Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Nosferatu"...the first and best


Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (translated as Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror; or simply Nosferatu) is a classic 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, "vampire" became "Nosferatu" and "Count Dracula" became "Count Orlok").


Thomas Hutter (Jonathan Harker in Stoker's novel) lives in the fictitious German city of Wisborg. His employer, Knock (Stoker's Renfield), sends Hutter to Transylvania to visit a new client named Count Orlok (Stoker's Count Dracula). Hutter entrusts his loving wife Ellen (Stoker's Mina Harker) to his good friend Harding (Stoker's Arthur Holmwood) and Harding's sister Annie (Stoker's Lucy Westenra), before embarking on his long journey. Nearing his destination in the Carpathian mountains, Hutter stops at an inn for dinner. The locals become frightened by the mere mention of Orlok's name and discourage him from traveling to his castle at night, warning of a werewolf on the prowl. The next morning, Hutter takes a coach to a high mountain pass, but the coachmen decline to take him any further than the bridge as nightfall is approaching. A black-swathed coach appears after Hutter crosses the bridge and the coachman gestures for him to climb aboard. Hutter is welcomed at a castle by Count Orlok. When Hutter is eating dinner and accidentally cuts his thumb, Orlok tries to suck the blood out, but his repulsed guest pulls his hand away.

Hutter wakes up to a deserted castle the morning after and notices fresh punctures on his neck, which he attributes to mosquitoes or spiders. That night, Orlok signs the documents to purchase the house across from Hutter's own home. Hutter writes a letter to his wife and gets a coachman to send it. Reading a book about vampires that he took from the local inn, Hutter starts to suspect that Orlok is Nosferatu, the "Bird of Death." He cowers in his room as midnight approaches, but there is no way to bar the door. The door opens by itself and Orlok enters, his true nature finally revealed, and Hutter falls unconscious. The next day, Hutter explores the castle. In its crypt, he finds the coffin in which Orlok is resting dormant. Hutter becomes horrified and dashes back to his room. Hours later from the window, he sees Orlok piling up coffins on a coach and climbing into the last one before the coach departs. Hutter escapes the castle through the window, but is knocked unconscious by the fall, and awakes in a hospital.

When he is sufficiently recovered, he hurries home. Meanwhile, the coffins are shipped down river on a raft. They are transferred to a schooner, but not before one is opened by the crew, revealing a multitude of rats. The sailors on the ship get sick one by one; soon all but the captain and first mate are dead. Suspecting the truth, the first mate goes below to destroy the coffins. However, Orlok awakens and the horrified sailor jumps into the sea. Unaware of his danger, the captain becomes Orlok's latest victim when he ties himself to the wheel. When the ship arrives in Wisborg, Orlok leaves unobserved, carrying one of his coffins, and moves into the house he purchased. The next morning, when the ship is inspected, the captain is found dead. After examining the logbook, the doctors assume they are dealing with the plague. The town is stricken with panic, and people are warned to stay inside.

There are many deaths in the town, which are blamed on the plague. Knock, who had been committed to a psychiatric ward, escapes after murdering the warden. The townspeople give chase, but he eludes them by climbing a roof, then using a scarecrow. Meanwhile, Orlok stares from his window at the sleeping Ellen. Against her husband's wishes, Ellen had read the book he found. The book claims that the way to defeat a vampire is for a woman who is pure in heart to distract the vampire with her beauty all through the night. She opens her window to invite him in, but faints. When Hutter revives her, she sends him to fetch Professor Bulwer (Stoker's Abraham Van Helsing). After he leaves, Orlok comes in. He becomes so engrossed drinking her blood that he forgets about the coming day. When a rooster crows, Orlok vanishes in a puff of smoke as he tries to flee. Ellen lives just long enough to be embraced by her grief-stricken husband. The last scene shows Count Orlok's ruined castle in the Carpathian Mountains, symbolizing the end of Count Orlok.


was the only production of Prana Film, founded in 1921 by Enrico Dieckmann and Albin Grau. Grau had the idea to shoot a vampire film; the inspiration arose from Grau's war experience: in the winter of 1916, a Serbian farmer told him that his father was a vampire and one of the Undead.

