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Vampyr (1932)

Unrated | | Fantasy, Horror | 6 May 1932 (Germany)
A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director:

(as Carl Th. Dreyer)

Writers:

(based on a book by) (as J. Sheridan Le Fanu), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Gisèle
...
...
Der Dorfartz (The Village Doctor)
...
Albert Bras ...
Der alte Diener (The Old Servant)
N. Babanini ...
Seine Frau (His Wife)
Jane Mora ...
Die Krankenschwester (The Nurse)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Georges Boidin ...
Limping Man
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Storyline

Allan Gray arrives late in the evening to a secluded riverside inn in the hamlet of Courtempierre. An old man enters his room, puts a sealed parcel on the table, blurts out that some woman mustn't die, and disappears. Gray senses in this a call for help. He puts the parcel in his pocket, and goes out. Eerie shadows lead him into an old house, where he encounters a weird village doctor. The doctor receives a bottle of poison from a strange, old woman. Through the window of an old castle Grey recognizes the old man from the inn. A shadow shoots the man, who drops dead. Inside the house Grey finds his two daughters, Gisèle and Léone, and some servants. He opens the parcel, and finds an old book about vampires. Léone is seriously ill after being bitten by a vampire. Instead of helping her, the village doctor places the bottle of poison at her bedside table, and then abducts her sister Gisèle. An old servant starts reading the old book, and finds out that the vampire in Courtempierre is a ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vampire | doctor | book | servant | poison | See All (70) »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1932 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Castle of Doom  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

(Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For much of the cast, this was there only film appearance since they were not professional actors. Henriette Gérard who played the vampire was a French widow, Jan Hieronimko who played the village doctor was a Polish journalist, Rena Mandel who played Gisèle was an artist's model. Even Julian West (real name: Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg) who played Allan Grey, was French-born member of Russian nobility who agreed to finance the film in exchange for the leading part. (He later emigrated to America where he became a powerful fashion journalist and mentor to designers like Calvin Klein.) See more »

Goofs

At exactly 16 minutes (in the Criterion DVD) as the camera pans right, there is a reflection in a glass window of the camera operator cranking the camera. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Girl Ghouls (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Note About the Film and Sound Quality
15 November 2002 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

I can't improve on the fine reviews of the movie itself, but there are two major factors connected with the making of the film that may have been overlooked.

If by "poor quality," the reference is to the washed out, somewhat spotty look of the print, please be aware that this was deliberate. Cinematographer Matté had accidently opened a can of exposed film, and when Dreyer saw the result, he was delighted. It was just the effect he had been looking for.

"Vampyr" was originally shot as a silent. It was only later half-dubbed with voice-overs. Again, however, like the fortuitous "damage" to the print, the sparse and somewhat vague, even incoherent, dialogue contributes to the sense of dislocation which, I believe, is one of the great virtues of this genre masterpiece.

Like many, the first time I saw "Vampyr" I was put off by its obscurity and, yes, the "mutilated" video and audio. But as I saw more Dreyer and learned to stop trying to deconstruct the thing, I really began to like it. Now, I love it. If your first viewing of "Vampyr" leaves you the way it left me the first time, don't give up on it. It's on video, so buy a copy and pick your moments to watch it. You'll be rewarded.

An aside: Julian West, who played the lead, was also backer of the film and is credited, along with Dreyer, as producer. He is said to have been as spacey in real life as he was in character.


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