Wednesday, June 15, 2011


   Dracula has been adapted into a film numerous times. Some were bad, some were great, and some were clearly memorable. Count Dracula, inspired by Vlad The Impaler, is possibly the first ever Vampire portrayed as a bloodsucking, shape-shifting and immortal being. Dracula has not only been played well, and memorably, over the years, but the films themselves were classic films of the horror genre.
Each film developed more and more, making each Dracula more interesting than the last. Improving on each adaption seemed to be a goal for the filmmakers. This list counts down the films and portrayals that’s made Dracula more famous over the years. Well, not all these films made Dracula more famous.

10. Count Dracula
(TV) (1977) – Portrayed by Louis Jordan
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   This tale of Dracula has been forgotten by most, but it happens to be a very faithful adaption of the beloved book. Fans of the novel will definitely enjoy this, but as a moviegoer you will be disappointed at how amateurishly filmed it was. And also, the sets were plain and boring, but being a television film, of course, the budget was low. Louis Jordan is a great actor, but he was not suited for this role, as he seemed abridged from Dracula’s disturbing side. The film itself is definitely worth a watch, still keeping that eerie atmosphere that should stick with any Dracula film.

9. Dracula
(1973) – Portrayed by Jack Palance

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   Another Dracula film that has been forgotten by most, but overall it was a pretty good Dracula film, seeing as the actors played their parts fantastically. Jack Palance did not look as creepy as I hoped, but he definitely played Dracula well. His silently disturbed attitude saved the role, and Murray Brown, who played Jonathan Harker, was amazing. Though this film was not the most faithful to the novel, it’s definitely a worthy adaption.

8. Count Dracula
(1970) – Portrayed by Christopher Lee


   Another take on Dracula by an older Christopher Lee. The age switch of Dracula was first portrayed in this, with Christopher Lee looking older in the beginning, but reverting into a younger form once arriving in Jonathan Harker’s home town. This was, indeed, a very faithful adaption of the Dracula novel, perhaps the most creepy Dracula of all time, especially with Klaus Kinski’s silent role as Renfield, who’s actions depicted are so disturbing, you did not need to hear the man speak for a powerful portrayal. Christopher Lee plays a scarier Dracula in this film than he did in his first attempt, and he also improves on his acting skills.

7. Dracula
(1979) – Portrayed by Frank Langella


   For his age, Frank Langella was called the most sexy & good looking of all Count Dracula portrayals. Not only that, his voice was beautifully seductive, making his presence disturbing, which is exactly how Dracula should be. The funny thing is, the girl characters seem to be more attracted to him than scared. But, of course, in this version, Mina Harker is in love with Dracula, with many more changes from the novel included. The latter may have caused disappointment to many, but this Dracula adaption is entertaining nonetheless.

6. Drácula
(1931) – Portrayed by Carlos Villarias


   This Italian version of Dracula was not seen by too many people, as it was, disappointingly, released in the same year as the American’s famous version. Many critics say this is an improvement over Béla Lugosi’s American version, because it was more faithful to the novel, and with better portrayals, too. The sets were quite similar in both versions, but the costumes were not, as the women wore more revealing clothing, making Dracula’s wives more sexually appealing, rather than the brainless zombies that were included in the American version. Carlos Villarias, who intentionally looked similar to Béla Lugosi’s Dracula, was criticized for being more silly in appearance, especially with his humorous facial expression, and his non terrifying seductive attitude, also. But other actors in the film, mostly Renfield’s portrayal, were praised as better than the American version’s acted roles, as the Italian actors performances seemed more over the top and less limited, as the American version was. The cinematography and special effects were also praised over the American version, because this portrayal was unorthodox, and it suited the film really well. Overall, the cult audience will say the American Dracula is the best and most memorable, but the critics who actually watched the Italian film would say the foreign Dracula was better, technically.

5. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
(1992) – Portrayed by Gary Oldman

   What made this version so good was that it went all out with the Dracula book. The scenes were realistically disturbing, as there was plenty of nudity and gore, which captured the novel’s spirit. Gary Oldman was perfect as Dracula, as he was everything Dracula should be, scary, disturbing, sexually seductive, an age switcher and, most of all, unpredictable. Not only that, but they had Anthony Hopkins, Cary Elwes, and Winona Ryder, who really shone in their roles, too. It may have had it’s flaws, but there was one thing that really caused this to be a downer to most… Keanu Reeves being cast as Jonathan Harker… if that does not sound bad enough… he has to fake a British accent.