Diekmann and Grau gave Henrik Galeen the task to write a screenplay inspired from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, despite Prana Film not having obtained the film rights. Galeen was an experienced specialist in Dark romanticism; he had already worked on Der Student von Prag (The Student of Prague) in 1913, and the screenplay for Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (The Golem: How He Came into the World) (1920). Galeen set the story in a fictional north German harbour town named Wisborg and changed the character names. He added the idea of the vampire bringing the plague to Wisborg via rats on the ship. He left out the Van Helsing vampire hunter character. Galeen's Expressionist style screenplay was poetically rhythmic, without being so dismembered as other books influenced by literary Expressionism, such as those by Carl Mayer. Lotte Eisner described Galeen's screenplay as "voll Poesie, voll Rhythmus" ("full of poetry, full of rhythm").

Filming began in July 1921, with exterior shots in Wismar. A take from Marienkirche's tower over Wismar marketplace with the Wasserkunst Wismar served as the establishing shot for the Wisborg scene. Other locations were the Wassertor, the Heiligen-Geist-Kirche yard and the harbour. In Lübeck, the abandoned Salzspeicher served as Nosferatu's new Wisborg house, the one of the churchyard from Aegidienkirche served as Hutters and down the Depenau coffin bearers bore coffins. Many walks of Lübeck took place in the hunt of Knock who ordered Hutter in the Yard of Füchting to meet the earl. Further exterior shots followed in Lauenburg, Rostock and on Sylt. The exteriors of the film set in Transylvania were actually shot on location in northern Slovakia, including the High Tatras, Vrátna Valley, Orava Castle, the Váh River, and Starhrad. The team filmed interior shots at the JOFA studio in Berlin's Johannisthal locality and further exteriors in the Tegel Forest.

For cost reasons, cameraman Fritz Arno Wagner only had one camera available, and therefore there was only one original negative. The director followed Galeen's screenplay carefully, following handwritten instructions on camera positioning, lighting, and related matters. Nevertheless Murnau completely rewrote 12 pages of the script, as Galeen's text was missing from the director's working script. This concerned the last scene of the film, in which Ellen sacrifices herself and the vampire dies in the first rays of the Sun. Murnau prepared carefully; there were sketches that were to correspond exactly to each filmed scene, and he used a metronome to control the pace of the acting.


A Symphony of Horror [eine Symphonie des Grauens]


"Nosferatu (Eine Symphonie des Grauens)"


Michael Koller

senses of cinema

Based illegally on Bram Stoker's Dracula, F. W. Murnau's film is undeniably the best and probably the most faithful of the myriad of films based on the novel. Naively, the film's producers attempted to circumvent the author's estate's copyright by changing the names and central location of the film. London became Wisborg, Count Dracula is called Graf Orlock, Jonathan Harker became Hutter and his wife Mina was named Ellen, and so on. Ironically, in all prints struck over the last few decades, the names (apart from the location, for obvious reasons) have reverted to the originals of Stoker's novel. Made on a tiny budget by Praha-Film, as the first of an ambitious slate of occult films, an overzealous spending on promotion sent the film rapidly into debt, limiting its distribution potential. Add to this, a tenacious perseverance on the part of Stoker's wife Florence to protect her copyright (who almost saw to the destruction of all prints of the film when the original negative was destroyed after a court decision). Certainly, the novice producers, businessman Enrico Dieckmann and designer, painter, architect, and occultist Albin Grau, who was the film's art director (costumes and sets) and story board artist, were familiar with Stoker's novel. The title of the film comes allegedly from the Romanian word for the undead, and The Undead was the working title of Stoker's book. The Carpathian Mountains, in Romania, is where Dracula lives prior to his relocating.

Nosferatu's scriptwriter Henrik Galeen, had previously gained a reputation for his horror/fantasy and Expressionistic work through his co-direction and scripting of the 1914 version of Der Golem and Der Student von Prague (1920) and his script for the 1920 version of Der Golem. Later he was to script Waxworks (1924) and write and direct Alraune (1927), cementing his position as the major collaborator on all of the best German fantasy films. His technique for maintaining the multiple perspectives and the fragmentary nature of Stoker's novel was to frame the story as the chronicle of an unidentified narrator, inserting texts, letters, newspaper clippings, diary and log book entries and documentary footage similar in style to the arachnid footage later used by Buñuel in L'Age d'Or (1930). (1) Murnau further added to this fragmentation with an extensive and complex use of cross-cutting between scenes. Whereas Stoker's novel is contemporaneous (1897), Galeen's script is set at the time of "The Great Death in Wisborg in the year 1843 A.D." In the English language version, the intertitles have altered the location and era to Bremen, 1838, with the historian's name given as Johann Cavallius. The English language version alters several other plot details and sadly, loses the lyrical, Expressionistic character of Galeen's original intertitles. The original has, as Eisner notes, "oddly-broken lines. prolific use of exclamation marks, words in capitals, and letter-spaced lower-case matter. [a] staccato rhythm. with its incomplete sentences, clauses, phrases and idiosyncratic punctuation." (2) For simplicity's sake the remainder of the article will refer to the film's location as Bremen.

