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Nosferatu (The Vampyre / Phantom der Nacht)

Klaus Kinski , Isabelle Adjani , Werner Herzog    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 69.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Werner Herzog's remake of F.W. Murnau's original vampire classic is at once a generous tribute to the great German director and a distinctly unique vision by one of cinema's most idiosyncratic filmmakers. Though Murnau's Nosferatu was actually an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Herzog based his film largely on Murnau's conceptions--at times directly quoting Murnau's images--but manages to slip in a few references to Tod Browning's famous version (at one point the vampire comments on the howling wolves: "Listen, the children of the night make their music."). Longtime Herzog star Klaus Kinski is both hideous and melancholy as Nosferatu (renamed Count Dracula in the English language version). As in Murnau's film, he's a veritable gargoyle with his bald pate and sunken eyes, and his talon-like fingernails and two snaggly fangs give him a distinctly feral quality. But Kinski's haunting eyes also communicate a gloomy loneliness--the curse of his undead immortality--and his yearning for Lucy (Isabelle Adjani) becomes a melancholy desire for love. Bruno Ganz's sincere but foolish Jonathan is doomed to the vampire's will and his wife, Lucy, a holy innocent whose deathly pallor and nocturnal visions link her with the ghoulish Nosferatu, becomes the only hope against the monster's plague-like curse. Herzog's dreamy, delicate images and languid pacing create a stunningly beautiful film of otherworldly mood, a faithful reinterpretation that by the conclusion has been shaped into a quintessentially Herzog vision. --Sean Axmaker

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THE ENGLISH AND GERMAN VERSIONS OF THE MODERN HORROR MASTERPIECE In 1979, award-winning director Werner Herzog and his volatile star Klaus Kinski embarked on a milestone in international cinema: a dual-language remake of F.W. Murnau's legendary 1922 horror classic NOSFERATU. The film starred Kinski in the performance of a lifetime as the predatory vampire Dracula, with Isabelle Adjani (THE TENANT) as his beloved Lucy and Bruno Ganz (WINGS OF DESIRE) as the doomed Jonathan Harker. Filmed on breathtaking locations throughout Europe and simultaneously shot in both German and English-speaking versions that create fascinating differences in tone and texture, Werner Herzog's NOSFERATU has since become recognized worldwide as the definitive version of the Dracula legend as well as one of the most extraordinarily haunting horror films ever made. Includes a 4-Page Collector's Booklet.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Belief and Science Clash April 29 2004
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht directed by Werner Herzog, is really a color remake of the 1922 film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens directed by F.W. Murnau. There are a couple of name changes: Count Orlok became Count Dracula; Jonathan's fiancée Nina became Jonathan's wife Lucy. The original film was silent and in black and white, where the 1979 version is in color and is in German with English subtitles.
However the plot is close to Bram Stoker's book on Count Dracula which has a very similar plot line and story. F.W. Murnau bought the movie rights to the film; however these rights were owned by Bram's widow Florence and she refused to allow the use of the name and storyline. Even though Murnau had changed the major names of the main characters (Count Dracula, Thomas and his wife Ellen) and location enough similarity remained that Florence took the case to court and in July of 1925 the German court ordered all the copies of the movie destroyed. However a few copies did manage to survive.
While the film starts off slow it shows spectacular scenes of an ocean voyage, and waterfalls experienced during Jonathan (Bruno Ganz) Harker's journey to Count (Klaus Kinski) Dracula's castle. The contrast with his return trip is startling, since he was healthy when he started, but on the return is very sickly and barely alive. The Count's journey is very stark, his companions' death and rats board another ship, which glides into port with no one left alive on board except the rats. As the rats depart the ship one reminded of the story of Ben, where the rats were everywhere and out of control.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Pretence Aug. 3 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This 1979 German sound remake of the 1922 Murnau silent classic (The making of which was later to be the basis for the ficticious film SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE) is again closely based on Bram Stoker's novel DRACULA.
Klaus Kinski plays the Count as a victim doomed by circumstance to be one of the undead. A lonely, brooding soul craving love. After a meeting with businessman Jonathan Harker, the Count soon sets upon his fiancee Lucy (the stunning Isabelle Adjani) to be his next conquest/unsuspecting prey.
Written, Produced and Directed by Werner Herzog; the film begins promisingly with its hypnotic & chilling opening credits; but despite eeriely effective photography by Jorg Schmidt-Reitwein this version is slow, arty, pretentious and just not scary.
