Top positive review
THE one to own!
on November 1, 2015
This is a review for the new 2015 re-release of Kino`s Nosferatu(released March/22)starring,among others, Max Schreck,Gustav von Wangenheim,Greta Schröder and Alexander Granach.This is Murnau's film piece that he is most remembered for today.This film would be closer to Stoker's book than the Hollywood remake starring Lugosi(but still not right on,because Murnau and company didn`t even ask permission from the Stoker estate!).
The story starts in a fictional German town called Wisborg.A real estate agent called Knock calls on one of his employees,Thomas.He wants him to go to Transylvania to seal a deal with a Count Orlock to buy a home right across the way from Thomas's.It's an old,creepy and run down looking place,but a sale is a sale.His wife Eillen is filled with fear upon hearing the news.Assuaging her feelings as best he can,he is soon off.
It is a long trek to Transylvania and he is forced to stay overnight at a local inn before continuing his journey the next day.While there he comes across a small tome on Vampires,which explains their habits and what one must watch out for.Thomas thinks nothing of it and next day he is off to the castle in a coach.The coach only goes part way as its' drivers will not go any farther.Thomas is forced to hoof it to the Count's castle,but a strange coach soon arrives at break neck speed to pick him up and get him to the castle toute suite.He arrives just before midnight.After supper the mysterious Count pleads with Thomas to stay up with him until morning.
The camera fades out and when it fades back in Thomas awakes the next morning in his chair,with his head tilted to one side.He soon discovers two small punctures in his throat,which in a letter later to his wife he explains as two mosquito bites.Thomas has to spend another day and night at the castle,during which time the Count signs the deal for the old house in Wisborg.However later that night,much to Thomas's horror,the Count pays an unwelcome visit to Thomas' room.Later,upon awakening from a strange sleep,he makes a makeshift rope out of bed sheets and climbs down the castle tower.But the sheets only go so far and he is forced to jump,injuring himself.The following day the Count is up early and fills a wagon with several coffins,which he drives to the docks to be shipped to Wisborg.
Thomas is taken to a local hospital to recover.He is delirious for a time, but eventually regains enough self control to head back home as quick as he can get there,sensing a terrible unknown danger.The Count meanwhile has had his coffins loaded aboard ship and is already sailing to Wisborg.Along the way mysterious "plagues" erupt at various ports wherever the ship docks.On the last leg of the journey the ship itself becomes the Count's "playground", and the crew dies one by one,until he is the only one"alive".Thomas arrives home on the same morning as the Count reaches Wisborg,in the early morning hours carrying his own coffin to his new home.It is not too long after that the town starts experiencing a "plague" of its own.People start falling like flies.Thomas' wife reads parts of the small book he had picked up at the inn.One passage states that only an innocent's blood that keeps a vampire from resisting the call of the morning crow, will be able to kill it.One night Thomas's wife awakens from a sound sleep,while the Count across the way beckons to her.She manages to awaken Thomas to go get the local doctor.She falls back down on the bed and the Count comes a-calling,gorging himself on her blood.However the call of the crow echoes later through the town and the Count is caught out in the sunlight with no place to go.As the rays surround him he disappears into a puff of smoke.Thomas arrives with the doctor just as Eillen dies in his arms,but knowing she has freed the world from the Counts spell.
I have seen many,MANY versions of this film over the years.All truncated forms of what I saw on this disc.This is the most complete,comprehensive and very best print of this film I have ever seen.In fact it looks better than Kino`s recently re-released Phantom of the Opera,filmed three years later.The orchestral score is the original 1922 score from its premiere and it is spectacular.
Technically the film is in its fulls screen version and it`s clear and crisp.It has many artifacts of its age but it has been cleaned up beautifully.Disc one has the English title version,along with the extras which include a featurette on the film and its making,an image gallery and excerpts from many of Murnau`s early 20`s films.
All in all a wonderful addition to any film buff`s collection.Remastered in Hi-Def,this print is arguably the best ever presented for this film.The story is much fuller,thus creepier and scarier.Fully tinted,this is the one to own.Highly recommended.