directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Carol Marsh, Melissa Stribling and Christopher Lee.
Dr. Van Helsing, investigating the death of his friend Jonathan Harker, concludes that Harker was the victim of a vampire. When Harker's fiancée, Lucy, becomes affected by the terrifying force and hypnotic power of Count Dracula, Van Helsing releases her tortured soul by driving a stake through her heart. But Dracula seeks revenge, targeting Lucy's beautiful sister-in-law, Mina. Van Helsing, now aided by Mina’s husband Arthur, swears to exorcise this evil forever by confronting the vile and depraved Count himself.
Four Brand-New Featurettes:
- "Dracula Reborn". New 30 min. featurette about the film’s creation and history, featuring, among others: Jimmy Sangster, Kim Newman, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Rigby and Janina Faye (Tania in the film).
- "Resurrecting Dracula". New 20 min. featurette about the film’s restoration, from the BFI’s 2007 restoration through to the integration of “lost” footage, featuring interviews with key staff at the BFI, Molinare and Deluxe142. Also covers the February 2012 world premiere of Hammer’s interim restored version including “vox pop” interviews with fans after the event.
- "The Demon Lover: Christopher Frayling on Dracula". New 30 min. featurette.
- "Censoring Dracula". New 10 min. featurette on the original cuts to the film ordered by the British Board of Film Censors.
- New commentary by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn and author & critic Jonathan Rigby.
- All 4 surviving "Japanese reels" (6 - 9) unrestored (40 mins).
- The World Of Hammer episode: Dracula And The Undead.
- Janina Faye reading a chapter of Stoker’s novel at the VAULT festival.
- Stills Gallery of over 100 fully-restored and rare images.
- Booklet by Hammer archivist Robert J. E. Simpson (PDF).
- Original shooting script (PDF).
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