Nosferatu the Vampyre
(Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht)

Screening on Film
Directed by Werner Herzog.
With Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz.
West Germany/France, 1979, 35mm, color, 124 min.
German with English subtitles.

Werner Herzog’s rendering of the vampire legend remakes what he called “the most important film ever made in Germany.” Owing its ambition (rather than aesthetic) to the 1922 F.W. Murnau classic, Herzog minimizes dialogue and formalizes acting to create a counterpart to the narrative’s descent into doom. Luminous cinematography contributes to the overall uneasiness, as does a soundtrack replete with creepy atmospherics and effects. More Gothic romance than horror film, Herzog’s foray into Dracula territory represents an ambitious experiment in historical recreation and style.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: A–Z