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Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (March 4, 1922)

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Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror

Released on March 4, 1922: The first motion picture that told the story of Dracula based on the Bram Stoker novel.

Directed by F.W. Murnau

The Actors: Max Schreck (Count Graf Orlok / Nosferatu), Gustav von Wangenheim (Hutter), Greta Schroder (Ellen Hutter), Alexander Granach (Knock, real estate agent), Georg H. Schnell (Harding, Hutter's friend), Ruth Landshoff (Annie Harding), John Gottowt (Professor Bulwer), Gustav Botz (Professor Sievers), Max Nemetz (Captain of the Demeter), Wolfgang Heinz (Zweiter Captain), Albert Venohr (Matrose 1), Eric von Viele (Matrose 2), Karl Etlinger (unknown), Guido Herzfeld (Wirt), Loni Nest (child at window), Fanny Schreck (nurse in the hospital), Hardy von Francois (doctor), Heinrich Witte (a keeper in the mad house).


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My big sister Carol will not watch this motion picture. If I were not so involved with researching the actors who made the film, and the director and the plot and such, I would probably quake with fear and have nightmares after watching it. You see, Dad was a preacher . . . a Hell and Brimstone preacher, who believed in the Devil, and taught us to believe. We were taught that just as there are angels among us, there are also demons. They were and are very real, causing havoc with everyone that they can. Strange and horrible things happened all over the world yesterday, and more will happen today, and surely even more tomorrow. I foggily recall a story told long ago when I was a child about my older sister Vivian. I don't recall whether the story was about her or her husband Jim, or both of them, but I remember that they woke up one night during the darkest part of the night, and discovered that someone or something was pulling mightily on their feet. They quickly reached up to the rails of the headboard of the bed and wrapped their arms around the rails to keep from being pulled out of the bed. After a few minutes whatever what pulling at their feet was gone, and turning on the lights they examined the whole house . . . finding nothing.

It is common knowledge that the authors of the best books base their characters and stories on known events from their life. We don't know if Bram Stoker had any personal experience with werewolves or vampires, but his book, and this first telling of that story, seems eerily real. And Max Schreck - the fellow who played the part of the Count from Transylvania - he was probably a kindly old grandfather in real life, but he is the most frightening person that I have ever seen in my life. When he looks at a photo of Hutter's wife and remarks about what a beautiful neck she has, the shivers enveloped me quickly.

The movie begins with these chilling words: Nosferatu. Does this word not sound like the deathbird calling your name at midnight? Beware you never say it - for then the pictures of life will fade to shadows, haunting dreams will climb forth from your heart and feed on your blood.

Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn drizzled with warm melted butter and be afraid . . . be very afraid . . . because demons of Hell walk among us tonight in all their wickedness, and the demon of death is at the door!

Alexander Granach
Alexander Granach, the real estate agent
Edmund Cobb
Alexander Granach promises Gustav von Wangenheim a lot of money to sell the empty house across the street to the wealthy Count of Transylvania
Alexander Granach
Alexander Granach, the real estate agent hatches the plot to sell a home to the Count
Alexander Granach in 1922
Alexander Granach in 1922
Greta Schroder
Greta Schroder, as Ellen Hutter, clutches her breast in horror as Nosferatu approaches her
Georg H. Schnell and Hardy von Francois
Georg H. Schnell and Hardy von Francois
Gretta Schroder
Greta Schroder
Gustav von Wangenheim and Max Schreck
Gustav von Wangenheim meets the Count, played by Max Schreck, for the first time
Gustav von Wangenheim
Gustav von Wangenheim, as Hutter, sees the Count from Transylvania in his castle
Gustav von Wangenheim
Gustav von Wangenheim
Gustav von Wangenheim and Max Schreck
Hutter spots Nosferatu sleeping in his coffin
Max Schrenk's shadow
Nosferatu climbes the stairs to claim Ellen Hutter as his next victim.
Max Schreck watches Gustav von Wangenheim sleep
Nosferatu watches Hutter sleep