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Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)

AKA's: Draculas Erbe / Nosferatu, A Symphony Of Horror / Nosferatu, A Symphony Of Terror / Nosferatu El Vampiro / Nosferatu Le Vampire / Nosferatu: The First Vampire / Nosferatu The Vampire / Terror Of Dracula / Zwölfte Stunde - Eine Nacht Des Grauens, Die

Release date: 1922 Germany
Running time: 81' (cover 81' / Germany 94' - restored Version) - Source: DVD (RC 1/NTSC) b/w
Rating: Germ.: 12; UK: PG; US: NR
Main Crew: Director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (Tabu 1931; Sunrise 1927; Faust 1926; Tartuffe 1926)
Producer: Prana Film
Score: silent movie
Writer: Henrik Galeen (based on Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula")
Director of photography: Fritz Arno Wagner / Günther Krampf


Summary: A long time ago in middle Europe, a decrepit, forbidding castle stood... Casting an ominous shadow over the townspeople who dare not look upon it, the unholy dwelling is home to one Count Orlok (Max Schreck), an undead night creature with a taste for human blood.
Into this picture steps Hutter (Gustav Von Wangenheim), an unwary traveler who visits the Count. He carries with him the deed for a property Orlok wishes to buy in Hutter's home town of Wisborg.
That night, in preparation for the long sea voyage ahead, the vampire hastily loads his coffin aboard ship and waits...
Once at sea, Orlok bares his fangs and, upon arrival in Wisborg, leaves behind a floating morgue. Now, preparing to feast on the citizens, the cadaverous Count prowls the darkness as the eerie NOSFERATU.
Note: - All known prints and negatives were destroyed under the terms of settlement of a lawsuit by Stoker's widow because it was an unauthorized adaptation of the novel. However, the film would subsequently surface in other countries.
- An American re-release version changes all the names to fit the Dracula story.
- In 1994, the movie was faithfully reconstructed by European scholars utilizing all of the five exisiting prints, restoring the movie to its approximate original length, color and intertitles. None of the versions currently available for home cinema (ld/vhs/dvd) presents the ultimate scholarly restoration.
- The term, Nosferatu, is of modern origin and derives from the Slavic "nosufur-atu" which is a derivation of the Greek "nosophoros" or "plague carrier".
- In 1978, a remake has been made by German director Werner Herzog, feat. Klaus Kinski as Nosferatu ("Nosferatu - Phantom Der Nacht")
- A tribute about the making of the film (with Willem Dafoe portraying Max Schreck) has been made in 2000: Shadow Of The Vampire.

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Our Ranking

short review:

This is a one-of-a-kind rare masterpiece and a great example of German expressionism, that still stands the test of time! The visuals are incredible, and the special effects are suprisingly competent for 1922. But most of all it's Max Schreck's portrayal of the vampire: a grotesque, skeleton-like figure with a bald and pointy-eared head, his fingers curling at all times in a frightful way. He is not a sexual predator who seduces young beautiful girls (like Lugosi or Christopher Lee), but a repulsive, rat-like giant wraith out for his next kill. If you haven't seen this movie yet, do it now!!!

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