Dracula's Daughter

Horror · 
Fantasy · 

Release Date: May 11, 1936

Status: Released

Running time: 1h 11m

Content Rating: NR

Budget: $278,380

/ 10
88 User Ratings

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Universal Pictures
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A countess from Transylvania seeks a psychiatrist’s help to cure her vampiric cravings.

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Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 American vampire horror film produced by Universal Pictures as a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the film stars Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden in the title role, and Marguerite Churchill, and features, as the only cast member to return from the original, Edward Van Sloan – although his character's name was altered from "Van Helsing" to "Von Helsing". Dracula's Daughter tells the story of Countess Marya Zaleska, the daughter of Count Dracula and herself a vampire. Following Dracula's death, she believes that by destroying his body, she will be free of his influence and live normally. When this fails, she turns to a psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Garth (Kruger). The Countess kidnaps Dr. Garth's fiancée, Janet (Marguerite Churchill), and takes her to Transylvania, leading to a battle between Dr. Garth and the Countess in an attempt by him to save Janet. Ostensibly based on a deleted chapter from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula – published in 1914 as a short story under the name "Dracula's Guest" – the film bears no resemblance to the source material. Modern sources also say that the film was loosely based on Carmilla, an 1872 Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, which is often cited as the first published British work of fiction to deal with lesbian relationships.David O. Selznick purchased the rights to the Stoker material for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but Universal bought them in 1934, with the rights to revert to MGM if Universal did not begin production by October 1935, a date later extended to February 1936. Universal rushed the film into production in that month, with the script only partially completed, to meet this deadline. The film was first assigned to James Whale, but Universal production head Carl Laemmle, Jr. finally hired Hillyer as director. While not as successful as the original upon its release, the film was generally well-reviewed. In the intervening decades, criticism has been deeply divided. Contemporary critics and scholars have observed the film's alleged lesbian overtones, which Universal exploited in some early advertising.
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