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Nosferatu A Symphony Of Horror

107 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Max Schreck, Greta Schröder, Ruth Landshoff, Gustav von Wangenheim, Georg H. Schnell
  • Directors: F.W. Murnau
  • Writers: Bram Stoker, Henrik Galeen
  • Producers: Albin Grau, Enrico Dieckmann
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Silent, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000055ZB8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,338 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

The greatest horror film of all! A long time ago in middle Europe, a decrepit, forbidding castle stood. Casting an ominous shadow over the townspeople who dare not look upon it, the unholy dwelling is home to one Count Orlok (Max Schreck), an undead night creature with a taste for human blood. Showcasing the extremely eerie Schreck, "Nosferatu" is the first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula," stylistically directed by the legendary F.W. Murnau. Now available in this gorgeous newly remastered and rescored by The Silent Orchestra in 5.1 audio.

F.W. Murnau changed the name and ghastly appearance of his villain, but this unauthorized version of Bram Stoker's Dracula couldn't fool the Stoker estate, and it became the center of a lawsuit that almost resulted in its complete destruction. Thankfully this masterpiece survives (though in a somewhat altered form), for despite its liberties with the novel, this 1921 horror classic remains the most beautiful and resonant interpretation of Stoker. Though the plot remains essentially the same--naive real-estate clerk Thomas (Gustav von Wangenheim) is sent abroad to finalize a sale with the nocturnal Count Orlock (the hideous-looking Max Schreck), who imprisons Thomas and travels to England to claim Thomas's beautiful young wife, Ellen (Greta Schroder), as his own--the visual realization creates a very different story. Schreck plays the vampire as a grotesque demon, with his claw-like hands, bald head and sharp, bat-like ears, and he rises from his coffin with an supernatural stiffness, like a tent pole pulled upright. When the eerily empty ghost ship carrying his coffin arrives in Thomas's home port, a river of rats pours out and spreads through the town like a plague. Perhaps the most noticeable changes from the novel are the absence of Van Helsing and the richer realization of Ellen, the would-be victim, whose innate sensibility and solemn spirituality give her a spooky connection with the vampire. With his stark, symbol-laden visual scheme and sacrificial conclusion, Murnau creates a more mythic tale than any subsequent adaptation of Stoker's novel. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E. Dolnack on June 13 2003
Format: DVD
There are a number of versions of the original Murnau film "Nosferatu" floating around out there, and as a big fan of the film, I've bought most of them and will discuss them so that you don't have to waste time and money trying to decide which to buy. Unfortunately, I am only going to compare the current DVD releases however, and only those in my part of the globe - Region 1. By all means, avoid the embarrassingly bad VHS version with the modern score by "Type-O-Negative".
This is a black & white silent film for those who don't know. Sound wasn't invented for another five years after this film was made and color wasn't introduced for another ten to twelve after that. Bram Stoker's widow successfully had most copies of this film destroyed by infringement of copyright during the twenties, so the few existing prints today are sadly in poor condition. Most films in the silent era were color-tinted, and rarely viewed as pure black & white (so don't put all the blame on Ted Turner for starting that trend). As there was no soundtrack in those days, live orchestras performed the music behind the film. Today, if the original score is not known, (as is the case with Nosferatu), then we try and "fake it" with a modern composition recorded onto the cassette, laserdisc, or DVD. Some modern scores are fitting and appropriate, while others just stink (such as the Type-O-Negative score). The other problem with older films is that projectors weren't standardized yet, so people produced films at all sorts of different "running speeds". Today, all film is photographed at 24 frames a second, but back then it was 20, 18, 30, whatever...this is why many films of that era, when translated to present day film, run speedy like a bad episode of the "Keystone Cops".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17 2006
Format: DVD
I originally bought this simply for my intellectual appreciation for silent films, but I found that I truly enjoyed it. The primitive special effects add to the creepiness of this movie, such as the choppy stop-motion sequences in which a coffin lid moves itself into place, and the fast-forward way a horse and carriage moves through the woods. Also notable is the excellent organ music that adds a real ambiance. This is perfect for a classic halloween viewing. I abolutely loved it. My only complaint is that the guy on the directors cut has THE most boring voice. But all in all an excellent film
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KrismarieD on July 24 2008
Format: DVD
This movie, as most people probably know already, is about a vampire, much like the Dracula novel, which it was based on. There are huge differences between Dracula and Nosferatu, however; Nosferatu is not this charming, cape-wearing, handsome villain who oozes sex appeal. He's bald, hunched-over, with pointed ears and strange rodent-teeth.
You arn't meant to be attracted to him, you're meant to fear him. And when he travels in the movie, he doesn't go alone; he brings plague rats with him.
I love this movie. It's not so much scary as creepy, though I did get genuinely frightened during one of the castle scenes with him. Most of the movie plays on atmosphere, and the music, which is a good reason to get the Kino version, as the music is actually GOOD, compared to most versions of this film.
I never found this film boring, but I can see how others might find it so at first. You can't watch this movie expecting a modern day movie sans talking. The shooting style is different, the acting style different. Like I said above, it's not shock-style fear being created; is drawn-out, atmospheric creepiness.
And the acting you see isn't over-acting; it's the only way to really convey an emotion in a silent film.
Sorry, I'm rambling. All I can really end up saying is that I liked it. I loved it, actually. But an IMPORTANT final note; sound isn't the only reason to get the Kino version. The transfer is so clear, you forgot it's in black and white. It is more expensive, but definately worth it. Most other versions just arn't worth seeing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach on May 24 2004
Format: DVD
It always surprises me when I suddenly notice there are horror films I should have seen years ago but am only seeing for the first time now. F.W. Murnau's 1922 classic take on the vampire legend, "Nosferatu" is one of these films. What horror film fan would not take some time to watch this legendary creation? Well, me for one. I put it off for years due to my general dislike of the vampire sub genre. You can only take so many debonair duffers tooling around a castle sinking their fangs into the throats of girls before you give up in frustration. A few vampire films I like, such as "Fright Night," but as a general rule I can leave them more often than I can take them. It only took a few minutes of "Nosferatu" to discover this film wasn't going to be the type of vampire film I am used to seeing. You won't see a Frank Langella or Christopher Lee type playing the lead bloodsucker in this disturbing movie. One look at the hideous visage on the DVD cover provides ample evidence that the vampire in this movie won't wow the ladies with his good looks or suave charm. The vampire in "Nosferatu" is exactly how a vampire should look.
Set in Germany back in the nineteenth century, "Nosferatu" tells the horrific tale of an entire town stricken by the evil machinations of the rat-like Count Orlok, a truly sinister figure both loathsome and repellent. After a real estate agent named Knock sells the count his property, he falls under the spell of its gruesome tenant. The agent wants Orlok to come to Bremen, so he sends his assistant Hutter out to the castle. Harker's virginal wife Ellen objects to the sudden departure of her husband, but knows he must fulfill the obligations of his job. The scenes involving the trip to Orlok's pad and Hutter's subsequent stay are masterpieces of ominous foreshadowing.
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