The positing of the story back in time by fifty years and the location shooting necessitated by the film's low budget had a profound effect upon the look of the film. Whereas Stoker's novel invokes Jack the Ripper, who operated in London in the late 1880s, Murnau's film conjures up the mediaeval Europe of the Plague. The film had, even at the time of its release, "the patina of antiquity", a look that Murnau created through the careful choice of locations. (3) Location filming was rare in Germany at the time of the film's production, but this allowed Murnau to suitably combine the two contradictory elements which exist in most of his work: expressionism and realism. Murnau was greatly influenced by the Swedish director Victor Sjöström in his use of the environment as a vital character in the drama of a film, and this is no better displayed than in this film. The busy, cluttered detail of Murnau's Transylvania and Bremen wreaks of old world decay and menace. These are the kind of locations where Dracula would feel at home, and his Bremen residence looks condemned. This appearance was achieved without the use of chiaroscuro lighting effects usually associated with German horror. Fritz Arno Wagner's use of shadows is very effective but surprisingly controlled considering the nature of the tale.

The film begins very conventionally. The initial exposition is uni-linear, realistic and pedestrian. It is only after the vampire appears that the tone changes and the cross-cutting begins. The precise sense of place is set dialectically against, although not always successfully, optical effects (speeded-up motion, stop-motion photography, superimpositions, and the use of negative), heavy make-up and Expressionist performances. The almost contradictory dichotomy of filmic realism partnered with Expressionist acting exists elsewhere in Murnau's work. This can produce profound results, as it does with Emil Jannings characterisations in Der Letzte Mann (1924) and Faust (1926), and with Max Schreck in the second half of Nosferatu, or it can unbalance the film as occurs with George O'Brien and Max Schreck, in the earlier stages of Sunrise (1927) and Nosferatu respectively. This may not be Schreck's fault. His performance is very restrained throughout. Schreck's make-up early in the film appears theatrical, but as the film progresses, this becomes more subtle and believable, perhaps developing with the skill of the make-up artist, culminating in the powerful images of the vampire that are commonly reproduced.

Max Schreck's role as the vampire was for many years after the completion of the film shrouded in legend, probably, in no small part due to Schreck's apt name (Schreck translates from German as fright, fear, terror, horror). Some believed, or were encouraged to believe, that Murnau had taken the role or that The Count was playing himself. Such tales are unfortunately untrue. Schreck may have been given the role because of his name, but he had been associated with Max Reinhardt's Berlin company, as had many of Murnau's collaborators. Schreck had an undistinguished film career apart from his role as the vampire, appearing in Murnau's The Grand Duke's Finances the year after Nosferatu. Murnau himself had been a student of, then actor and finally assistant to Reinhardt before the war, taking up filmmaking in 1919. Murnau was a perfectionist and a name alone would not have been sufficient reason to cast someone in a pivotal role. Schreck's emaciated, ungainly appearance, combined with his character's rodent-like features and the vampire's lengthening fingernails creates cinema's ugliest vampire, and fits with the film's aesthetic and theme of the vampire as the contagion of the epidemic that spread throughout Europe (vampire = rats); as a symbol of a diseased and corrupted aristocracy feeding off the vitality and youth of the young. This is different from the novel where the vampire is a suave and sophisticated seducer who is more akin to the sexual threat of Hammer's Christopher Lee. Here the relationship is more predatory than sexual. This is the natural order. The fatal disease is due to the parasite feeding off the living. Dr. Van Helsing shows his students a Venus fly-trap devouring a fly and a polyp with mouth and tentacles consuming its live victim. Life is the fear of death and disease.

