1997 32¢ “Dracula”
Classic Movie Monsters
Issue Date: September 30, 1997
City: Universal City, CA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
In 1931 the movie Dracula, based on the novel of the same name by Bram Stoker, shocked audiences with its tale of Transylvania’s Count Dracula. An undead corpse known as a vampire, Dracula has an insatiable thirst for human blood. To feed his craving, Dracula seeks innocent victims at night, and then drinks their blood. Since sunlight is deadly for vampires, during the day he must take shelter in a coffin.
Stoker’s novel was based on vampire legends that arose from a real source – Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler. The sadistic fifteenth-century prince of Walachia, a region south of Transylvania, Tepes committed hundreds of savage murders. His favorite method for dispatching his enemies was to drive a sharpened stake through their bodies.
The man responsible for bringing the ghoulish, yet elegant Count Dracula to life was Bela Lugosi. Well-suited for the part, the Hungarian-born Lugosi was a classically trained actor with a heavy accent. He had also starred in the 1927 Broadway production of Dracula.
Dracula brought Lugosi international fame, and he was subsequently typecast in the genre. He also starred in The Black Cat (1934), Mark of the Vampire (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), and The Ape Man (1943).