An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu. Eine Symphonie des Grauens. [Nosferatu. A Symphony of Horror.] continues to haunt — and, indeed, terrify — modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare, and launched the signature “Murnau-style” that would change cinema history forever.
In this first-ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok — portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck, in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology — who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land… and establish his ambiguous dominion. As to whether the count’s campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree, erotic compulsion, or the simple impulse of survival — that remains, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all in this film that’s like a blackout…
Remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 (and inspiring films as diverse as Abel Ferrara’s King of New York and The Addiction, and E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire), F. W. Murnau’s surreal 1922 cine-fable remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of “the horror film”. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present, newly restored on 1080p Blu-ray at long last, Nosferatu. A Symphony of Horror. in its definitive restoration, complete with original intertitles and accompanied by the score that played with the film at the time of its initial release.
Brand new 1080p high-definition restoration by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung
Stereo and 5.1 scores
Two audio commentaries: one newly recorded by film historian David Kalat; the second by historian R. Dixon Smith and critic Brad Stevens
The Language of Shadows, a 53-minute documentary on Murnau’s early years and the filming of Nosferatu
New video interview with BFI Film Classics: Nosferatu author Kevin Jackson
Exclusive video piece taped by and featuring filmmaker Abel Ferrara
Newly translated optional English subtitles with original German intertitles
56-PAGE BOOKLET featuring writing by Gilberto Perez, Albin Grau, Enno Patalas, and Craig Keller; notes on the restoration; and rare archival imagery