Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Lashaunte Browne

In the late 1920’s and 1930’s the Great Depression happened where the stock market crashed due to many financial ties cut after the war and many other factors that contributed to it. Usually during these times movies that were made were comical based to distract viewers from the events that were going on in the world for a little bit, but Dracula was a horror so it drew attention. In the late 20’s early 30’s a lot of xenophobia and racism was at a rise so seeing the fact that Dracula had a thick Romanian accent and he was made out to be the antagonist of the story that may have brought people out. Anyone who were born outside of the United States was placed under intense discrimination. Even though people did not have enough money they still managed somehow to be there for the movie’s premiere. 50,000 tickets were bought in the first two days of the film’s release, even though the country was going through a depression, but it helped the box office during the rough financial times. Compared to now, there would have probably been a plot twist to the story but Dracula (1931)was indeed a vampire/monster that was actually killed off in the end, which I personally thought could signify them winning the war against Europe and putting an “end” to Europe. Which can indicate that is how people who were born outside of the US were seen as monsters or just not belonging. Also another historical significance that could be made was that Dracula was a movie that was not silent. 

1 Comment

  1. Laura Westengard

    Your interpretation that the ending represents “them winning the war against Europe and putting an “end” to Europe” is really intriguing!

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