Lotte Eisner draws a parallel between the dire influence of the vampire, and Murnau's personally traumatic struggle with his homosexuality and with Germany's repressive turn of the century legal code and moral climate which lent itself to the possibilities of blackmail. (4) Homosexuality may have been an implicit theme of vampire lore, but the repressive nature of the German state made it difficult to raise this theme.

Throughout the film, Murnau draws a fateful triangle between Dracula, Harker and Mina. At one point, as the vampire and Harker race to Bremen where Mina waits, Mina states, "He's coming. I must go out to meet him." The 'he' is made ambiguous, and this ambiguity has already been suggested earlier in the film where cross-cutting makes it appear that Mina is beckoning the vampire into her arms. He has already stated that she has a lovely neck and, at the conclusion of the film it is Mina's sacrifice that destroys the vampire. In Stoker it is Mina that must be saved, but here it is Mina that ends the tyranny. Whereas Stoker's vampire is killed by a stake, Nosferatu introduced the device of the vampire who is destroyed by the sun's rays and where Stoker's vampire casts no shadow, Murnau's does throughout to great dramatic effect. At the climax of the film, the shadow of the vampire's hand grasps at Mina's heart and she arches in pain. Murnau may have broken the laws of vampires, but he has obeyed the laws of the cinema.


1. This is shown to be Galeen's contribution and not Murnau's by a reading of Galeen's script included in the English translation of Lotte H. Eisner's Murnau, Cinema 2, Secker & Warburg, London 1973, pp. 228-70. Murnau's alterations are indicated in bold in the text.

2. ibid., p. 269.

3. Carlos Clarens, An Illustrated History of the Horror Film, Capricorn Books, New York, 1968, p. 23.

4. Lotte H. Eisner, The Haunted Screen, Cinema 2, Secker & Warburg, London, 1973, p. 98.

The script [transcribed by B. J. Kueh]...



   Count Dracula, the vampire....................Max Schreck
   Renfield, an estate agent..............Alexander Grannach
   Jonathon Harker, Renfield's clerk...Gustav von Wangenheim
   Nina, his wife............................Greta Schroeder
   Westenra, Harker's friend....................G. H. Schell
   Lucy, his wife.............................Ruth Landshoff
   The Professor................................John Gottowt
   The Town doctor...............................Gustav Botz
   Captain of the 'Demeter'.......................Max Nemetz
   First Mate.................................Wolfgang Heinz

From the diary of Johann Cavallius, able historican of his
native city of Bremen:  Nosferatu! That name alone can chill the
blood! Nosferatu! Was it he who brought the plaque to Bremen in
1838? I have long sought the causes of that terrible epidemic,
and found at its origin and its climax the innocent figures of
Jonathon Harker and his young wife Nina.

                     B R E M E N   1 8 3 8

            At the Home of Jonathon and Nina Harker
                     Harker leaves for work

HARKER:  (presents Nina with a bouquet of flowers)

                    In the streets of Bremen
                      Harker walks to work
                     An old man approaches

OLD MAN:  Wait, young man.  You can't escape destiny by running

HARKER:  (shakes the old man's hand and continues walking)

             At the Estate Office of Agent Renfield
                    Renfield reads a letter

The agent Renfield was a strange man, and there were unpleasant
rumors about him.

                          Enter Harker

RENFIELD:  Here is an important letter from Transylvania. Count
Dracula wishes to buy a house in our city.  It's a good
opportunity for you, Harker.  The Count is rich, and free with
his money.  You will have a marvelous journey.  And, young as
you are, what matter if it costs you some pain--or even a little
blood?  The house facing yours...that should suit him.  Leave at
once, my young friend.  And don't be frightened if people speak
of Transylvania as the land of phantoms.

                   At the Home of the Harkers

HARKER:  I may be away for several months, Nina.  Renfield is
sending me to some lost corner of the Carpathians.

NINA:  (looks worried)

Harker left Nina with his good friends, Westenra and his wife

                  Outside the Westenras' House
               Nina runs to say goodbye to Harker

HARKER:  Don't worry, Nina, nothing can happen to me.

              Harker mounts a horse and rides away


                    T R A N S Y L V A N I A

>From relay to relay, through the dust raised by the stages,
Harker hurried on.

            A coach speeds along rugged countryside

                         A Village Inn
      Harker disembarks from the coach and enters the Inn.

HARKER:  Dinner, quickly!  I should already be at Count
Dracula's castle!

