Monday, 24 November 2008

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens 1922

Nosferatu (1922)

Director: F.W. Murnau

Actors: Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schroder, Alexander Granach, Georg H. Schnell, Ruth Landshoff, John Gottowt, Gustav Botz, Max Nemetz, Wolfgang Heinz, Albert Venohr, Eric Van Viele, Karl Etlinger, Guido Herzfeld, Fanny Schreck, Hardy von Francois, Heinrich Witte and Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Writers: Henrik Galeen, Bram Stoker (not credited)

Release date: 4th March 1922 (Germany)

A truly wondrous film of German expressionist cinema, Nosferatu still haunts and scares modern film goers with the unwavering power of its imagery. Using a horde of occult atmospherics out of decaying set pieces and harmless real-world locations, the film director, the incomparable F.W. Murnau, captures on film a waking nightmare, which would alter film history forever.

Without doubt, one of the most famous silent films ever made. Nosferatu was the first German silent film I ever watched and still to this day I find awe-inspiring and is my favourite German Silent Film. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens or Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror in English, is set in 1837. Based on Bram Stokers Dracula, the story centres on Hutter and his wife Ellen. The story begins when Hutter is sent by his employer, Knock, to a mysterious castle. He is sent to finalise a deal with Count Orlok, who wishes to buy a house in Hutter’s village. Hutter travels across continents and meets with Count Orlok in a distant land to sign a real estate contract. This will eventually lead the Count back to Hutter town where he reveals his true intentions towards Ellen, Hutter’s wife. Here begins Hutter’s troubles...

Watch Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens 1922 below...

German Silent Films

After World War 1, the German silent film industry flourished, which was aided by rampant inflation throughout the 1920’s.

After the horrors of the war, the German silent film industry tended to be aimed at horror and crime films. This culminated in the German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, which was made in 1919. This film is credited as the beginning of expressionism within German film. There was no location shooting, but relied on sets that were painted to represent the mental state of a madman.

Other landmark films from this period in German silent film are Nosferatu 1922 and The Golem 1920.

Films from this period concentrated on imagery and symbolism to tell the narrative. The expressionist movement within German silent cinema ended during the mid 1920’s.