Watch: Countess Dracula 1971 123movies, Full Movie Online – In medieval Europe aging Countess Elisabeth rules harshly with the help of lover Captain Dobi. Finding that washing in the blood of young girls makes her young again she gets Dobi to start abducting likely candidates. The Countess – pretending to be her own daughter – starts dallying with a younger man, much to Dobi’s annoyance. The disappearances cause mounting terror locally, and when she finds out that only the blood of a virgin does the job, Dobi is sent out again with a more difficult task..
Plot: Hungary, XVII century. After being widowed, the old countess Elizabeth Nádasdy, of the Báthory lineage, fortunately discovers a way to become young again; but the price to be paid by those around her will be high and bloody.
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|5.9/10 Votes: 4,384|
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|N/A Votes: 96 Popularity: 7.117 | TMDB|
Countess Dracula is directed by Peter Sasdy and written by Jeremy Paul. It stars Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Eles, Maurice Denham, Patience Collier and Lesley-Anne Down. Out of Hammer Film Productions, music is by Harry Robertson and Eastmancolor cinematography by Kenneth Talbot.
Why didn’t they just call it Countess Bathory? Or just Elizabeth Bathory? Film has nothing to do with Dracula or Vampires, and is basically an interpretation of Madame Bathory, who back in olde Hungary killed any number of girls for kicks and a vain belief that bathing in virginal blood would keep her young. It’s this last aspect that Hammer focus on, unfurling a story where the Countess strikes on the secret of eternal youth, and who then promptly has her daughter kidnapped and proceeds to impersonate her. Thus with that she gets to romance a young man, but of course as the bodies start to pile up, and the Countess’ suitor and confidant’s begin to get their noses pushed out of joint, things quickly go downhill fast.
As a technical production it’s good Hammer fare. Costuming, colour photography, set design and acting performances are perfectly pleasing. Unfortunately it’s all very predictable, and worse still considering the plot points of interest, it’s pretty bloodless, playing out as some sort of period based drama with the odd bit of dastard behaviour thrown in for good measure. Nothing really happens to perk up the story, and sadly the finale is something of a damp squib. The red blooded amongst us can’t help but enjoy the twin lovelies of Pitt and Down, and the wonderful Nigel Green can’t believe his luck as he gets to canoodle with our Ingrid! But all told it’s not very sexy, not very horror and only works as a good period drama if you set expectation at that level. 6/10
Hammer’s Gothic drama/horror based on the infamous Countess Bathory
RELEASED IN 1971-1972 and directed by Peter Sasdy, “Countess Dracula” chronicles events in medieval Hungary where the aging Countess Elisabeth (Ingrid Pitt) cruelly reigns with her Steward, Captain Dobi (Nigel Green). She discovers that washing in the blood of maidens makes her youthful and orders her servants to apprehend victims. Pretending to be her daughter, Ilona, the Countess seeks the affections of a young Lieutenant, Imre Toth (Sandor Elès). Maurice Denham plays the wise old scribe of the castle, Master Fabio, while Lesley-Anne Down appears as the real Ilona, held captive by a mute peasant.
The real Elizabeth Báthory lived in Čachtice Castle, which was surrounded by a village and crop lands (and still is), bordered by bluffs of the Little Carpathians in Hungary. Her chief servant was into witchcraft and encouraged Bathory in her diabolic endeavors. Patience Collier plays this role in the movie, but she’s not a witch.
More than 300 witnesses testified to Bathory’s atrocities with Priests, noblemen and commoners being questioned. Her crimes included cruel beatings, burning of hands, mutilation, biting the flesh off of faces, as wells as limbs and other body parts, freezing to death or starving. Her early targets were serving girls 10-14 years old, the kin of local peasants, who were usually lured to the castle as well-paid servants. She later was said to have apprehended daughters of the lesser nobility, which was the beginning of the end.