              The inn patrons look away in worry.

INNKEEPER:  You must not leave now!  The evil spirits become
all-powerful after dark!

HARKER:  (chuckles to himself)

                      In a room at the Inn
                    Harker undresses for bed
           He reads from a book left on the bedtable

                    THE BOOK OF THE VAMPIRES
     ...and it was in 1443 that the first Nosferatu was
     That name rings like the cry of a bird of prey.  Never
     speak it aloud...
     Men do not always recognize the dangers that beasts can
     sense at certain times.

HARKER:  (laughs and goes to bed)

               Outside the window, a hyena prowls
                 Village horses scatter in fear
                 Village women cower in terror

                        Outside the Inn
                        A coach departs

                         LATE AFTERNOON
                  In the Carpathian Mountains
             The coach speeds along mountain roads

PASSENGER:  Hurry!  The sun will soon be setting.

                      AT DUSK THAT EVENING
                        At a crossroads
             The coach stops and Harker disembarks

DRIVER:  We will go no further, sir.  Not for a fortune!  We
will go no further.  Here begins the land of the phantoms.

            The driver throws down Harker's luggage

HARKER:  (Walks away, crossing over a bridge)

And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet

  Harker is met by a coach which carries him to Castle Dracula

                         An the Castle
            Harker is greeted by the Nosferatu Count

NOSFERATU:  You are late, young man.  It is almost midnight.  My
servants have all retired.

            He leads Harker to sup at a dining table

HARKER:  (cuts finger on a bread knife)

NOSFERATU:  Blood!  Your precious blood!

                    Harker warily backs away

NOSFERATU:  Let us chat together a moment, my friend. There are
still several hours until dawn, and I have the whole day to

           He leads Harker to a chair by a fireplace

As the sun rose, Harker felt himself freed from the oppressions
of the night.

                         Harker awakens
                 He notes two marks on his neck

                       LATER THAT MORNING
       Harker walks in the countryside around the Castle
      He finds a gazebo and writes there a letter to Nina

     Nina, my beloved-
          Don't be unhappy.  Though I am far away, I love
     you.  This is a strange country.  After my first night
     in the castle, I found two large bites on my neck.
     From mosquitoes?  From spiders?  I don't know.  I have
     had some frightful dreams, but they were only dreams.
     You mustn't worry about me.  I am leaving immediately
     to return to Bremen--and to you.

                    Harker stops a traveler
                and gives him the letter to post

As twilight came on, the empty castle became alive with menacing

                In the parlour at Castle Dracula
          Harker and the Nosferatu review legal papers
            The Count sees Harker's picture of Nina

NOSFERATU:  Is this your wife?  What a lovely throat!  That old
mansion seems quite satisfactory.  We shall be neighbors.

                   Count signs the documents

                           THAT NIGHT
                      In Harker's Bedroom
                Harker packs away Nina's picture
               He finds The Book of the Vampires
                         and reads more

     Nosferatu drinks the blood of the young, the blood
     necessary to his own existence.
     One can recognize the mark of the vampire by the trace
     of his fangs on the victim's throat.

HARKER:  (peeks out his bedroom door)

COUNT:  (stands motionlessly at the end of the hall)

HARKER:  (quickly closes his bedroom door, looks out the window
at the river far below, and climbs into his bed)

                        Enter the Count

That same night in Bremen, in a somnabulistic dream...

                  At the home of the Westenras

NINA:  (awakens in a trance and walks out to the terrace)

                        Westenra follows


               Nina collapses in Westenra's arms
                         Enter servant

WESTENRA:  The doctor, quickly!

                        LATER THAT NIGHT
             In Harker's Bedroom in Castle Dracula
         The Count advances on Harker as he lies asleep

                  In Nina's Bedroom in Bremen
                 The doctor, Westenra and Lucy
                 stand over Nina as she sleeps

NINA:  (suddenly sitting up)  Jonathon!  Jonathon!  Hear me!

                         MOMENTS LATER
             In Harker's Bedroom in Castle Dracula
          The Count turns from Harker's sleeping body
                         Exit the Count

                  In Nina's Bedroom in Bremen

NINA:  (sighs relief and returns to sleep)

DOCTOR:  A sudden fever.

