MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES: DRACULA (1931)
Welcome to another edition of MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES. Today we look at some memorable lines from the classic horror movie, DRACULA (1931).
DRACULA is so full of quotable lines, especially from Bela Lugosi, practically the entire movie is a collection of famous quotes. While Lugosi does have the bulk of the celebrated lines in DRACULA, and really, until you’ve heard the power and beauty of Lugosi’s voice on film, you’re missing out on one of the great joys of horror cinema, co-stars Dwight Frye as Renfield and Edward Van Sloan as Professor Van Helsing also enjoy some memorable moments of dialogue.
Let’s get started.
We begin with Dracula’s entrance and opening moments in DRACULA. As Renfield (Dwight Frye) tentatively makes his way through decrepit Castle Dracula, Dracula (Bela Lugosi) appears at the top of the cobweb filled staircase to announce:
DRACULA: I am— Dracula.
RENFIELD: It’s really good to see you. I don’t know what happened to the driver and my luggage and— well, and with all this, I thought I was in the wrong place.
DRACULA: I bid you welcome.
(Wolves howl in the distance.)
DRACULA: Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make!
(As they climb the stairs, Dracula seems to pass through a huge spider web without disturbing it. Renfield has to use his walking stick to break through, causing a rather large spider to scurry up the web. Dracula comments:
DRACULA: The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield.
Later, as Dracula serves Renfield some wine.
DRACULA: This is very old wine. I hope you will like it.
RENFIELD: Aren’t you drinking?
DRACULA: I never drink— wine.
When Dracula is first introduced to Dr. Seward, Mina, John Harker, and Lucy at the theater in London, he finishes the conversation with one of my favorite lines from the movie:
DRACULA: To die, to be really dead, that must be glorious!
MINA: Why, Count Dracula!
DRACULA: There are far worse things awaiting man than death.
Dwight Frye as Renfield enjoys many fine scene-stealing moments in DRACULA, like when he describes an encounter with Dracula to Van Helsing:
RENFIELD: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things. Not in words, but by doing them.
VAN HELSING: Doing them?
RENFIELD: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire. And then he parted it. And I could see that there were thousands of rats with eyes blazing red, like his, only smaller. And then he held up his hand, and then they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: Rats. Rats. Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red blood! All these will I give to you if you will obey me!
When Van Helsing is making his case that vampires exist, he utters a line which describes the strategy of the modern day vampire:
VAN HELSING: The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him.
And we finish with Dracula’s remark when he realizes that Van Helsing has figured out the truth of his existence.
DRACULA: For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you’re a wise man, Van Helsing!
There are plenty more notable lines from DRACULA, but that’ll have to be another column. Hope you enjoyed this look back at this classic horror movie.
Thanks for reading!
Books by Michael Arruda:
TIME FRAME, science fiction novel by Michael Arruda.
IN THE SPOOKLIGHT, movie review collection by Michael Arruda.
FOR THE LOVE OF HORROR, short story collection by Michael Arruda.