4. Horror of Dracula
(1958) – Portrayed by Christopher Lee

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   The most seductive of all Dracula actors, Christopher Lee’s appearance really makes this film worth it. But there were so many other qualities in the movie that made this version one of the greatest adaptions. There was little to no gore in the film, losing a lot of disturbing elements, but the film, overall, was scary enough, using an eerie atmosphere and talented actors to it’s full advantage. Overall, being an aristocrat has never seemed more sexy, as Christopher Lee gained super stardom from his impressive performance.

3. Nosferatu the Vampyre
(1979) – Portrayed by Klaus Kinski


   By Werner Herzog, who knows how to make films very disturbing, and I mean VERY disturbing. It is proven here, as Herzog creates the most disturbing, not to forget the most scary, Dracula film of all time. His direction was excellent, and it stuck more to Nosferatu, 1922, than it did to the novel. Klaus Kinski really delivers a great & intense performance, much more realistic than anything we have seen from any Dracula movies before. The film does not capture any of the seductiveness which made the novel famous, but, for this picture that’s not the point at all. Dracula is more pathetic and sad here, he never smiles strangely, and he craves for blood desperately. Being more of a remake of the original Nosferatu than an adaption to the Dracula book, the names have not changed from the book, surprisingly, despite eliminating most of the novel’s characters.

2. Nosferatu
(1922) – Portrayed by Max Schreck
   For it’s time, this was just very chilling. Nobody was expecting a Dracula adaption this soon, so a film based on the book, aside from major differences, was just enthralling. The film kept the key characters and the plot, but Max Schreck’s portrayal gave such a different style to Dracula, as he became more demonic than humanistic. To look at him as Count Orlok, even now, is a bit scary. The production went through incredible lengths to get this completed, I’m not referring to the film Shadow of the Vampire, if that’s what you think. Overall, this particular film immediately became a classic for being truly scary in the 1920s, and yet, is still creepy to a modern day audience.

(1931) – Portrayed by Bella Lugosi

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    Whether he’s your favorite Dracula or not, Lugosi is the iconic image that pops into everybody’s head when anybody mentions Dracula. Mostly because this was the first, official, Dracula film ever made. The film itself was excellent, very scary for it’s time, but that seemed to age. Aside from that, the atmosphere seemed brilliantly dark, at least for the 30s. Lugosi’s presence on screen was very powerful and mesmerizing. Not only that, Lugosi’s acting was amazing, he made the movie what it was and is. Without him, I don’t think this film would have been as successful….. unless they cast Lon Chaney. Jr or Boris Karloff of course…


The Queen's Birthday - 85 facts you should know about The Queen

  The Queen will celebrate her 85th birthday today by attending the traditional Royal Maundy Service at Westminster Abbey. Below of 85 facts you should know about the Queen.   
   The Queen is celebrating her 85th birthday Photo: AFP7:00AM BST 21 Apr 2011

Early years

1. The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London.

2. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

3. At the time she stood third in line of succession to the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and her father, The Duke of York. But it was not expected that her father would become King, or that she would become Queen.

4. The Princess was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. She was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.

5. The Princess's early years were spent at 145 Piccadilly, the London house taken by her parents shortly after her birth, and at White Lodge in Richmond Park.

6. When she was six years old, her parents took over Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park as their own country home

7. Princess Elizabeth was educated at home with Princess Margaret, her younger sister.

8. She received tuition from her father, as well as sessions with Henry Marten, the Vice-Provost of Eton. She was also instructed in religion by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

9. Princess Elizabeth also learned French from a number of French and Belgian governesses. It is a skill which has stood The Queen in good stead, as she often has cause to use it when speaking to ambassadors and heads of state from French-speaking countries, and when visiting French-speaking areas of Canada.

10. Princess Elizabeth enrolled as a Girl Guide when she was eleven, and later became a Sea Ranger.

11. In 1940, at the height of the Blitz, the young Princesses were moved for their safety to Windsor Castle, where they spent most of the war years.

A Royal Romance
12. The Queen is the first British monarch to have celebrated a Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

13.Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip first met when they attended the wedding of Prince Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece to The Duke of Kent, who was an uncle of Princess Elizabeth, in 1934.

14.The engagement between Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten RN was announced on the 9th July, 1947. Prince Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. He joined the Royal Navy in 1939 and after the war, in February 1947, became a naturalised British subject. Prince Philip was required to choose a surname in order to continue his career in the Royal Navy, and adopted Mountbatten, the name of his mother's British relatives. He was created "Duke of Edinburgh" by King George VI on marriage.

15.The platinum and diamond engagement ring was made by the jewellers, Philip Antrobus Ltd, using diamonds from a tiara belonging to Prince Philip's mother.

16 .Prince Philip had two stag parties the night before the wedding - the first at the Dorchester to which the press were invited and the second with his closest friends at the Belfry Club.

17.The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were married in Westminster Abbey on the 20th November, 1947 at 11.30am with 2000 invited guests.

