in about 100 words or less
Germany, 94m silent (B&W)
Director: F.W. Murnau, Cast: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav van Wangenheim, Greta Schroder
Nosferatu is a masterpiece of horror and German expressionism that was illegally adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Notwithstanding the film’s copyright troubles, Murnau’s adaptation of the vampire story is an original that provides stunning examples of the use of shadow and light against stark set designs to achieve some of cinema’s most memorable and frightening images. Murnau’s vampire is a tortured, lonely and filthy soul known as Count Orlok, whose deplorable and loathsome existence serves to distinguish it from the Dracula character, who is often portrayed as having a captivating sexually charged persona. Beautifully filmed and brilliantly directed, Nosferatu is one of the best silent films ever produced, and arguably one of the finest horror movies ever made (Klaus Ming January 2009).