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Movie lore has it that Bela Lugosi could barely speak English when he was chosen by Universal Pictures to star in Dracula (1931). Lon Chaney had been scheduled to play the role, a wise casting decision after his success in the silent classics The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. But he died as Dracula was going into production, and the mysterious 49-year-old Hungarian, who starred in a 1927 Broadway production of Dracula, was cast. Legend must exaggerate, because the Hungarian emigre Lugosi had been living and working in the United States for a decade by the time the film was made, and yet there is something about his line readings that suggests a man who comes sideways to English — perhaps because in his lonely Transylvanian castle, Dracula has had centuries to study it but few opportunities to practice it.