Censoring Hammer’s Dracula

Here’s a great video feature on the cuts that were forced on Hammer’s Dracula by the British Board of Film Censors when the film was originally released in 1958. It’s just one of the many extras on the new three-disc triple play Blu-ray and DVD release of Dracula, which feature both the 2007 BFI restoration version of the film plus the 2012 Hammer restoration, which adds additional footage that has been unavailable for decades. Available from 18 March.

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

These will be the most complete versions ever released and taken together fully deserving of the description DEFINITIVE.

Dracula has been unavailable on any UK home entertainment format for many years. This release will be at the correct aspect ratio of 1.66:1 which has never been available for home viewing.

Available from 18 March, the three-disc release comprises a Blu-ray disc, plus two DVD discs.

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EXTRAS

Four Brand-New Featurettes:

  • “Dracula Reborn” – new 30 minute 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 minute 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 minute 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 JE Simpson (PDF).
  • Original shooting script (PDF).