The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
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On the Set of Dracula
John Badham swaps Yorkshire for Cornwall as he adapts Bram Stoker’s novel for the screen with an all star cast.
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Cornwall is a popular destination for filmmakers with its stunning scenery and eerie coves. The set for Dracula was filmed at Crinnis Beach, Carlyon Bay and Mevagissey but other locations were St Michael’s Mount as Dracula’s Castle and King Arthur’s Castle Hotel in Tintagel as the asylum. Director John Badham was born in England and has clocked up an impressive filmography but is also known for directing TV series for the major American networks.
John Badham made his name for Saturday Night Fever (1977) and here takes actor Frank Langella from his successful run as Dracula on the Broadway stage to this Universal Pictures adaptation for screen. Actor Bela Lugosi followed the same path in the 1920s culminating in the 1931 film version. Actors Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence and Trevor Eve appear alongside Langella and locals are cast as extras. Actor Donald Pleasence played many evil characters including Blofeld in the James Bond franchise and Dr Loomis in Halloween (1978) but he is also remembered for his near-sighted RAF officer in The Great Escape (1963), a war story not unlike his own. Apparently on set he never complained about weak tea.