The movie's highlight is the sequence featuring the pack of rats. Apparently there's some deep meaning to it- probably tied in to the sickness and decay brought on by the plague. But I'm not in a deep and meaningful frame of mind at the moment. When a movie is this self-absorbed, is it truly deserving of that kind of analysis?
This version is poorly dubbed in English and is 10 minutes shorter than the German print. The ending does come as a surprise however.
The classical score is also worth noting, as Herzog appears to be using it as a means to pay homage to the Max Schreck version: Murnau's superior feature was sub-titled A SYMPHONY OF TERROR.
But in the long run you're probably better off watching the original version or Coppola's BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA instead. Kinski is good in the role (his interpretation of Count Dracula is closer to Jack Palance's than Lugosi or Lee), but even this slightly truncated version will test the patience of horror fans who prefer lashings of blood & bulging bodices in their vampire flicks.
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By falcon
this is one different movie.it's Werner Herzog's version of the Dracula
story.(it is in English)it's a low budget affair to be sure,but that
doesn't detract from it's quality as a film.you won't find any over the
top blood and guts in this one,and the acting is very subdued,but not
in a bad way.the movie itself is very haunting and creepy.i like how
the light and shadows were utilized.Klaus Kinski portrays Dracula and
brings an element of sympathy to the character,but also makes him more
tragic.Dracula is not depicted as a suave seducer of women in this
film.quite the opposite.he is actually just this side of hideous and
repulsive.the makeup dept did a great job with this character.Isabelle
Adjani portrays Lucy Harker,object of the count's desire,and new wife
of Jonathon(Bruno Ganz).Adjani is very effective in her role as the
haunting beauty best by nightmares and a sense of dread.Bruno Ganz as
Jonathon is also well portrayed,but the movie is really more a tragic
love story(although twisted) between Lucy and the count.the character
of Dr. Van Helsing is really a minor character here.the character of
Renfield played by Roland Topor,steals the show with his scenes,and not
always in a good way.the character is equal parts compelling and
annoying.that maniacal laugh wears thin sometimes,but Topor really
seems gleeful in the role.the movie is filled with dread and melancholy and
i think is much more accurate and faithful to the novel by Bram
Stoker.the only thing i didn't like about this movie is that the music
sometimes doesn't seem to fit.sometimes it's almost whimsical,when i
don't think it should be.also if you are expecting a fast paced
movie,you will be disappointed with this one.it can be very slow at
times.otherwise,it's a pretty decent adaptation.is it the definitive
version?possibly.for me,"Nosferatu:The Vampyre" is a 4/5
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Most recent customer reviews
A good, but not great, colour "talkie" version of the classic 1922 'Nosferatu, A Symphony Of Terror' silent film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eddy B
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this....
While Klaus Kinski effectively plays one of the weirdest vampires on screen, as did the original Max Schreck, the movie just drags on. Read more
Published 3 months ago by B. Armitage
3.0 out of 5 stars I saw the English version.
Although there are some great atmospheric shots in Nosferatu, as well as major creepiness any time the vampire himself comes onto the screen, there are long periods when the film... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2004 by Esn024
5.0 out of 5 stars Good remake!
Remakes don't get much better that this, lets give a round of applause to the drictor, it's hard to make a remake of a classic film. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Lauren B. Floss
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic Art-House Version of Dracula
For our second outing between Kinski and Herzog we find that the director has chosen to remake, or rather retell, his favorite film of all time - 'Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by OverTheMoon
3.0 out of 5 stars Vamps that don't suck
"Nosferatu the Vampyre" is the 1979 remake of the 1929 silent film classic. I have read a lot of reviews comparing the two, but I can't; I never saw the original. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Vagabond77
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dracula" Dead & Loving It?
The first thing I need to point out before I write one word about this film is apparently there are two versions of this film. One in German another in English. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004 by Alex Udvary
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the most overated film ever
This is a critics' darling. Don't get me wrong, I love great films and count Godfather Part I, Citizen Kane, La Strada, and Schindler's List among my favorites. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamlike Fantasy
What more can be said about tis movie? A true treasure. Klaus Kinski gives his best performance as Count Dracula. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2003 by Dwayne Brue
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the original
Yes I know the original is a classic. But no one said you couldn't try to improve. And Klaus Kinski (you should see him with makeup on) is a natural. Read more
Published on June 26 2003 by bernie
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