LON CHANEY TALKS DRACULA by Philip J. Riley (paperback)
In late 1929 after the stock market crash, Irving Thalberg, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's head of production, was involved in a power struggle, and actor Lon Chaney's contract was coming up for renewal.
Tod Browning, MGM's famed director of the macabre genre, had left, and he had signed a contract back at his home studio, Universal, with studio founder, Carl Laemmle, where his son, Carl Laemmle Jr., was made production head. Laemmle Jr. wanted to produce a film version of the Broadway stage hit, Dracula. Laemmle Sr. agreed, as long as they had Lon Chaney as the star.
Early in August 1930, Laemmle Jr. still attempting to sign Chaney for the role, ordered a treatment to be authored by Louis Bromfield. By mid-August, Bromfield teamed with screenwriter Dudley Murphy and they began work on the script. Then, in the middle of the negotiations, Lon Chaney unexpectedly died on August 26, 1930. Dracula was produced with Bela Lugosi, veteran of silent movies and star of the Broadway play version of Dracula.
-the incomplete first draft screenplay by Bromfield and Murphy
-a list of subtitles written for a silent movie version of the film that was prepared for theaters that had not yet converted to sound
-a translated version of F.W. Murnau's shooting script for Nosferatu (1922), an earlier silent movie version based on Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. The script features Murnau's hand annotations in bold print
Anyone who cares about classic monster movies will find a treasure trove of information, rare photos, and meticulous detail in these books. They are obviously a labor of love.
— Leonard Maltin
"Each page is filled with documented information that will change a few history books. The student of writing for the screen has an opportunity to see the development of screenplays under every possible condition."
— Ray Bradbury, Author