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11th January 2013 15:29:00
Posted by Dave Foster

Dracula (1958, Hammer) in March

News
Following last year's release of The Curse of Frankenstein, Hammer, Icon Film Distribution and Lionsgate have joined forces again to bring you another British classic. This time it's Terence Fisher's 1958 version of Dracula, fully restored in High Definition and available on UK Blu-ray and DVD for the first time.

The release will contain two versions of the feature (seamlessly branched on the Blu-ray):

The 2007 BFI restoration plus the 2012 Hammer restoration, which adds additional footage that has been unavailable for decades.

The additional footage comprises two of the scenes that were originally censored by the BBFC in 1958 that have now been restored to the film from the “Japanese reels”:
  • Dracula’s seduction of Mina
  • Dracula’s sunlight disintegration

The press release notes this release will be at the "correct aspect ratio of 1.66:1 which has never been available for home viewing".

A 3-Disc Double Play set (2xBD, 1xDVD), extras include:
  • Four Brand-New Featurettes:
    • "Dracula Reborn". New 30 min. featurette about the film’s creation and history, featuring, among others: Jimmy Sangster, Kim Newman, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Rigby and Janina Faye (Tania in the film).
    • "Resurrecting Dracula". New 20 min. featurette about the film’s restoration, from the BFI’s 2007 restoration through to the integration of “lost” footage, featuring interviews with key staff at the BFI, Molinare and Deluxe142. Also covers the February 2012 world premiere of Hammer’s interim restored version including “vox pop” interviews with fans after the event.
    • "The Demon Lover: Christopher Frayling on Dracula". New 30 min. featurette.
    • "Censoring Dracula". New 10 min. featurette on the original cuts to the film ordered by the British Board of Film Censors.
  • Commentary:
    • New commentary by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn and author & critic Jonathan Rigby.
  • Plus:
    • All 4 surviving "Japanese reels" (6 - 9) unrestored (40 mins).
    • The World Of Hammer episode: Dracula And The Undead.
    • Janina Faye reading a chapter of Stoker’s novel at the VAULT festival.
    • Stills Gallery of over 100 fully-restored and rare images.
    • Booklet by Hammer archivist Robert J. E. Simpson (PDF).
    • Original shooting script (PDF).

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About Dave Foster
Dave has been loitering the virtual halls of TDF for a decade now and the majority of that time has been spent as Editor of the Home Cinema section (formerly DVDTimes). He doesn't contribute reviews anywhere near as much as he once did (or indeed would like to) but when he does it will invariably be something in the anime or Asian film area.