Nosferatu ( PG)
Madman ( 90 minutes) $ 34.95
THE 1922 black- and- white film directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau can be seen in blurry, scratched versions on the internet, but a decent copy of Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror was hard to find. Revitalised by Germany’s BundesarchiveFilmarchiv from a 1922 French tinted nitrate print, missing shots in this version were obtained from German and Czech safety prints in the 1930s. Lab work was done in Italy and the soundtrack reconstructed in Germany. Interludes are in German and English. Nosferatu was based on Bram Stoker’s book even though the studio couldn’t get the rights to the novel. When Stoker’s family sued, the studio was shut down. Message: don’t mess with vampires. We all the know the story: A young man leaves his home and lovely young wife, travels to a spooky castle in the Carpathian mountains to meet Count Orlok, the Nosferatu ( aka vampire). Horses take fright and villagers cower at the mention of his name, and young Hutter ( Gustav von Wangenheim) finds himself holed up with a freaky Count who vants to drink his blurred. Hutter escapes, but soon Orlok is on a boat headed to the city. Anyone who comes near him dies, plague descends on the land, and only a woman pure of heart can rid the world of Nosferatu and the evil that comes in his wake. Albin Grau’s production design and costumes and Fritz Arno Wagner’s photography were influenced by German expressionism. The freakish Count Orlok ( Max Shreck) is unforgettable: despite the old- fashioned overacting, this is a gem.
EXTRAS: Commentary, documentaries, essay and image gallery