sovay: (Claude Rains)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote 2015-11-08 07:26 am (UTC)

Jack Shepherd is still my favorite Renfield, but Dwight Frye is definitely my favorite thing about Tod Browning's Dracula.

It feels like one of those perfect matches of actor and character: I can't think of anyone else from the time who would have been better. Minimal research indicates that Frye was immediately typecast in lunatic parts, which I was sorry to hear. A great part of what makes Frye's Renfield is his versatility: he can be funny, heartbreaking, creepy, and adorable from second to second or all at once. I did see that he played Elisha Cook, Jr.'s role—Wilmer the gunsel—in the pre-Code Maltese Falcon, which I can imagine. Have you seen it?

(I think giving Renfield the Jonathan Harker scenes at Castle Dracula is a brilliant move--though it does have the unfortunate effect of making Harker a much less interesting character.)

Agreed about the effect on Harker, although I feel that fusing him with Arthur Holmwood didn't actually help any. It's worth it for Renfield's arc, though.

The Spanish-language version of the film is much less stagey, and while we still don't see what happens to Lucy, we at least hear about it after the fact.

Good! Like, seriously, as far as English-language Dracula is concerned, she could still be out there eating kids after the end of the film. That is not a loose end you want to imply.

A pretty good tagline for a B movie!

If anyone ever asks me for a pull quote . . .

And playing really awful, overblown '80s sax, at that!

It's true! It was not good! We were delighted!

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