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Unfinished
Mark of the Vampire
Directed By
Written By
Guy Endore
Bernard Schubert
Starring
Lionel Barrymore
Elizabeth Allan
Bela Lugosi
Lionel Atwill
Jean Hersholt

Distributed By
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date(s)
April 26th, 1935
Runtime
80 minutes (original)
60 minutes (re-release)
Language
English

Mark of the Vampire (also known as Vampires of Prague) is a 1935 horror film, starring Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, and Jean Hersholt, and directed by Tod Browning. It is a talkie remake of Browning's silent film London After Midnight (1927), with the characters names and some plot changed.

CastEdit

  • Lionel Barrymore
  • Elizabeth Allan
  • Bela Lugosi
  • Lionel Atwill
  • Jean Hersholt
  • Henry Wadsworth
  • Donald Meek
  • Ivan F. Simpson
  • Carroll Borland
  • Franklyn Ardell
  • Leila Bennett
  • June Gittelson
  • Holmes Herbert
  • Michael Visaroff
  • James Bradbury Jr
  • Egon Brecher

PlotEdit

Sir Karell Borotyn) is found murdered in his house, with two tiny pinpoint wounds on his neck. The attending doctor, Dr. Doskil, and Sir Karell's friend Baron Otto are convinced that he was killed by a vampire. They suspect Count Mora and his daughter Luna, while the Prague police inspector refuses to believe them.

Borotyn's daughter Irena is the count’s next target. Professor Zelen, an expert on vampires and the occult, arrives in order to prevent her death. At the same time, secrets are revealed surrounding the circumstances of Sir Karell’s death.

ProductionEdit

According to the audio commentary on the DVD, the film was originally released at 75 minutes by the director, but was cut back to 61 minutes by MGM. The commentary says that comic material related to the maid was cut.

Critic Mark Viera wrote that MGM cut out suggestions of incest between Count Mora (played by Lugosi) and his daughter Luna. This was an unacceptable topic according to the standards of the Production Code. The original screenplay explained that Count Mora was condemned to eternity as a vampire for this crime. He shot himself out of guilt. After the cuts, the film shows him with unexplained blood on his right temple.

ReceptionEdit

The merit of this film is still debated among horror movie fans due to the ending, which reveals that the vampires were actors hired to help trap a murderer. While films of the previous decade commonly revealed the supernatural threat to be fake—such as The Cat and the Canary (1927) or The Gorilla -- such films as Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931) in the thirties featured horror films deeply based in the fantastic. Some viewers thought that the ending compromised the film; Bela Lugosi reportedly found the idea absurd.

In the original London After Midnight, Lon Chaney, Sr. played a vampire who turned out to be a detective in disguise.

Many viewers consider the film to be a satire of the conventions of the horror film.

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