Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi In Britain (First edition)
For eight months in 1951 Bela Lugosi toured the length and breadth of Britain in a stage revival of Dracula. With horror films out of fashion and his career in terminal decline, the 68 year-old actor had been lured across the Atlantic by the promise of a run in the West End, which he hoped would provide the comeback that he longed for. Unfortunately, the West End did not beckon. Physically exhausted by the grueling schedule, a bitterly disappointed Lugosi quit the tour. After resting and recuperating his strength, he made the film Mother Riley Meets The Vampire and returned to America.
As the years passed by, the facts were forgotten and a myth grew around Lugosi’s time in Britain. According to what became an oft-repeated story, he found himself in a threadbare production with a supporting cast of amateurs who couldn’t remember their lines. After a disastrous opening, the tour quickly folded, leaving an unpaid Lugosi and his wife stranded in Britain. To pay their passage back home, he accepted a hurriedly arranged role in a horror comedy .
For fifty years the myth was accepted as fact, but just a casual study of the trail of evidence left behind by Lugosi and the tour made it obvious that a very different story was waiting to be told. In 2000, after ten years of research, Frank J. Dello Stritto and I were finally able to set the record straight with the publication of Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi In Britain (Cult Movies Press), our critically acclaimed biography of Lugosi. In addition to the 1951 tour and Mother Riley Meets The Vampire, our research unearthed new facts about Lugosi’s other British work – Mystery of the Mary Celeste (1935), Dark Eyes of London (1939) and the elusive Lock Up Your Daughters, the existence of which is still hotly debated.
Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi In Britain (Second edition)
A second edition of Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi in Britain was published by Cult Movies Press in June, 2015. The second edition is a new, improved and expanded version of the original, long sold out, first edition. The new volume contains more first person accounts from people who worked with Bela in 1951, more newly uncovered information and more images. 50% thicker than the first edition, the new second edition is a handsome hardcover featuring original cover art by renowned artitst Haig Demarjian
Copies of the second edition of Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi in Britain can be purchased from either Cult Movies Press (http://www.cultmoviespress.com) for $30.00 plus $3.99 shipping or directly from Frank J Dello Stritto for $30.00 with FREE shipping. To buy a copy from Frank, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviews For Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi In Britain
“Vampire Over London, which is beautifully produced and of a quality we seldom see today, is a model of documentation and informed and entertaining writing. I was so fascinated by it that I gave up virtually an entire weekend to read it. I cannot claim to be a big fan of Bela Lugosi, but the authors’ enthusiasm, clarity and intelligence were such that I was mesmerized as much as any of Dracula’s victims. A magnificent book.”
– Anthony Slide, Classic Images
“In this impressively researched book the authors’ combined sense of detail is remarkable…Dello Stritto and Brooks cover the six months of the touring company with three-dimensional clarity…you can almost smell the cigars Lugosi smoked while standing in the wings.”
– Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog
“Just when you thought everything that could possibly be written about the classic horror stars had already seen print, along comes the fascinating Vampire Over London. It’s an admirable book, written by that rare breed – film historians who actually know how to write…it’s essential.”
– Richard Valley, Scarlet Street
“This tremendous new volume manages to offer a wealth of new information! A must for Lugosi fanatics…the authors have done their research on this subject, and the result is the final word on this portion of Lugosi’s life…It’s a humorous, informative and often touching tribute to a little known slice of Bela’s life.”
– Shock Cinema
“Genre cinema historians Frank Dello Stritto and Andi Brooks perform an invaluable service for Bela Buffs. Their painstakingly researched tome is a book no self-respecting Lugosi lover can afford to be without.”
– The Phantom, Videoscope
“An indispensable tome…exhaustive…Physically, the book is as impressive as the research and writing…will quickly become a collectors item.”
– Tom Weaver, Fangoria
“…a remarkable book…a carefully researched work of scholarship with a concern for accuracy usually reserved for much weightier subjects.”
– Henry Nicolella, Castle of Frankenstein
“A superb piece of literature! I think Bela must be resting in peace at long last in his satin-lined coffin.”
– John C. Mather, Co-Producer of the 1951 British Dracula tour
“A really splendid piece of research, it has to be definitive.”
– Richard Eastham, Director of the 1951 British Dracula tour
“It is a wonderful epitaph for a very special person.”
– Richard Butler, 1951 British Dracula tour cast member
Click on the links below to read the story of the book and publicity interviews