18..The eight bridesmaids were: HRH The Princess Margaret, HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lady Mary Cambridge, Lady Elizabeth Lambart, The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten, The Hon. Margaret Elphinstone, The Hon. Diana Bowes-Lyon.

19.There were two pages: HRH Prince William of Gloucester (aged 5) and HRH Prince Michael of Kent (aged 5).

20.The Queen's wedding dress was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell. Norman Hartnell submitted designs for the dress in August 1947.

21.The fabric for the dress was woven at Winterthur Silks Limited, Dunfermline, in the Canmore factory, using silk that had come from Chinese silkworms at Lullingstone Castle.

22..The Queen's Bridal Veil was made of tulle and held by a tiara of diamonds. This tiara (which can also be worn as a necklace) was made for Queen Mary in 1919. It is made from re-used diamonds taken from a necklace/tiara purchased by Queen Victoria from Collingwood and Co and a wedding present for Queen Mary in 1893. In August, 1936, Queen Mary gave the tiara to Queen Elizabeth from whom it was borrowed by Princess Elizabeth for her wedding in 1947.

23.The grave of the Unknown Warrior was the only stone that was not covered by the special carpet in the Abbey. The day after the wedding, Princess Elizabeth followed a Royal tradition started by her mother, of sending her wedding bouquet back to the Abbey to be laid on this grave.

24.The bride's wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold which came from the Clogau St David's mine near Dolgellau.

25.Around 10,000 telegrams of congratulations were received at Buckingham Palace and the Royal couple received over 2,500 wedding presents from well-wishers around the world.

26..As well as jewellery from their close relatives, including the King and Queen, the couple received many useful items for the kitchen and home, including salt cellars from the Queen, a bookcase from Queen Mary, and a picnic case from Princess Margaret.

27.The "wedding breakfast" (lunch) was held after the marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey in the Ball Supper-room at Buckingham Palace. The menu was Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole, Bombe Glacee Princess Elizabeth.

28.The couple departed Waterloo station with the Princess's corgi, Susan, for their honeymoon.

29.The newlyweds spent their wedding night at Broadlands in Hampshire, home of Prince Philip's uncle Earl Mountbatten. The second part of the honeymoon was spent at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.

30.Early in 1948 the couple leased their first marital home, Windlesham Moor, in Surrey, near Windsor Castle, where they stayed until they moved to Clarence House on 4th July 1949.

31.After marrying Princess Elizabeth, The Duke of Edinburgh continued his naval career, reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Commander in command of the frigate HMS Magpie.

32.Although he was The Queen's husband, The Duke of Edinburgh was not crowned or anointed at the Coronation ceremony in 1953. He was the first subject to pay Homage to Her Majesty, and kiss the newly crowned Queen by stating "I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God."

33.Prince Philip has accompanied The Queen on all her Commonwealth tours and State visits, as well as on public engagements in all parts of the UK. The first of these was the Coronation tour of the Commonwealth from November 1953 to May 1954, when the couple visited Bermuda, Jamaica, Panama, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Cocos Islands, Ceylon, Aden, Uganda, Libya, Malta and Gibraltar, travelling a distance of 43,618 miles.

34. The Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. It was a solemn ceremony conducted by Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury.

35. The Coronation was followed by drives through every part of London, a review of the fleet at Spithead, and visits to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

36.The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have four children: Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b. 1948), Princess Anne, The Princess Royal (b. 1950), Prince Andrew, The Duke of York (b. 1960), and Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex (b. 1964).

37.With the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960, The Queen became the first reigning Sovereign to give birth to a child since Queen Victoria, whose youngest child, Princess Beatrice, was born in 1857.

38.The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have eight grandchildren - Peter Phillips (b. 1977), Zara Phillips (b. 1981) Prince William (b. 1982), Prince Harry (b. 1984), Princess Beatrice (b. 1988), Princess Eugenie (b. 1990), Lady Louise Windsor (b. 2003) and James, Viscount Severns (b. 2007) She has one great-grandchild Savannah (b. 2011)

Queen's Speeches

39. The Queen has delivered a Christmas message every year except in 1969, when she decided the royals had been on TV enough after an unprecedented family documentary. Her greeting took the form of a written address.

40. In her 1991 message, the Queen silenced rumours of abdication as she pledged to continue to serve.

41. The Queen issued a writ against The Sun newspaper after it published the full text of her 1992 broadcast two days before transmission. She later accepted an apology and a £200,000 donation to charity.

42. The Queen's grandfather, King George V, delivered the first royal Christmas broadcast live on the radio from Sandringham in 1932.

43. George V was at first unsure about using the relatively untried medium of the wireless, but eventually agreed.

44. There was no Christmas broadcast in 1936 or 1938, and it was the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 that firmly established the tradition.

