I thoroughly enjoyed this Hammer Horror vampire tale starring Christopher Lee as Dracula. Yes, the plot is somewhat familiar and predictable but there are some nice elements to the story that make it feel fresh and interesting. Lee's Dracula is a man on a revenge mission after the good Monsignor exorcizes his castle and places a cross on the door, barring his entrance. He chases the Monsignor across country where he attempts to seduce the Monsignor's niece as his bride. Mu-ha-ha!
Lee doesn't get nearly enough screen time in this film. However, every time he makes an appearance you can't take your eyes off of him. Most of the time he doesn't even speak a word yet he still manages to convey a sense of dread and malice. The rest of the cast is solid as well. It's what we come to expect from Hammer Studios.
Dracula has beautiful cinematography and sets the mood with its visual style. It's grand, old-world and spooky. Just the way I like it. James Bernard [Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein] provides a beautiful and emotive soundtrack that skips all the horror music cliches and opts for a classic symphonic score. It's a treat for the ears and adds greatly to the experience of the film. Director Freddie Francis [The Elephant Man, Cape Fear] keeps the action moving at a nice pace and has fill command of both the dramatic and subtle moments in the film.
As a final note, the ending of Dracula is just spectacular. You'll just have to see it for yourself. It's the perfect way for Lee to meet his demise in this film. Don't miss this one. It's a classic Dracula story told with great energy and beauty.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.