Any literary purist will tell you that Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 masterpiece (forget THE GODFATHER; it is *this* movie that truly represents the director’s finest work) is not accurately named, in that it includes lots of material that is not in Stoker’s novel. Even so, it is arguably the closest depiction of the book ever filmed. As Bela Lugosi provides us with the most iconic depiction of the character of Dracula, it is Coppola’s film that provides us with the most definitive cinematic depiction of the story itself.
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA is a movie that requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate it, as there is simply so much in there to process, to digest. I found that going back and rereading Stoker’s novel, between my third and fourth trips to the theater to see the movie, greatly added to my experience of the latter. (This movie, along with the THE LORD OF THE RINGS series, represents the best examples I know of where a book and a movie complement each other; both can be enjoyed separately, but to truly get the most out of them, one needs to consume both.) I also found that I could appreciate the movie more after I had gone to college and pursued a degree in History. The more educated one is, the more there is to enjoy in the movie, and not just because of the history of Vlad Dracula and his life depicted therein but because it features so much of history in general. So many little touches.
I don’t think it would be bragging, or inaccurate, to say that I am an expert on both Stoker’s novel and on this movie. Even so, there were still a few little things I learned while watching this YouTube video. I didn’t know about the references of the paintings, for example. You’ll see what I’m talking about if you watch the video too.