Hungarian Count Alucard (Lon Chaney Jr.), a mysterious stranger, arrives in the U.S. invited by Katherine Caldwell (Louise Allbritton), one of the daughters of New Orleans plantation owner Colonel Caldwell (George Irving). Shortly after his arrival, the Colonel dies and leaves his wealth to his two daughters, with Claire receiving all the money and Katherine his estate “Dark Oaks.” Katherine, a woman with a taste for the morbid, secretly begins dating Alucard and eventually marries him, shunning her long-time boyfriend Frank Stanley. Frank confronts the couple and tries to shoot Alucard but the bullets go right through the Count’s body and hit Katherine, seemingly killing her.
A shocked Frank runs off to Dr. Brewster, who visits Dark Oaks and is welcomed by Alucard and a living Katherine. The couple instruct him that henceforth they would be devoting their days to scientific research and only welcome visitors at night. Frank goes on to the police and confesses to the murder of Katherine. Brewster tries to convince the Sheriff that he saw Katherine alive and that she would be away all day, but the Sheriff insists on searching Dark Oaks. He finds Katherine’s dead body and has her transferred to the morgue.
Meanwhile, Hungarian Professor Lazlo arrives at Brewster’s house. Brewster has noticed that Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards and Lazlo suspects vampirism. A boy bitten and drained of blood confirms this suspicion. Later, the Count appears to Brewster and Lazlo but is driven away by a cross.
Vampiric Katherine enters Frank’s cell as a bat and starts his transformation. After he awakens, she explains that she still loves him. Also, that she married Alucard only to attain immortality. That she wants to share said immortality with Frank. He is initially repulsed but then yields to her. As she explains that she has already drank some of his blood, she advises him on how to destroy Alucard. He breaks out of prison, seeks out Alucard’s hiding place and burns his coffin thereby destroying him. Brewster, Lazlo, and the Sheriff arrive at the scene, only finding Alucard’s remains. They then go to Dark Oaks, where they find out that Frank has also set Katherine on fire, destroying her. —wikipedia
Robert Siodmak was a German born American film director. He is best remembered as a thriller specialist and for the series of Hollywood film noirs he made in the 1940s.
Siodmak was born to a Polish Jewish family in Dresden, Germany (the myth of his American birth in Memphis, Tennessee was necessary for him to obtain a visa in Paris). He worked as a stage director and a banker before becoming editor and scenarist for Curtis Bernhardt in 1925. At twenty-six he was hired by his cousin, producer Seymour Nebenzal, to assemble original silent movies from the stock footage of old ones. Siodmak worked at this for two years before he persuaded Nebenzal to finance his first feature, the silent chef d’oeuvre, People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag) (1929). The script was written by his younger brother Curt Siodmak, later the screenwriter of The Wolf Man (1941).
With the rise of Nazism he left Germany for Paris and then Hollywood. Siodmak arrived in Hollywood in 1939, where he made… read more