45. Last year the Queen delivered her address from Hampton Court Palace - the first time the historic building had been used.

46 The speech is written by the Queen and each has a strong religious framework, reflects current issues and often draws on her own experiences.

Interest and Hobbies

48. An animal lover since childhood, The Queen takes a keen and highly knowledgeable interest in horses. As an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds, she often visits other race meetings to watch her horses run, and also frequently attends equestrian events.

49. She attends the Derby at Epsom, one of the classic flat races in Britain, and the Summer Race Meeting at Ascot, which has been a Royal occasion since 1911.

50. The Queen's horses won races at Royal Ascot on a number of occasions. There was a notable double on 18 June 1954 when Landau won the Rous Memorial Stakes and a stallion called Aureole won the Hardwicke Stakes, and in 1957 The Queen had four winners during Ascot week.

51. Other interests include walking in the countryside and working her Labradors, which were bred at Sandringham.

52. A lesser known interest is Scottish country dancing. Each year during her stay at Balmoral Castle, The Queen gives dances known as Gillies' Balls, for neighbours, estate and Castle staff and members of the local community.

53. The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a licence or a registration number on her car. And she doesn't have a passport.

54. The Queen is patron to more than 600 charities

55. To formally greet the Queen men should perform a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. On presentation to The Queen, the correct formal address is 'Your Majesty' and subsequently 'Ma'am'.


56. Norman Hartnell, who first worked for the then Princess Elizabeth in the 1940s, produced many of the finest evening dresses in Her Majesty’s wardrobe. His signature style of the 1940s and 1950s was full-skirted dresses in sumptuous silks and duchesse satins

57. Hardy Amies began designing clothes for The Queen in the early 1950s and established his name with the deceptive simplicity of his accomplished tailoring. The portraits by Cecil Beaton released to mark Her Majesty’s birthday in 1969 the are amongst the most memorable designs by Hardy Amies.

58. n the 1970s The Queen awarded her patronage to Ian Thomas, who was an assistant designer to Norman Hartnell before setting up his own salon. Thomas’s flowing chiffon dresses from the 1970s reflect the relaxed style of the decade. Maureen Rose of the same house continued to design for Her Majesty after Ian’s death until the late 80’s.

59. Between 1988 and 1996, Her Majesty’s dresses were designed by John Anderson. His business partner Karl Ludwig Rehse took over the mantle after his death in 1988 and the Queen still wears his designs today.

60. Stewart Parvin, the youngest of Her Majesty’s designers, trained at Edinburgh College of Art. He began to design for The Queen in 2000 and continues to do so.

61. Angela Kelly is Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to The Queen. Her role includes designing for The Queen, which she has done since 2002. Angela and her team try and use both old and new fabrics when designing. Some of the material they incorporate has been given to Her Majesty many years ago, some dates from when she was Princess Elizabeth.


62. The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June.

63. The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.

64. In 2006, Her Majesty celebrated her 80th Birthday in 2006 with a walkabout in the streets outside of Windsor Castle to meet well-wishers.

65. On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade.

And the Rest...

66. Queen Elizabeth II is the fortieth monarch since William the Conqueror

67. She has visited Australia 15 times, Canada 23 times, Jamaica six times and New Zealand ten times

68. She has sent around 100,000 telegrams to centenarians in the UK and the Commonwealth

69. The Queen has launched 23 ships and met five astronauts at Buckingham Palace

70. She first flew in an aeroplane in July 1945

71. She is the only British monarch in history properly trained to change a spark plug

72. On VE Day she and her sister slipped into the crowd to celebrate

73. She collected clothing coupons for her wedding dress

74. The Queen has a bank account at Coutts & Co. There is a Coutts cash-dispensing machine in Buckingham Palace

75. The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2002, including visiting 70 cities and towns around the UK

76. Tony Blair was the first prime minister to be born during her reign, which has already seen nine prime ministers

77. The Queen has sat through 91 state banquets and posed for 139 official portraits

78. Technically The Queen still owns the sturgeons, whales and dolphins in the waters around the UK which are recognised as 'Fishes Royal'. She also owns all wild 'mute' swans living in open water.

79. The Queen introduced a new breed of dog known as the "dorgi", when one of the corgis mated with a dachshund named Pipkin

80. The Queen is the first British monarch to see three of her children divorce

81. She demoted a footman for feeding her corgis whisky

82. The Queen has nine Royal thrones - One at the House of Lords, two at Westminster Abbey, and six in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.

83. She is a Patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association. One of the Queen's birds is called Sandringham Lightning

84. There have been six Archbishops of Canterbury during the Queen's reign

85. The Queen is 5ft 4 inches or 160cm tall.