The doctor laid Nina's trance to some unknown disease.  Since
then I have learned that she had sensed the menace of Nosferatu
that very night.  And Harker, far away, had heard her cries of

                        THE NEXT MORNING
             In Harker's Bedroom at Castle Dracula
                         Harker awakens
       He rushes from his bedroom out into the courtyard
                    and wanders into a crypt
              He finds the Count lying in a coffin
                     Exit Harker, horrifed

                       EARLY THAT EVENING
              Harker looks out his bedroom window
    He sees the Count loading coffins on a horse-drawn cart

COUNT:  (climbs into a coffin and closes the lid)

              Exit horses, cart, coffins and Count

HARKER:  (Makes a rope from a bedsheet and climbs out window)

  Harker falls to the ground below and is knocked unconscious

                          THE NEXT DAY
            A cargo-bearing raft floats down a river

The men little suspected what terrible cargo they were carrying
down the valley.

                       SEVERAL DAYS LATER
          In a hospital room somewhere in Transylvania
        A nurse and doctor tend to Harker at his bedside

NURSE:  Some peasants brought him here last evening.  He still
has a high fever.

HARKER:  (leaps up suddenly)  Coffins!  Coffins filled with

                         In a shipyard
                Sailors load crates onto a ship
      Tipping over one crate, they find only dirt and rats

Nosferatu was en route; and with him disaster approached Bremen.
 At the same time, Dr. Van Helsing was giving a course on the
secrets of nature and their strange correspondences to human
life.  The professor told his students about the existence of a
carnivourous plant.


                          B R E M E N

               Professor Van Helsing's Laboratory
             Van Helsing and four colleagues watch
                as a Venus flytrap traps a fly.

VAN HELSING:  Astonishing, isn't it, gentlemen?  That plant is
the vampire of the vegetable kingdom.

Nosferatu held Renfield under his influence from afar.

                       At the Sanatarium
           An attendant enters the doctor's quarters

ATTENDANT:  That patient who was brought in yesterday has gone
out of his mind!

              In Renfield's cell at the Sanatarium
                   Enter Doctor and Attendant

RENFIELD:  (catches and eats flies)  Blood!  Blood!

                    Renfield leaps at Doctor
                   Attendant subdues Renfield

                  In Van Helsing's Laboratory
          Van Helsing and colleagues peer into a tank

VAN HELSING:  And now, gentlemen, here is another type of
vampire:  a polyp with claws...transparent, without substance,
almost a phantom.

Nina was often seen alone among the dunes, watching and waiting
for her husband's return.

                On the dunes overlooking the sea
            Nina sits on a bench looking out to sea.
       Lucy and Western bring Nina the letter from Harker

      In Harker's Hospital Room Somewhere in Transylvania
         Harker dresses for his journey back to Bremen

                        AT THE SAME TIME
         In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium in Bremen
       Renfield unfolds a newspaper clipping and reads it

                   A  mysterious  epidemic of
                   the plaque  has broken out
                   in eastern Europe  in  the
                   port  cities  of the Black
                   Sea, attacking principally
                   the  young  and vigourous.
                   Cause  of the  two  bloody
                   marks  on the neck of each
                   victim baffles the medical

RENFIELD:  (laughs)

Aboard the Demester, first one man was stricken, then all.

                   In the hold of the Demeter
                 Captain tends to a sick sailor
              The Count appears briefly then fades

One evening at sundown, the captain and his first mate buried
the last man of the crew.

                   On the deck of the Demeter
          Captain and first mate toss a body overboard

FIRST MATE:  I am going below.  I want to have a look in the

                   In the hold of the Demeter
       First mate sees the Nosferatu rise from his coffin

FIRST MATE:  (rushes topside and leaps overboard)

CAPTAIN:  (ties himself to the sterring wheel)

              The Nosferatu approaches the Captain

Despite all sorts of obstacles, Harker pushed on towards Bremen.
 Meanwhile, driven by the fatal breath of the vampire, the
vessel moved rapidly towards the Baltic.

                           ONE NIGHT
                    At the Westenras' House
                 Nina sleepwalks to the terrace
                       Lucy follows Nina

NINA:  He's coming.  I must go to meet him.

                     In the Bremen Harbour
                  The Demeter sails into port

              In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium
           Renfield attempts to climb out his window

RENFIELD:  The Master is coming!  The Master is here!

