CBS exhumes ‘Dracula’ for Thanksgiving

Encouraged by the blockbuster opening for the Columbia Pictures release “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” CBS has exhumed a similarly themed 1974 TV movie starring Jack Palance and will air it Thanksgiving weekend.

The network acquired the earlier version of “Dracula” from Dan Curtis Prods., which produced the telefilm, and has scheduled it for Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The telefilm version, which was written by Richard Matheson and produced and directed by Curtis, explores the same central theme as the recent movie: The Count’s obsession with a woman who greatly resembles his lost love of more than four centuries.

“They used certain elements of my picture,” Curtis maintains.

Curtis’ “Dracula” was originally scheduled to air in October 1973 but was delayed at the last minute when Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president. “Dracula” didn’t actually take to the air until six months later and was last seen on CBS in 1976. “None of the reviews were re-run” when it finally aired, Curtis recalled, noting that the movie had essentially been lost.

Curtis’ credits include the miniseries “Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance” as well as the gothic-themed series “Dark Shadows” and “The Night Stalker.” His version of “Dracula” is currently being readied for release in homevideo by MPI Home Video.

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