MARK OF THE VAMPIRE
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MARK OF THE VAMPIRE
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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 1927 silent London After Midnight with the characters' names and some circumstances changed.
Mark of the Vampire was originally 75 minutes, but was cut back to 60 minutes by MGM. Reportedly this was due to incestuous overtones - then unacceptable by the standards of the Production Code - between Count Mora (played by Lugosi) and his daughter. However, the audio commentary on the DVD makes no mention of incest but suggests that much of what was cut was comic material, particularly surrounding the maid.
The merit of this film is still debated among horror movie fans due to the ending, which reveals that the vampires were in reality 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 or The Gorilla, the arrival of such films as Dracula and Frankenstein in the thirties saw horror films become more fantastic. This is perhaps why some see the ending as a cop-out and Bela Lugosi reportedly found the idea absurd. Many viewers see the film as a satire on the conventions of the horror film.
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