Vampires: The bad & the beautiful
By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan
The First Film VampireF.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" (1922) was the first (and unauthorized) film version of Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula." Stoker's widow sued for copyright infringement, but fortunately prints survived, so Max Schreck's terrifying "Count Orlok" continues to see the light of day.
I Don't Drink ... WineHungarian stage actor Bela Lugosi was renowned for playing Christ, but was a hit in the Broadway play "Dracula." The 1931 film version (pictured here with Helen Chandler) made him an international star, but sadly, his career never escaped the shadow of the vampire's cape.
Hammer HorrorIn 1958 Britain's Hammer Studios became the first to film "Dracula" in color (and what color!), starring Christopher Lee (top left) and Peter Cushing. Lee returned as the vampire in several more installments of varying quality. For "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1970, right) Lee reportedly had so much disdain for the dialogue he refused to utter it.
TV VampiresAmong the most memorable TV vampires: Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins in the '60s soap "Dark Shadows" (top left); from the 1979 miniseries "Salem's Lot" (bottom left); and Louis Jourdan in the faithful 1977 BBC adaptation, shown crawling down the wall of his castle. Rudolf Martin's Dracula was but one creature of the night who faced off against "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Out Of The ShadowsMirrors won't work if you want to catch a glimpse of a vampire coming up behind you, like Klaus Kinski approaching Isabelle Adjani in Werner Herzog's faithful remake of "Nosferatu" (1979), for which thousands of white laboratory rats were painted gray because real gray ones were unavailable.
No FangsLike Lugosi, Frank Langella followed a stage turn as Dracula to the screen in a sweeping 1979 adaptation co-starring Laurence Olivier as the intrepid vampire hunter Van Helsing. Langella said he never actually wore fangs; the stare was enough.
Femmes FatalesDracula may be dead, but he's not that dead, judging by the company he keeps. Among the female kindred spirits that have followed in his footsteps were (left) Carroll Borland in "Mark of the Vampire" (1935); (center) one of the "Brides of Dracula" (1960); and Elena Anaya in "Van Helsing" (2004).
The HungerIn "The Hunger" (1983), Catherine Deneuve's 4,000-year-old vampire takes the blood of her lovers to preserve her youth; in return, they get to age but never die, which leads to a collection of doomed, decaying ex-lovers. In one scene David Bowie, bereft of life-sustaining blood, visibly ages in a flash.
Not To Be CrossedEven in comedies like "The Fearless Vampire Killers," "Love at First Bite" and 1985's "Fright Night" (pictured, with Roddy McDowell applying a crucifix to Chris Sarandon), the code of vampires must apply: Garlic is repellent, crosses and sunlight are to be avoided, and a stake in the heart means the end.
LifeforceThere are vampires, and then there are space vampires! When astronauts discover aliens in suspended animation within Halley's Comet, they unwittingly bring some back to Earth (bad idea!), whereupon they awaken only to suck the lifeforce out of most of London.
The Lost BoysBefore saving the world as Jack Bauer on "24," Kiefer Sutherland was out to conquer the night as the ostensible leader of a gang of vampires in "The Lost Boys" (1987).
The Vampire ReincarnateDirector Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 telling of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" was sumptuous and not a little over-the top, but beneath the malevolence of Gary Oldman's vampire (seen here as his aged self and in a younger guise) was pain for the loss of his beloved, whose reincarnation he's convinced he sees in Winona Ryder.
The Vampire LestatInitially Anne Rice said she was "stunned" (and not in a positive way) by the casting of Tom Cruise in the film version of her "Interview With the Vampire." But by the time of the film's 1994 release she had reversed course: "He has the immense physical and moral presence; he was defiant and yet never without conscience; he was beautiful beyond description yet compelled to do cruel things."
Foreign FearRecent foreign films involving vampires include "Night Watch" (2004), which became the highest-grossing Russian film ever. The Swedish tale "Let the Right One In" (2008) tells of a withdrawn boy who befriends a new girl in the neighborhood whose appetite for blood is more than unusual.
Teen TerrorIn "Twilight" (2008), Kristen Stewart's Bella is attracted to the glowering good looks of local boy Edward (Robert Pattinson), who is hiding a dreadful secret. And while he has (so far) been able to abstain from his vampiric thirst for blood, there are others who are less reticient (AND there are several more books in the series to go)!
By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan