First off, I guess for anyone who needs it: SPOILER WARNING for an 85 year old film. So last night I watched Dracula for the first time. Not the recent one with Luke Evans, but the famed 1931 version with Bela Lugosi. And I have to say, even taking into account the time in which it was made, it really is not a great film. Admittedly, it came about during a weird time in Hollywood's history where they were transitioning away from silent films and toward talkies. And that no doubt accounts for some of the stylistic considerations, because the movie very much comes across, instead of as a movie truly from the sound era, as a silent film that just happened to have spoken dialogue. This reality is especially driven home by the fact that there is no score. Just no music anywhere beyond the opening credits. But here's the thing: There were other movies made right around this time period, or just before or after, that were great films and told stories well. This just isn't really one of them. The nuances of the plot are somewhat difficult to comprehend at times and, more egregiously, things that should happen on screen do not. We are often told about events happening but only occasionally actually shown them happening. Furthermore, the characterization of Dracula himself is really quite weak. I get that he's supposed to be dark and mysterious, but they could've done a much better job of building him up and letting us know who he is and why he does what he does. It's not all negative, though. On the plus side, the movie is pretty gorgeously designed. I really appreciated the sets and matte paintings that were used to bring the world to life. And the performances themselves are quite good, especially Dwight Frye as Renfield. One thing that's interesting is that apparently a Spanish-language version of the film was shot concurrently with the English-language version. The English-language actors and crew would shoot during the day and the Spanish-language actors and crew would use the sets during the night. The Spanish-language version is about 30 minutes longer and I've heard that it's superior overall. So yeah, Dracula. Anyone seen it? Care to offer thoughts?