Dracula's Daughter (1936) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, hoping to free herself of a mysterious evil influence.

  • Prof. Van Helsing is in danger of prosecution for the murder of Dracula...until a hypnotic woman steals the Count's body and cremates it. Bloodless corpses start appearing in London again, and Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of Jeffrey Garth, psychiatrist, in freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence. The scene changes from foggy London back to that eerie road to the Borgo Pass...

  • Professor Von Helsing has done the world a favor by driving a stake through the heart of Count Dracula and thus destroying him. For his trouble, Scotland Yard charges him with murder. Dr. Jeffrey Garth, a psychiatrist, may be able to act as an attorney and defend him in court. But Garth finds he has his own troubles when the Countess Marya Zaleska seeks his help. She wants to be released from her desire to drink the blood of the living. She steals the corpse of her father, Count Dracula, and burns it ritually; but she still wants blood. She'll do anything to free herself of this curse, including kidnapping the baron's daughter who is Dr. Garth's assistant, and thwarting the hopes of her sinister manservant, Sandor.

  • In London, two policemen find the body of a man, Renfield, with neck broken and Dracula with a stake through his heart. They arrest Prof. Von Helsing that tells that he did it and take him to the Scotland Yard. The inspector Sir Basil Humphrey asks Von Helsing who might defend him and the professor asks for the psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Garth. Meanwhile, the mysterious Countess Marya Zeleska, who is Dracula's daughter, compels the policeman that is in charge to take care of the bodies and takes Dracula's body with her to bury him with her assistant Sandor before dawn, expecting to be released from the family's curse. In Edinburgh, Jeffrey is hunting with friends and his assistant Janet Blake comes to tell him that he has an appointment with the Scotland Yard to help his friend Von Helsing. When Von Helsing tells him about Dracula, Jeffrey believes that he is obsessed with the vampire and promises to help him. During the night, he goes to a party where he meets the Hungarian Countess and he tells his theories about the vampire blood thirsty that he believes is an obsession. Now, Countess Zeleska believes that Jeffrey can heal her and release her from her blood thirsty and she wants to bring him to her castle to spend the eternal life with her in Transylvania.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • NOTE: "Dracula's Daughter" picks up from where "Dracula" (1931) ends.

    Two constables find Professor Van Helsing [Edward van Sloan] in the crypt standing over the bodies of Dracula and Renfield. They take Van Helsing into custody because "this is a case for Scotland Yard." Dracula's body is stolen by his daughter, the Countess Marya Zaleska [Gloria Holden]. Looking for release from the Dracula curse, she burns his body.

    Meanwhile, psychologist Jeffrey Garth [Otto Kruger]is called in to defend Van Helsing. Garth meets the Countess at a party, and she confesses to him that she is looking for release from 'an obsession'. He visits with the Countess, much to the dismay of his girlfriend and assistant Janet Blake [Marquerite Churchill]. Unbeknown to Garth, the Countess and her assistant Sander [Irving Pichel] search at night for young women to pose as models but really so that the Countess can drink their blood. One night, Lili [Nan Gray] is found in a 'post-hypnotic trance' with marks on her neck. Garth is called in, and he calls in Van Helsing. The diagnosis is 'wampire'.

    The Countess comes to Garth's office. She has decided to return to Transylvania and wants Garth to accompany her. He hedges and, while he's busy with Lili, the Countess and Sander abduct Janet. Lili reveals enough to cue Garth to the Countess's intent, but she has left for Transylvania with the entranced Janet. Garth pursues them. The Countess offers him a deal: "I'll release (Janet) if you'll stay with me." Realizing that the Countess has abandoned him for Garth, Sander shoots an arrow through her heart. As he re-arms to shoot Garth, Van Helsing and Scotland Yard arrive, and they shoot Sander. Janet awakens from the trance. [Original synopsis by bj_kuehl.]

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