With this lavish retelling of an oft-told tale, Dracula puts the male vamp back in vampire. Director John Badham and Frank Langella pull off a handsome, moody rendition, more romantic than menacing [based on a stage play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, from Bram Stoker’s novel].
Langella is the key in coming up with one more interpretation of the vampire out of hundreds previously presented. More humanly seductive, he’s terrific with the ladies and the men would like him well-enough if he weren’t so good-looking and arrogant.
Film gets under way slowly, bringing the count to England where he’s introduced to Donald Pleasence, his daughter Kate Nelligan, her fiance Trevor Eve and visiting friend Jan Francis. Finally, Francis is drained dry and the action starts to pick up.