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Nosferatu Movie Review

murnau symphony greta schreck

Why do we love Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau's German classic from the year 1922? Let us TRY to count the ways: When we see the captain's records for the doomed ship, the Demeter, we always get a shiver at this chilling indication of the blood-sucking horrors yet to come. And when the horrible-looking vampire played by Max Schreck gazes at the bleeding hand of Jonathan Harker, he leers, “Blood! Your precious blood!” as only Schreck can. And THIS Nosferatu is PURE evil; there's no feeling sorry for his character as we sometimes do for the charming Draculas later played by Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Louis Jourdan. The film itself, even by 1922 standards, is clearly drawn larger than life, especially when compared with the subtlety of such other F.W. Murnau classics as The Last Laugh and Sunrise. Alexander Granach, who would one day star in Ninotchka with Greta Garbo, portrays Renfield as a caricature. The rest of the cast, including hordes of rats plus Gustav Von Wangenheim and Greta Schroder as the Harkers, are also in over-the-top gear. The overacting suits this particular Symphony of Horrors, which Murnau himself revamped for sound in 1930, the year before his death on a California highway. AKA: Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens; Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror; Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror; Nosferatu, The Vampire.

1922 63m/B GE Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wagenheim, Greta Schroder, John Gottowt, Ruth Landshoff, G.H. Schnell; D: F.W. Murnau; W: Henrik Galeen; C: Fritz Arno Wagner, Gunther Krampf. VHS, LV, DVD

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