Thursday, September 24, 2009

15. Nosferatu Eine Symphonie des Grauens/Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror (1922)

Running Time: 80 minutes
Directed By: F.W. Murnau
Written By: Henrik Galeen
Main Cast: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Shcroder


This German feature film helmed by director F.W. Murnau, and based upon the novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, is more of a lesson in cinematography than anything else.
Real estate agent Hutter is sent off to Transylvania in order to close a real estate deal with the ominous Count Orlok. Upon arrival in the town, in the Carpathian Mountains, he stops at an inn and even the mere mention of Orlok's name send the townspeople into a frenzy. They put him up for the night at the inn, and the next day he continues his trip to Orlok's castle, and arrives that night. Orlok, waiting for him, serves him dinner and reads over some of the real estate documents that Hutter has brought to him.

One night, after the deal is finalized, Hutter (still staying at the castle) sees Orlok leaving with a load of coffins, one of which he creeps inside of and on his merry way, he goes. Hutter now realizing exactly the dangers that Orlok presents, leaves the castle and rushes home to his wife Ellen. Meanwhile, Orlok boards a schooner and is nearly at his destination, at his new manor, opposite the home of Hutter.

Prior to his arrival, word breaks in the town that a plague has broken out at sea, and back on the vampire infested schooner, we see that all men, save the captain and first mate have perished. Fearing the worst, the first mate goes below deck to inspect the coffins, and is surprised to see Count Orlok rise from his casket, in one of the films most illustrious shots. The first mate comes back to the deck, throwing himself overboard and leaving the Captain as a meal for the Count. Hutter and Count Orlok wind up back in the town and it all leads to a climax fitting of this film.

The photography of this picture is utterly brilliant, with nearly every visual presented being something awe inspiring. Be it beautiful or terrifying, Gunther Krampf and Fritz Arno Wagner (the films cinematographers) certainly captured some amazing imagery, and what, in my opinion, led to the films much praise. The film, while not at all bad, is a bit slow at times, despite its length, a mere eighty minutes. Certain parts, such as, Hutter's employer, Knock being committed and Ellen freaking out while staying with friends, seem to drag on and slow the film down a bit.

RATING: 5.5/10 All in all I would say the very definition of an average film, with the imagery giving the film it's shine, at least in my view, and the rest being of the "take it or leave it" family.

NEXT UP: Haxan...Witchcraft through the ages.

September 23, 2009 10:30pm


  1. I may need to check this oone out, as you know I love the vampire flicks:)

  2. Well, you will not be surprised I dispute the score on this, as I have got to know your opinion on vampire films. So even more cudos to you for being fair..
    (Oh dear, you have at least 5 versions of this film to get through!).
    For me, you carn't beat Bella's version, but I appreciate this one.


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