The Return of Dracula
|The Return of Dracula|
|Directed by||Paul Landres|
|Written by||Pat Fielder|
|Music by||Gerald Fried|
|Edited by||Sherman Rose|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
The Return of Dracula (a.k.a. Curse of Dracula on US television and The Fantastic Disappearing Man in the UK) is a 1958 horror film starring Francis Lederer as Count Dracula. The female lead, Rachel Mayberry, was played by Norma Eberhardt. It was filmed in black and white (with a brief color sequence involving blood) and directed by Paul Landres. It was released in April, 1958 as a double feature with The Flame Barrier.
The film is set in Carleton, a small town in 1950s California, where Count Dracula arrives, having killed and assumed the identity of an artist named Bellac Gordal (Norbert Schiller) who has traveled from Europe to visit his cousin, Cora Mayberry (Greta Granstedt). The story revolves around his interaction with Cora's daughter, Rachel (Eberhardt).
- Francis Lederer as Bellac Gordal/Count Dracula
- Norma Eberhardt as Rachel Mayberry
- Ray Stricklyn as Tim Hansen
- John Wengraf as John Meierman
- Virginia Vincent as Jennie Blake
- Gage Clarke as Reverend Whitfield
- Jimmy Baird as Mickey Mayberry
- Greta Granstedt as Cora Mayberry
- Enid Yousen as Frieda
When shown on US television, it was titled Curse of Dracula. In the UK it was released theatrically as The Fantastic Disappearing Man. Later in 1958, the film Horror of Dracula appeared in theaters in both the UK and the US, and Return of Dracula was eclipsed as a result, due to Christopher Lee's new stardom as the Count.
Leonard Maltin gave it 2 out of 4 stars, saying "Low-budget flick about the Count (Lederer) killing a European man, taking his papers, and coming to America to stay with small-town family. Lederer thwarted by mediocre script." 
On October 27, 1971, Lederer reprised his role of Count Dracula on an episode of Night Gallery titled "The Devil Is Not Mocked". In this story, Dracula tells his grandson how he fought the Nazis during World War II.
- "Norma Eberhardt". The Daily Telegraph. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- The Return of Dracula, Turner Classic Movies website, accessed October 12, 2011
- Warren, Bill (1986). "Keep Watching The Skies Volume 2". McFarland & Co., Inc. ISBN 0-89950-170-2. Page 741
- The Return of Dracula, New York Times website, accessed October 12, 2011