Author Topic: Ken Russell's Dracula  (Read 297 times)

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Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 09:51:56 PM »
Continuing . . .

We do not know how realistic Ken Russell's Dracula would have been, as it was never filmed, but, we do know he would have made the bold move of having another underage character in the nude, with the inclusion of a 14-year-old gardener's boy as one of the characters. Would it have been as bold as the nude pageboy in Salome's Last Dance, which was played by an adult actor, or the bolder nude boy scout in Lair of the White Worm, which was played by an underage actor? Though it probably would not have reached the boldest level of the nude pageboy in The Devils, which was so controversial that the film containing the scene was apparently later destroyed. And this was when only 3% or 4% of mainstream films contain scenes of a nude underage character, either a boy or a girl or both.

Here are some more bold moments in Ken's films.

If not the 1st scene of full frontal male nudity in a mainstream film, then one of the 1st scenes.
Women in Love (1970)

Connecting composer Richard Strauss with Nazism. So controversial, that while the Strauss estate could not prevent the showing of the film, it could prevent the use of Strauss' music. Thus, after its 1st showing on TV, the film has seldom been shown in its entirety since.
Dance of the 7 Veils (1970)

If not the 1st depiction of oral sex  in a mainstream film, then one of the 1st depictions of oral sex in a mainstream film.
The Music Lovers (1970)

A nude pageboy
The Devils (1971)

Another nude pageboy
Salome's Last Dance (1988)

A nude boy scout
The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

--Finis--

Next time: we'll think of something




Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 08:43:41 PM »
Continuing . . .

We don't know how realistic the film would have been. Though, with vampires and werewolves in it, it would not have been entirely realistic. Still, one of the strengths of Ken's film is the realistic matter in which he treats the subject.

I have been in enough amateur stage productions to know that the backstage scenes are fairly realistic. Though, what happens backstage and on stage is somewhat jarring.
The Boyfriend (1971)

At least the title is realistic. The mania that accompanied Liszt, when he was alive, actually was called Lisztomania.
Lisztomania (1975)

The opening scenes in the film actually happened--apparently--in real life.
Valentino (1977)

The sensory deprivation experiments actually happened. Indeed, it is said that some of the actors in the film actually tried them out.
Altered States (1980)

Most erotica is not realistic. It is fanciful, as it plays to people's fancies. Though, some of it is more realistic than other. For example: the scenes between Sylvia (Amanda Donohoe) and Kevin (Chris Pitt.) And while it is not totally realistic (her fangs.) It is more realistic than most erotica, which not only makes it realistic. It makes (IMHO) more erotic than most erotica.
Lair of the White Worm (1988)

I can't say how realistic this film is in regard to its subject matter, but it is certainly more realistic than "Pretty Woman," as it was made in response to that film. Of course, audiences seeming to prefer the fanciful "Pretty Woman" to this more realistic film.
Whore (1991)

To be continued . . .

Next time: another one of Ken's strengths

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 07:34:19 PM »
Continuing . . .

Miscellaneous remarks

Even if I had the full script before me, which I did not, only excerpts, what I would have seen is not what I would have seen in the film, if it had ever been made. Because . . .

1st. Visuals
The strength of Ken's films, and most likely this one, would not have been what is said, but what is seen.

2nd. Opportunity
Ken was an opportunistic director. If he saw a possible scene, which was not in the script, then he'd shoot that scene, and include it in the film.

And while the film was never made, it did inspire a ballet by Christopher Gable. A ballet which I may have seen, as I know my local ballet company, a number of years ago, did a ballet version of Dracula. Though, I cannot remember whether it was the one by Gable or not.

And the film would have been regarded as being partially autobiographical, with Russell re-imaging himself as the title character.

To be continued . . .

Next time: realism and then boldness

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 12:10:44 AM »
On Dracula's cast

Quote
Dracula . . . Peter O'Toole or Mick Fleetwood
apparently, Ken wanted O'Toole, while the film's financial backer wanted Fleetwood.
Harker . . . Michael York or Alan Bates
Lucy . . .  Mia Farrow
Mina . . . Sarah Miles
Renfield . . . Oliver Reed
Quincy Morris . . . James Coburn
Van Helsing . . . Peter Ustinov

I would always go for the Russell actors, Alan Bates and Oliver Reed.  I'd prefer a large role for Bates, maybe as Van Helsing.

Mick Fleetwood.  Gut feel is no, but Ken could always get a good performance from non-actors.  Peter O'Toole would suffer from comaprisons with Christopher Lee as he would presumably play Dracula as the nobleman.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 09:59:39 PM »
Continuing . . .
Similarities and differences between Stoker's novel and Russell's movie

Differences
Movie: Hampshire in southern England
Novel: northern England

Movie: ship arrives at Southampton.
Novel: ship arrives at Whitby.

Movie: ship crashes into an ice berg or Southampton Pier. It's a little unclear as to which one.
Novel: ship runs aground.

