1,001 Movies – Week 53

“Dracula A.D. ’72” to “Dumbo”

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Dracula A.D. ’72 (1972) – One of the most hilariously dated movies of any era – by having a specific date as part of the film’s title, it is forever trapped within a time capsule. Yet, perhaps because of this, A.D. 1972 has aged so utterly terribly that it has transcended its humble origins to become little short of a comedy masterpiece. Exploitation cinema is always at its finest when polemic and dogma meet head-on and, instead of producing the expected gestalt of social-comment, ends up with a mélange of clashing and fractious statements. However, that said, a word of genuine praise: Dick Bush’s cinematography, particularly during the title sequence with zoom-lens shots of the concrete jungle that London had become, is just gorgeous. (KT)

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) – From the epic blood-soaked titles, through some memorable set-pieces, to a gruesome climax, Freddie Francis brings change to Terence Fisher’s established Transylvannian world. Such sacrilege horrified many admirers of the earlier Dracula movies but Risen is a film for a different audience and a different age. Some of Francis’s experiments work better than others – the incessant use of amber camera-filters distracts the viewers after a while. Nevertheless remains a handsomely assembled example of the company working close to their artistic peak. (KT)

Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965) – The films reputation has grown steadily over the years with Christopher Lee’s snarling, animalistic performance – without so much as a single line of dialogue to humanize the character. It remains a great film experience with an outstanding supporting cast and a claustrophobic menace. (KT)

Duck Soup (1933) – The four Marx Brothers at their side-splitting best. Eminently quotable, anarchic, and painfully funny; it’s a moment in film history that can never be repeated. Unquestionable genius. (GS)

Dumbo (1941) – Charming film about friendship, being different and building self-confidence. I’ve never cried so much in my entire life. (GS)





Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)

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