Released in 1922, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror holds the distinction of being the very first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A silent film that still holds the power today to terrify and fascinate.
This October, just in time for Halloween, Eureka! Entertainment will be releasing a newly restored print of the film into theaters in the UK. The limited theatrical run kicks off on Friday, October 25th, and the print will also be shown as part of the British Film Institute’s festival GOTHIC: The Dark Heart of Film, beginning October 21st. You can find dates and theaters for the screenings over on BFI’s website.
For those of you outside the UK, have no fear – you’ll be able to experience the same restored version of the film, only on a bit of a smaller screen. Eureka! will also be releasing the film on both Blu-ray and DVD as part of their Masters of Cinema series. The discs will be released on November 18th, and you can find the full listing of special features below along with a trailer that showcases the restoration.
An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror continues to haunt — and, indeed, terrify — modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare and launched the signature “Murnau-style” that would change cinema history forever.
In this first-ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok — portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck, in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology — who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land… and establish his ambiguous dominion. As to whether the count’s campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree, erotic compulsion, or the simple impulse of survival — that remains, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all in this film that’s like a blackout…
Remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 (and inspiring films as diverse as Abel Ferrara’s King of New York and The Addiction and E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire), F. W. Murnau’s surreal 1922 cine-fable remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of “the horror film.”
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