Cross and wooden stake in hand, Dr. Gary D. Rhodes re-enters the sepulcher of supernatural cinema, casting his lantern's light on Universal’s 1936 classic Dracula’s Daughter. With fellow tomb raiders Tom Weaver and Michael Lee, he discovers long-forgotten lore, presented herein with the film’s original shooting script, pressbook and a large array of other freshly exhumed extras.
"A comprehensive tribute to one of Hollywood's classic horror films. My grandmother, Gloria Holden, was a legend in her time, and would have been so very proud.”
– Laurie Holden, costar of The Walking Dead
“As he always does (better than anyone), Gary D. Rhodes chronicles the convoluted history of the film (how the budget grew while still having the look of a “B” film; how Bela Lugosi came and went in the cast – but still had to be paid), and why it took two years to finally get produced. Bravo, Gary. There is a reason your film scholarship is lauded everywhere. Dracula’s Daughter is another feather in your cap!”
– Richard Klemensen, editor of Little Shoppe of Horrors magazine
“Rhodes' coverage of this classic production and the endless minutiae with which he showers readers and fans are a credit to this book yet typical of Rhodes' acumen as a film scholar historian. His attention to detail opens floodgates for scholars and academics engaged in theory who rely on the sort of archival work that Rhodes makes appear effortless. Buy two copies of this volume – for one the shelf, and the other for notations, research, dog-earing, and pleasure-reading.”
Edgar Browning, Ph.D., coauthor of Dracula
in Visual Media and editor of The
Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker
"Everything you could possibly want to know about the making of Dracula’s Daughter,
and the long process that led to its production, can be found in this
definitive volume. Rhodes provides a fascinating account of how the
seemingly obvious idea of a sequel to Dracula
became a drawn-out process. It involved changing regimes at Universal
Pictures, several top screenwriters, and Bela Lugosi, who at one time
was set to appear in the film. Tom Weaver adds pages of trivia
notes—some less trivial than others—and Michael Lee contributes an
erudite discussion of the music score and its evolution. The book also
includes several unused treatments (by John L. Balderston, Kurt Neumann,
and R.C. Sheriff), a facsimile of Zacherle’s television send-up of the
picture, and much of the original Universal pressbook. This is a
cornucopia of goodies for any horror movie buff. The highest compliment I
can offer is that it made me want to watch Dracula’s Daughter again…which I intend to do."
- Leonard Maltin
Scripts from the Crypt gang strikes again with another exhaustively
researched, generously illustrated and entertainingly written winner."
Holy flashback – where are my Garbage Pail Kids and Nintendo? I felt like it was 1990 all over again when I received the newest book in BearManor’s Scripts from the Crypt series and it turned out to be Dracula’s Daughter (BearManor Media, hardcover $34.95 / softcover $24.95). The reason for my flashback: To date, the Scripts from the Crypt series has concentrated on 1950s schlock (The Hideous Sun Demon, Indestructible Man, Bride of the Gorilla, Bride of the Monster, more), so holding a new volume on a classic 1930s Universal gave me a déjà vu moment: I was back in the late 80s-early 90s when individual books on the monster flicks of Universal’s Golden Age were being cranked out hot and heavy (cold and clammy?) by MagicImage author Gregory Mank.
Dracula’s Daughter wasn’t part of the MagicImage collection, but now that gap has been filled by Gary D. Rhodes. His 42-page essay on the making of this movie begins by charting the history of some of the vampire (and “vamp”) movies of the silent era and then tackles the convoluted story of the on-again off-again process of planning and making Dracula’s Daughter. Multiple writers, multiple scripts, multiple directors (including James Whale) attached to the project, Bela Lugosi coming and going from the proposed cast, the 1930s Horror Ban looming, Universal on the verge of being sold – the tale is as intricate as one of Castle Dracula’s most ornate spider webs, but Rhodes slow-walks us through it and backs everything up with quotes from Universal memos, trade paper announcements, etc. A premier horror historian, Rhodes is in good form here, as always.
Scripts from the Crypt curator Tom Weaver weighs in with 29 pages of “Fun Facts,” each item separated by clip art of a bat. Many are interesting, some are arcane (the make and model of the foreign car driven by Marguerite Churchill’s character!). The best part might be a series of factoids about Gloria Holden, who plays the title role. It appears that the lady was quite age-conscious: She had a son in the early 1920s but in later years, apparently embarrassed by this giveaway as to her age, passed him off in Hollywood as her brother! In the 40s, she married a man young enough to BE her son (he died only a few years ago), and may have kept her true age from him. Holden lied about her age her whole long life and even afterwards: On her grave marker, her birth year is 1917 (which would make her a teenager in Dracula’s Daughter). That’s shaving off quite a number of years, as she was actually born around the turn of the twentieth century. Some of my favorite photos are in the “Fun Facts” part of the book, including a delightful one of Nan Grey – no, not as Dracula’s Daughter’s victim Lili, but one taken in 1969, decades after her retirement from the screen. In it, she’s shooting pool with husband Frankie Laine.
The reproduced script has a few pages missing (Rhodes acknowledges this), but we get compensation in the form of short sections of early scripts that are nothing like the eventual movie. One, rather gory and daring for its day, even features Dracula (the role that, of course, Lugosi would have played).
The everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink treatment continues with a chapter on the music, the pressbook, a 1953 treatment titled Carmilla (it would have been Universal’s second “lady vampire” movie—and Marlene Dietrich was considered for the lead) – even the script that John Zacherle used on the night in 1958 when Philadelphia’s WCAU-TV ran Dracula’s Daughter with Zacherle horror-hosting.
At about 350 pages (perhaps the thickest Scripts from the Crypt book yet), Dracula’s Daughter tells you everything you ever wanted to know and lots that you didn't know that you wanted to know. (William Holden, nee Bill Beadle, was named after Gloria Holden??) BearManor previously (2009) published a thoroughly dispensable book on Dracula’s Daughter so remember when ordering this one to specify that you want the Gary D. Rhodes Scripts from the Crypt book. You’re in for a bloody good time.
-- -- Classic Images