Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Music to Neck By

When was THE FUTURIST! introduced to classical music? Why, it was when, as a very THE YOUNG THE FUTURIST! he first saw DRACULA (1931) on a Saturday Night horror movie show. The stirring haunting strains of Swan Lake begin as Tod Browning's directed production, starring Bela Lugosi, title cards flicker on the screen. DRACULA has no musical soundtrack ... supposedly, according to film historians, Universal did not have the money or technology to have a recorded musical soundtrack added to the vampire potboiler ... it was very early in the talkie stage of film history. Why the production team decided to have Tchaikovsky begin the film is a mystery ... why not another classical piece? The odd thing is, Universal uses the same strains of this ballet in the opening title sequence of THE MUMMY (1932) with Boris Karloff. The decision to use this music has forever made THE FUTURIST!'s ears perk up and think of Bela and Boris, instead of tutus and a pas a deux.

The following video below will show scenes from DRACULA and then NOSFERATU. Please remember that the Murneau silent classic has nothing to do with this piece of music. Nosferatu was another neck biter, but never appeared on THE YOUNG FUTURIST!'s favorite horror movie line-up until much much later in life.

Listen ... the children of the night ...
What music they make!

composed by Tchaikovsky
used in title sequence of
DRACULA (1931)


Dara said...

Excellent. Very elegant, but it does have some dark parts, you can see why they may have picked it. Very classy. I don't remember it being in the film. Good SHOCKtober choice!


You can hear it during the opening credits.