                        Renfield escapes

I have long tried to understand why Nosferatu travelled with the
earth-filled coffins.  Recently I discovered that to preserve
their diabolic power, vampires must sleep during the day in the
same unhallowed ground in which they had been buried.

         The Count carries his coffin from the harbour
             to his newly-purchased house in Bremen

                    At the Westenras' House
               Harker returns and is met by Nina

NINA:  Jonathon!  Thank God you are safe!  Now I feel that I too
have been saved!

                        THE NEXT MORNING
                     In the Bremen Harbour
                  Officials search the Demeter
             The captain is found dead at the wheel

OFFICIAL:  We couldn't find a single living soul on board!

           A second official discovers the Ship's Log

                  Ship's Log - Varna to Bremen
                                       24 April 1838
     Passed the Dardanelles - East wind - Carrying 5
     passengers, mate, crew of 7, and myself, the Captain.

                                          6 May 1838
     Rounded Cape of Inatagran - One of my men, the
     strongest, is sick - Crew is restless, uneasy.

                                          7 May 1838
     Mate reported stowaway hiding below decks - Will

                                         18 May 1838
     Passed Gibraltar - Panic on board - Three men dead
     already - Mate out of his mind - Rats in the hold - I
     fear the plague.

BURGOMASTER:  The plague is here!  Stay in your houses!

                          HOURS LATER
               In the deserted streets of Bremen
                    Towncrier reads a notice

                  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ NOTICE ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
               To halt the spread of the plague,
               the Burgomaster of Bremen forbids
               the citizens of this city to bring
                  their sick to the hospitals
                     until further notice.

Nina had promised her husband never to open The Book of the
Vampires, but she found herself unable to resist the temptation.

               In the living room of the Harkers
            Nina reads from The Book of the Vampires

     One can recognize the mark of the vampire by the trace
     of his fangs on the victim's throat.
     Only a woman can break his frightful spell--a woman
     pure in heart--who will offer her blood freely to
     Nosferatu and will keep the vampire by her side until
     after the cock has crowed.

                          Enter Harker

NINA:  (pointing out the window to the mansion across the
street)  Look!  Every night, in front of me!

The townspeople lived in mortal terror. Who was sick or dying?
Who will be stricken tomorrow?

                     At the Harkers' House
                     Nina lies sick in bed

HARKER:  Don't be frightened.  I will get the professor.

                          Exit Harker
                   Nina looks out the window
     at the line of coffins being carried along the street
            She reads from The Book of the Vampires

     Only a woman can break his frightful spell--a woman
     pure in heart--who will offer her blood freely to
     Nosferatu and will keep the vampire by her side until
     after the cock has crowed.

                     Outside the Sanatarium
                Two old women talk to each other

OLD WOMAN:  They saw him escape.  He strangled his keeper.

        Renfield runs down an alley, pursued by a crowd
                     He climbs onto a roof
                 The crowd throws rocks at him
            He climbs down and runs outside of town
                       The crowd pursues

                           THAT NIGHT
                    In the Harkers' Bedroom
      Nina is awakened by the Nosferatu outside her window
                      She opens the window
           Harker awakens and Nina faints in his arms

HARKER:  The professor!  Call the professor!

                          Exit Harker
                      Enter the Nosferatu

                        THE NEXT MORNING
                    In the Harkers' Bedroom
                         The cock crows
      The Nosferatu looks up from drinking at Nina's neck

              In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium

RENFIELD:  Master!  Master!  Beware!

                   Outside the Harkers' House
                 Harker and Van Helsing arrive

                    In the Harkers' Bedroom
              Sunlight sweeps across the buildings
              across the street from Nina's window
  Nosferatu attempts to escape but is touched by the sunlight
                 He vanishes in a puff of smoke

              In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium

RENFIELD:  The Master is dead.

                    In the Harkers' Bedroom
                          Nina awakens
                          Enter Harker

NINA:  Jonathon!

           Harker takes Nina in his arms as she dies

And at that moment, as if by a miracle, the sick no longer died,
and the stifling shadow of the vampire vanished with the morning

                                          THE END

Thoughts on "Nosferatu"

Stahe ir film renakes often fail..."Nosferatu"

Previous Halloween treats...

Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"


Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treat..."When The World Screamed" 
Corman/Coppola horror film..."Dementia 13" 

Castle and Price for the classic horror film "House on Haunted Hill"

92 years later, it is still a strong [horror] film..."The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"

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