Movie: Quincy Morris is a Douglas Fairbanks type of hero.
Novel: Quincy Morris is a Buffalo Bill Cody, who Stoker apparently knew, type of hero.

Movie: Doctor Jack Seward and Lord Arthur Holmwood are apparently missing from the movie.

Movie: Lucy is an opera star with leukemia.

Similarities between Stoker's novel and Russell's movie
Van Helsing is Dutch.

A werewolf appears. Though, he appears sooner in the film than he does in the novel

To be continued. . .
Next time: concluding thoughts

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 10:30:43 PM »
This was the suggested cast for Ken Russell's Dracula, if it had ever been made.

Dracula . . . Peter O'Toole or Mick Fleetwood
apparently, Ken wanted O'Toole, while the film's financial backer wanted Fleetwood.
Harker . . . Michael York or Alan Bates
Lucy . . .  Mia Farrow
Mina . . . Sarah Miles
Renfield . . . Oliver Reed
Quincy Morris . . . James Coburn
Van Helsing . . . Peter Ustinov

Probably the cast most similar to this was 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula with . . .

Dracula . . . Gary Oldman
Mina . . . Winona Ryder
Van Helsing . . . Anthony Hopkins
Harker . . . Keanu Reeves
Quincy Morris . . . Bill Campbell
Lucy . . . Sadie Frost
Renfield . . . Tom Waits

In a comparison of the 2 casts, (IMHO) while the actors in the 1st cast listed would have brought something different to their roles, except for the actors, who would have replaced Keanu Reeves, who gives new meaning to the word "wooden," none of the actors listed would have bettered the actors in the 2nd cast.

To be continued . . .
Next time: differences and similarities between Stoker's novel and Russell's film.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 02:03:58 AM »
hebephilia- I have learned a new word!!!

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 07:30:25 PM »
Important dates in the history of Ken Russell's Dracula.

1897 Bram Stoker writes Dracula, which occurs that year.
1907 Lord Baden Powell forms the scouting movement.
1925 Ken Russell's Dracula occurs this year.
1971 Ken Russell's The Devils made.
1979 Ken Russell's Dracula not made.
1988 Ken Russell's Salome's Last Dance made.
1988 Ken Russell's Lair of the White Worm made.

Thus, while no scouts could have appeared in Bram Stoker's novel, as the scouting movement in the U.K. would not come into being for another decade. They could have appeared in Ken Russell's film, as they had been in existence for 18 years. Yet we do not get any scouts. That would have to await almost another decade to Ken Russell's Lair of the White Worm. Instead we get a gardener's boy, who was suppose to appear naked in order to lure Renfield into Dracula's clutches, and whose character was suppose to be only 14.

Of course, this would not be the only time that Ken Russell had an young male character appear nude in one of his films--supposedly. There was the young boy, and it may have been King Louis XIII's pageboy, in The Devils, who is seen in other parts of the film. Though the scene of him appearing apparently in the nude was so controversial at the time the film was released, that the scene was removed from the film, and the film was destroyed, and as far as I know, not only does the film no longer exist, there are no stills of the scene still in existence.

Thus, here are the 4 films of Ken Russell in which an under aged male character apparently appears naked. And their similarities and differences.

1971 The Devils
Character: King Louis XIII's pageboy (presumed)
Character's age; Unknown
Actor: Unknown
Actor's age: Unknown

1979 Dracula
Character: the gardener's boy
Character's age: 14 (which would make it a case of hebephilia (11 to 14)
Actor: Unknown
Actor's age: Unknown

1988 Salome's Last Dance
Character: the pageboy
Character's age: Unknown
Actor: Russell Lee Nash
Actor's age: Unknown

1988 Lair of the White Worm
Character: Kevin, a scout
Character's age: 15 (presumed) Which would make it a case of ephebophilia (15 to 19)
Actor: Chris Pitt
Actor's age: 17 (presumed)

A couple of other similarities.
1st: The boys in both Salome's Last Dance and Lair of the White Worm, supposedly, receive oral sex.
2nd: They boys are often used as some type of lure.
Dracula: to lure Renfield into Dracula's clutches.
Salome's Last Dance: to lure Oscar Wilde into cheating on his partner.
Lair of the White Worm: to lure Lady Sylvia Marsh into committing several crimes, including statutory rape and murder.

Next time: the suggested cast for Dracula


Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Ken Russell's Dracula
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 07:38:49 PM »
I thought there was a site on the web with the complete script. If there was, I could not find it.

There is a video called Ken Russell's Dracula, but, it is not a video discussion of the script, as I thought, but, a musical tribute to the world's greatest film director.

Still, with excerpts from Ken Russell's Dracula by Ken Russell, with introduction by Paul Sutton, I learned some things I did not know before, about a film that was written by Ken Russell between his . . .

1974 Tommy and
1980 Altered States

but never made. Probably because of two other films about Dracula that came out about the same time.

1979 Universal's Dracula with Frank Langella as Dracula. and
1979 Werner Herzog's Nosferatu with Klaus Kinski.

Next time: What?! No pageboy. No boy scout.