Curiosities | ‘Nosferatu’, a classic of German expressionism, turns 100 in 2022!

Along with the history of cinema there are several film schools of inestimable importance to the various genres that exist today – and one of them is the Expressionist school.

Giving the first signs of life in the pre-WWI era and peaking in popularity in the 1920s, the mainstream aesthetic of feature films of the era plunged headlong into low-budget, spooky settings. and unrealistic, play of light and shadow. , in addition to bizarre angles and a tale steeped in madness, betrayal and other topics that have dialogued with the rise of psychology.

One of the most famous titles is ‘Nosferatu’. Directed by FW Murnau and inspired by the Gothic novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, the film has inspired many filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock and Guillermo del Toro. The story revolves around a real estate agent named Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) who has to sell a castle owned by eccentric Count Graf Orlock (Max Schreck). The Earl, in fact, is a former vampire who spreads terror in the Bremen region of Germany and takes an interest in Ellen, Hutter’s wife.

Acquiring an indescribable legacy, the feature was added to Rotten Tomatoes with no less than 97% approval and a very high 9.05 / 10 rating, as well as an appearance on countless lists of the best films of all. the temperature.

To celebrate its weight in the entertainment scene and its 100th anniversary (which is celebrated in March of this year), CinePOP has put together a list with a few behind-the-scenes trivia for you to check out.


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The film was banned in Sweden due to excessive horror. It took no less than fifty years for the ban to be lifted, only in 1972. All negatives and prints were destroyed under an agreement at a lawsuit reached by Stoker’s widow. However, the feature film will eventually resurface through second-gen rolls in other countries.

Ruth Landshoff, an actress who played the hero’s sister, described a scene in which she fled with the vampire, running along the beach. The scene, however, is not in any version of the feature film – nor in the original script. “The Vampire’s Shadow”, released in 2000, is a fictional depiction of the events surrounding the production of the feature film, based on the urban legend that Schreck was, in fact, a vampire. The actor was played by Willem Dafoe in the production. Murnau often used arches, doors and portals to frame the figures. In at least one of the sequences, he also manipulates part of the shot to obtain the desired frame.

Wangenheim wasn’t Murnau’s first or second choice to play Hutter in the feature, but his third. The concept in popular culture that sunlight is lethal to vampires is inspired by this film – which portrays such a death for the first time in movie history. Murnau knew he would be prosecuted for drawing heavily on Stoker’s “Dracula” without presumption, so he decided to change the end of production to say that the two narratives weren’t quite the same.

The main antagonist of the work, Count Orlok, does not appear until after the 21st minute of the film. Nosferatu is seen for less than 9 minutes in the feature film. A lot of the scenes shot with Orlok were shot during the day, and when seen in black and white, it was pretty obvious. This potential “mistake” was corrected when the “official” versions of the film were painted blue to represent the night.

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