Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the film stars Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill and, as the only cast member to return from the original, Edward Van Sloan. Dracula's Daughter tells the story of Countess Marya Zaleska, the daughter of Count Dracula and herself a vampire. Following Dracula's death, she believes that by destroying his body she will be free of his influence and can live as a human. When this fails, she turns to psychiatry and Dr. Jeffrey Garth. When his efforts fail, she kidnaps Janet, the woman Jeffrey loves, and flees with her to Transylvania in an attempt to bind Jeffrey to her. She is foiled and destroyed when her jealous manservant shoots her with an arrow.
Ostensibly based on a short story titled "Dracula's Guest" by Bram Stoker, the film bears little or no resemblance to the original source material. David O. Selznick initially purchased the rights to the story for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Selznick, probably knowing he could not legally make the film because of Universal's copyright on the original film, sold the rights to Universal. After first assigning the picture to James Whale, Universal production head Carl Laemmle, Jr. finally put Hillyer in the director's chair.
Upon its release, Dracula's Daughter was not as successful as the original, although it was generally well-reviewed. In the intervening decades, criticism has been deeply divided. Modern critics and scholars have noted the strong lesbian overtones of the film, overtones that Universal acknowledged from the start of filming and which they exploited in some early advertising.
Dracula's Daughter begins a few moments after Dracula ends. Count Dracula has just been destroyed by Professor Von Helsing (Edward Van Sloan). Von Helsing is taken by police to Scotland Yard, where he explains that he indeed did destroy Count Dracula, but because he had already been dead for over 500 years, it cannot be considered murder. Instead of hiring a lawyer, he enlists the aid of a psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Garth (Otto Kruger), who was once one of his star students. Meanwhile, Dracula's daughter, Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden), with the aid of her manservant, Sandor (Irving Pichel), steals Dracula’s body from Scotland Yard and ritualistically burns it, hoping to break her curse of vampirism. However, Sandor soon makes her realize that her thirst for blood has not been quenched and that all that is in her eyes is "Death". The Countess resumes her hunting, mesmerizing her victims with her exotic jeweled ring. After a chance meeting with Dr. Garth at a society party, the Countess asks him to help her overcome the influence she feels from beyond the grave. The doctor advises her to defeat her cravings by confronting them and the Countess becomes hopeful that her will plus Dr. Garth's science will be strong enough to overcome Dracula's malevolence.
The Countess sends Sandor to fetch her a model to paint; he returns with Lili (Nan Grey). Countess Zaleska initially resists her urges but succumbs and attacks Lili. Although the girl survives the attack, when Dr. Garth tries to hypnotize her to learn what happened, she suffers heart failure and dies. As the Countess comes to accept that a cure is not possible — and the doctor discovers the truth about her condition — she lures him to Transylvania by kidnapping Janet (Marguerite Churchill), the woman he loves. She intends to transform him into a vampire to be her eternal companion; Dr. Garth agrees to exchange his life for Janet's. Before he can be transformed, Countess Zaleska is destroyed when Sandor shoots her through the heart with an arrow as revenge for her breaking her promise to make him immortal. He takes aim at Dr. Garth but is shot dead by a policeman.
|The Line of Dracula|
|Related Vampires:||Orlok | Marja Z. Tepes | Elizabeth Báthory | Blacula | Daddy Dracula | Dracula (Batman) | Draculaura|
|Books:||Dracula | Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories | Dracula the Un-dead|
|Films:||Nosferatu | Dracula | Dracula's Daughter | Son of Dracula | Bram Stoker's Dracula | The Batman vs Dracula: The Animated Movie|
|Other Media:||Castlevania | Dracula Origin | Dracula Wikia|