Cliche? Perhaps. I just went to the theatre this week and watched the English-Spanish double feature TCM is featuring nationwide, and had a blast. But...there were only 5 people in the theatre (including myself and two friends) during the first film, and only us when the Spanish version aired. Which leads me to believe not enough people truly appreciate this movie.
I will not say it's Lugosi's greatest performance, even though it's spectacular. Honestly, I think he doesn't get enough attention for the many other excellent roles he has played in horror. Sure...there were a few bad ones...but I really never fault his performance. Even Plan 9, the few frames he was actually present, I wouldn't say Lugosi was what made that movie bad. But this isn't an article about Bela, it's a recommendation for any and all who haven't Seen Universal's Dracula to do so as quickly as possible, and follow it up with the Spanish one too.
Renfield was not a huge character in the novel, and only cinema has made him dynamic. Specifically this movie is what started it...so watch Dwight Frye (english) and Pablo Alvarez Rubio (spanish) closely. They're absolutely incredible. In fact, I'd say they're my favorite characters in both movies. Keep in mind that the pacing is slow, because this was during the infancy of talkies, but also keep in mind that Todd Browning was nothing if not a master of making silence work for him rather than against. IF you have put Universal's Dracula off for any reason, this is the year to finally give it a good watch. You won't regret it.