F.W. Murnau's German silent classic is the original--and some say most frightening--DRACULA adaptation, taking Bram Stoker's novel and turning it into a haunting, shadowy dream full of dread. Names had to be changed from the novel when Stoker's wife charged his novel was being filmed without proper permission. Running times vary depending upon versions of the film. Count Orlok, the rodentlike vampire frighteningly portrayed by Max Schreck, is perhaps the most animalistic screen portrayal of a vampire ever filmed. The design was copied by Werner Herzog in his 1979 remake and by Tobe Hooper for his telefilm of Stephen King's SALEM'S LOT that same year. NOSFERATU is an eerie, menacing film that should not be missed.
The last name of Max Schreck is German for "terror" or "to frighten." In 2000, Willem Dafoe portrayed Max Schreck and John Malkovich played F.W. Murnau in the film SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE.
"...[A] silent masterpiece..." - 01/27/1993 USA Today, p.9D
"...The bloodsucker flick that sired them all..." - 01/12/2001 Entertainment Weekly, p.61
"...NOSFERATU inspired dozens of other Dracula films, none of them as artistic or unforgettable..." - 09/28/1997 Chicago Sun-Times, p.5
"...A genius of silent cinema, Murnau uses a range of primitive but still startling techniques..." - 09/01/2000 Total Film, p.114
"...[A] classic..." - 04/01/2001 Sight and Sound, p.64
"...Haunting....The nightmarish appearance of Max Schreck as history's favorite vampire remains an indelible image of horror..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.3
5 stars out of 5 -- "[E]ven across the oceans of time since it was made, it still creeps you out like very few creature features have ever done." - 01/01/2008 Empire, p.201
4 stars out of 5 -- "[The film] remains the template of vampire cinema....Max Schreck still registers as one one of the eeriest ghouls of horror cinema." - 01/01/2008 Uncut, p.131
"Hes a thousand times freakier than any other screen Dracula, and Murnau suddenly kicks the film into Expressionist overdrive with the sequence of Nosferatus ocean voyage..." -- Grade: B+ - 11/13/2013 A.V. Club