July 7, 1960 in UK cinemas: The Brides Of Dracula

“The most evil DRACULA of all!”

The Brides of Dracula is a British Hammer Film Productions horror film directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Van Helsing; David Peel as Baron Meinster, a disciple of Count Dracula; Freda Jackson as Greta, Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne Danielle; Andrée Melly as her roommate, Gina; Marie Devereux as a village girl; and Martita Hunt as the Baroness Meinster.

The film is a sequel to Hammer’s original Dracula (USA: Horror of Dracula) (1958), though the vampires possess abilities denied to vampires in the previous film, much like those in the original novel. Dracula does not appear in the film (Christopher Lee would reprise his role in the 1966 Dracula: Prince of Darkness) and is mentioned only twice, once in the prologue, once by Van Helsing.

Shooting began for The Brides of Dracula on 16 January 1960 at Bray Studios. It premièred at the Odeon, Marble Arch on 6 July 1960. The film was distributed theatrically in 1960 on a double bill with The Leech Woman. [Wikipedia]

In Transylvania, the teacher Marianne Danielle is heading to a small village where she will teach French and etiquette for teenage girls. The stagecoach stops at a village and when Marianne is preparing to eat dinner, the coachman goes away and leaves her in the inn. Out of the blue, Baroness Meinster comes to the place and invites Marianne to spend the night in her castle, where she lives with her servant Greta. During the night, Marianne sees a man in a balcony and she learns that he is Baron Meinster, the insane son of the Baroness. Later Marianne believes that he will jump off the balcony and she goes to his room and finds that he is chained by his mother. Marianne decides to help him to escape and steals the key from the Baroness’ room. Then she leaves the castle and is found by Dr. J. Van Helsing, who has been invited by the local priest to treat a disease. Soon Van Helsing learns that Marianne has unleashed a vampire that is murdering the dwellers of the village. [IMDB]

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