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Dracula
(1979)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Herbert Spencer

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(February 20th, 1990)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but completely out of print as of 2000.
Awards
AWARDS
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you love the tragic and melodramatic portions of John Williams' scores from the early 1980's, for Dracula extends this heavy material to explosive proportions.

Avoid it... if you prefer your Williams scores to abound with complex subtleties, a trait not as evident in this score (in part due to atrocious sound quality of the recording in the film and on album).
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,479
WRITTEN 8/14/09
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Williams
Williams
Dracula: (John Williams) Countless variations on Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale have existed through the years, but none had attempted to take such a sensual, romantic view of it until John Badham's 1979 version starring Frank Langella as the bare-chested, womanizing title character and Sir Laurence Olivier as his nemesis, Van Helsing. A fair amount of sex appeal and graphic violence punctuated this unusual adaptation, and Dracula was criticized heavily by loyalists of the concept for sharing more in common with the stage variation of the story (from which Langella came) than Stoker's original vision. The film was mocked by such viewers, driving away the mainstream from what was otherwise a decent production. The director of Dracula was thrilled to have signed the top blockbuster composer of the era, John Williams, to stir the dead with a rousing performance from the London Symphony Orchestra. Williams confessed at the time that he had never viewed a single vampire-related film, and Badham considered this fact to be a great virtue given the new direction he was attempting to take with the lore. What he desired of Williams was a score that underlined the romantic tilt of the production, pointing to Gothic grandeur rather than an exposition of dissonant horror bombast. Williams, given his own tendency to embrace the same general notion, obliged with a score that is among the most melodramatic of any to accompany a Dracula film. It's a work built upon harmonic deviancy that is morbidly conceived and forcefully performed. It sounds far less like a horror score and instead like it belongs in the fantasy drama genre. Many of its progressions, counterpoint techniques, rhythmic devices, and instrumental choices reflect Williams' forthcoming The Empire Strikes Back, with several sections indistinguishable from the more famous score's latter half. All of Williams' fan-favorite techniques are paraded in this score, from the chopping, turbulent bass string rhythms to pulsating mid-range brass and resounding crescendos of timpani pounding that culminate in a massive gong strike. Subtleties do exist in the music for Dracula, but Williams usually states his intentions with a heavy hand throughout the work. This doesn't mean that any part of it is religiously influenced; there's nothing in Dracula that foreshadows the "Gloria" piece in Monsignor. Along with the absence of liturgical chants, the score also mostly ignores the controversial period and location of the narrative.

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VIEWER RATINGS
127 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.1 Stars
***** 26 5 Stars
**** 27 4 Stars
*** 31 3 Stars
** 20 2 Stars
* 23 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at movie-wave.net
Southall - April 1, 2012, at 4:46 a.m.
1 comment  (499 views)
I know that theme!
JBlough - August 25, 2009, at 10:24 p.m.
1 comment  (1138 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 36:33
• 1. Main Title & Storm Sequence (5:08)
• 2. The Night Visitor (2:12)
• 3. To Scarborough (2:42)
• 4. The Abduction of Lucy (3:34)
• 5. Night Journeys (5:12)
• 6. The Love Scene (2:04)
• 7. Meeting in the Cave (3:29)
• 8. The Bat Attack (2:46)
• 9. For Mina (2:15)
• 10. Dracula's Death (2:57)
• 11. End Titles (3:58)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes multiple notes about the score or film, though the reproduction of the LP notes by the director are practially illegible on the CD due to tiny size.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Dracula are Copyright © 1990, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/14/09 (and not updated significantly since).
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