HORROR OF DRACULA (1958) – Long lost version finally restored!
The “Mina” Sequence
This is a follow-up piece to my post last month where I reported the good news that earlier this year Hammer Films finally released its restored version of HORROR OF DRACULA (1958), recovered from the long lost Japanese print.
This fun event happened on March 13, 2013, when Hammer released its restored version on Blu-Ray to British audiences. This print has not yet made its way to the United States.
However, clips from this version have been posted on YouTube, and the most notable change involved the restoration of the film’s famous ending. At long last, western audiences could finally see the uncut ending. I posted these YouTube clips with a detailed explanation of the story behind the Japanese print on this blog back on September 30. If you’re interested in learning about— and seeing— the uncut ending, simply check out my September 30 post.
The subject of today’s post is another scene that has been restored, and it’s from the “Mina” sequence. Towards the end of the movie, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) stand guard outside the house to protect Mina (Melissa Stribling) from Dracula (Christopher Lee). Their efforts fail because unbeknownst to the two men, Dracula is already inside the house, his coffin hidden in the basement. So, while they stand guard outside, Dracula easily makes his way to Mina’s bedroom.
It’s this scene that now has an extra shot restored of Dracula biting Mina, captured from a different angle. It actually shows Dracula spending some extra time kissing Mina first, and this scene was cut by British sensors because it was considered too sensuous.
How times change!
For your viewing pleasure, here is the link to the lost “Mina” sequence. This is actually from the original Japanese reels, which is in poor condition, and you’ll have to fast forward a bit— about 10 minutes into the clip— to get to the uncut Mina sequence.
Enjoy! And if it’s too sensuous for you, feel free to cover your eyes!