In those times Hungarian nobles were allowed to reprove their servants by whatever means they saw fit, even death, and were not reprimanded for it, which obviously facilitated Bathory’s offenses. Three of four of her closest servants were executed and she was under house arrest limited to one room the last four years of her life. She died at 54 in 1614. While some argue that she was politically set-up, and that’s always a possibility, there’s just too much documentation verifying her crimes to dismiss them. The incredible number of her victims (650) is probably exaggerated and the bathing-in-blood angle is likely just lore emerging well after her death.
The film’s cheesy title is figurative because there’s no vampirism; “Dracula” was a hot item at the time and producers simply hoped to capitalize on the name. Yet there is the supernatural element of becoming young & beautiful again. It’s an engaging theme because most aging women (and men) long to restore the beauty of their prime. Have you ever seen a woman in her late 50s or whatever acting like she’s a college girl on spring break? It’s pathetic.
In any case, this is a quasi-historical drama with gothic horror. I love the castle & sets, the costumes and torch-lit hallways. It brings to life the late/post Medieval Age. Some parts are predictable (e.g. the outcome of the closing wedding), but the story is compelling and gives you a good taste of feudal life in central Europe back then.
On a side note, Lesley-Anne Down was one of the most beautiful women to walk the earth in the 70s-90s and she was only around 16.5 years-old during shooting. While her screen time is scant in the first two acts, she comes to the fore in the final act and is definitely a highlight.
THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour, 33 minutes and was shot in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England. WRITERS: Jeremy Paul (screenplay) and Alexander Paal (story) inspired by Valentine Penrose’s book “The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Erzsébet Báthory.”
The price of vanity…
The story of Elizabeth Bathory is easily one of the most important for the horror genre, and there’s no studio more qualified to tackle said story than the legendary Hammer studios…but unfortunately, the resulting film is not as great as it could have been. Hammer had their golden period from the late fifties until the end of the sixties, and I dare say that if this film was released during that period, it would have been one of their classics. By the seventies, the studio had began to take influence from the lurid Euro horror films that were gaining popularity, and this resulted in Hammer losing it’s innocence; which if you ask me, was what made them great in the first place. However, Countess Dracula is still one of Hammer’s most inspiring films and benefits from a typically ludicrous plot line. We follow the Countess who, by chance, discovers that the blood of virgins restores her youth. After becoming young again, she pretends to be her own daughter and begins courting the son of a soldier; much to the annoyance of her present lover. However, nothing lasts forever; and bathing in the blood of virgins is something the Countess must continue to do if she is to retain her vanity
As mentioned, the way that the plot is handled isn’t very good. The film plays out like a drama rather than a horror movie and there is barely any tension or suspense to found throughout the whole picture. It seems that director Peter Sasdy (who also made the very decent Taste the Blood of Dracula for Hammer) thought that the implications of the plot would be enough to carry it; and while this is true to an extent, the film does become a little too dreary at times. Another disappointing element of the film is that, despite the fact that it’s about a woman who bathes in blood; we never actually get to see this taking place. I was really hoping to see the beautiful Ingrid Pitt relaxing in a bath of blood, but no! I don’t know, perhaps it would have been a little too graphic. The lead actress really does make the film her own, however and delivers a powerhouse performance that proves her worthy of the title of Hammer’s best leading lady. The way that the film carries off the plot is really good, also, and we are allowed into the head of all three central figures. On the whole, I can’t say that this is one of Hammer’s best films, but despite its faults; I really enjoyed it.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 33 min (93 min)
Director Peter Sasdy
Writer Jeremy Paul, Alexander Paal, Peter Sasdy
Actors Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Elès
Country United Kingdom
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono
Aspect Ratio 1.66 : 1
Camera Arriflex Cameras and Lenses (uncredited)
Laboratory DeLuxe, Hollywood (CA), USA (uncredited), Rank Film Laboratories, Denham, UK (uncredited)
Film Length 2,550 m (Sweden)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm