Dracula's Daughter is a horror film from 1936 by Universal. It was the first sequel to the Bela Lugosi vehicle Dracula. Lugosi also appeared on some promotional stills, but he isn't featured in the actual film.
The film starts where the last one left off. Two constables stumble upon the corpses of Renfield and Count Dracula. They also meet Professor Van Helsing who tells them what has happened. Baffled by his crazy story, they call in Scotland Yard for help. Threatened with execution or the madhouse, Von Helsing calls for old student of his, psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Garth, to help him clear himself.
At the same time, Countess Marya Zaleska, the title character, steals Count Dracula's body and burns it on a funeral pyre, hoping that she'll be set free from his vampiric influences and could begin a life as a normal woman. After this fails, she turns her attention to Dr. Garth, hoping that psychology is the way, despite the warnings of her servant Sandor.
The producers did their best to tone it down, but the film still has some Les Yayness evident.
Was followed by Son of Dracula in 1943.
This film provides the examples of:
- Arrested for Heroism: The film opens with Van/Von Helsing being arrested for Dracula's murder.
- Burn Baby Burn: Marya burns the count's corpse on a funeral pyre.
- Call-Back: Marya's "I Do Not Drink Wine" line evokes Count Dracula's famous statement in the first film.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: No mention is made of what became of Dr Seward, Mina and Jonathan Harker. Likewise Dracula's brides are nowhere to be seen at the castle.
- Demoted to Extra: Van/Von Helsing, thanks to being in police custody for most of the movie and thus limited to providing information on vampires.
- Composite Character: Dr. Jeffery Garth takes Dr. John Seward's book role as a former student of Van Helsing.
- Flanderization: In the first film, Van/Von Helsing told everyone that Dracula was a vampire when the circumstances left no other explanation, and acknowledged that the things he knew about the supernatural were things the world was better off not knowing. In this movie, he just expects everyone to believe him about vampires.
- Hard-Work Montage: Shown when the police begin searching for the Countess after she kidnaps Janet.
- Have a Gay Old Time: When the Head of Scotland Yard tells his man-servant that he is going hunting "vampires," the latter replies: "But I always understood you went after them with chequebooks, sir."
- Honor Before Reason: Von Helsing insists telling the truth about Dracula's death, even risking being sentenced to execution or an asylum.
- Immortality Immorality: Sandor works for Marya for the promise of immortality as a vampire.
- Inadvertent Entrance Cue: When Dr. Jeffrey Garth asks the question, "What could have made those two small puncture marks over the jugular vein?", a maid announces: "Countess Zaleska!"
- Impersonating an Officer: Dr. Garth poses as a Scotland Yard operative to get into the bookstroe below Countess Zaleska's flat.
- Interrupted Suicide: It's implied that this was Lili's intention on the bridge, as Sandor lures her away partly by pointing out how cold the river will be.
- Jerkass: Sandor. Poor Marya was only trying to cure her vampirism or at least fight it so she could start over, but Sandor kept manipulating her to embrace it. And all so he could have immortality.
- Model Scam: Marya invites a pretty young girl to model for a portrait and then attacks her.
- Pretty in Mink: Marya wears a white fox fur cape in one scene.
- Purple Prose: Marya's speech as she is burning her "father's" body:Unto Adoni and Aseroth, into the keeping of the lords of the flame and lower pits, I consign this body, to be for evermore consumed in this purging fire. Let all baleful spirits that threaten the souls of men be banished by the sprinkling of this salt. Be thou exorcized, O Dracula, and thy body long undead, find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark, unholy master. In the name of the all holiest, and through this cross, be the evil spirit cast out until the end of time.
- The Renfield: Trope played with and ultimately subverted, in the character of Sandor. While he occupies the traditional role of a Renfield, as the mortal daytime-capable servant to the titular vampire, he is a far cry from the "poor, harmless imbecile" who was his predecessor, being sane (or at least calculating), ruthless, and cunning. Also, far from being a slave of the vampire's influence, he actually and ironically exerts a terrible moral influence on the vampire, undermining Marya's efforts at reform and enabling all her worst, addictive impulses. Small wonder that she is less than keen to reward him for such "services" (leading to the final irony: the Renfield actually becomes the vampire slayer, albeit for totally selfish and petty reasons).
- Servile Snarker: Hobbs, the Scotland Yard director's servant, snarks at his master when told he's going vampire hunting (and is snapped back at).
- The Shrink: The protagonist is a famous psychiatrist and former student of Van Helsing.
- Those Two Guys: Cowardly constable Albert and his superior, Sgt. Hawkins, who provide some comic relief early in the film.
- Title DropMarya: Yes. I am Dracula's daughter.
- Tragic Monster: Unlike her father, Marya seeks to get rid of her vampirism and return to the world of the living.
- Vampire Vannabe: Sandor is only with Marya because he wishes to become a vampire, and isn't happy when she wants to escape the shackles of undeath or choose another man instead.
- Villain Has a Point: When Marya tries to savor what she believes to be her first moments "cured" of her vampire heritage by playing piano, Sandor keeps telling her throughout the piece that she's still a vampire. It's a hard pill to swallow for Marya, but ultimately, vampirism isn't always something you can cure, and Sandor knows it.
- The Von Trope Family: As you can tell by now, Van Helsing's name is inexplicably turned into Von Helsing.
- You're Insane!: Dr. Garth says this to Marya when she says that she has kidnapped Janet to enlist his aid.