Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  26 January 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 33,387 users   Metascore: 71/100
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The filming of Nosferatu (1922) is hampered by the fact that its star Max Schreck is taking the role of a vampire far more seriously than seems humanly possible.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Arno Wagner
Aden Gillett ...
Henrik Galeen
Nicholas Elliott ...
Paul (as Nicholas Elliot)
Wolfgang Müller
Sophie Langevin ...
Myriam Muller ...
Milos Hlavac ...
Innkeeper (as Milos Hlavak)
Marja-Leena Junker ...
Innkeeper's Wife
Reporter 1
Norman Golightly ...
Reporter 2


Shadow of the Vampire is a film about the making of a German all time classic silent horror-movie from 1922 called Nosferatu-Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu-a Symphony of Horror). The production of Nosferatu had to deal with a lot of strange things (some crew members disappeared, some died). This movie focuses on the difficult relationship between Murnau, the director, and Schreck, the lead actor. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An Unspeakable Horror. A Creative Genius. Captured For Eternity.


Drama | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, drug content, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

26 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burned to Light  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$94,390 (USA) (5 January 2001)


$8,279,017 (USA) (30 March 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based in part upon a legend that Max Schreck was in reality a vampire which is why he played the role of Orlock/Dracula so well. Some variations of the legend suggest that Nosferatu (1922) was the only film Schreck made, though in reality he was already a stage and screen veteran by the time Nosferatu was shot, and would appear in many non-Vampiric roles before his death in 1936. See more »


When Greta arrives on the island, she takes off one of her gloves. In a different shot, she has both of her gloves on. See more »


F.W. Murnau: Our battle, our struggle, is to create art. Our weapon is the moving picture. Because we have the moving picture, our paintings will grow and recede; our poetry will be shadows that lengthen and conceal; our light will play across living faces that laugh and agonize; and our music will linger and finally overwhelm, because it will have a context as certain as the grave. We are scientists engaged in the creation of memory... but our memory will neither blur nor fade.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Steamer, a revolutionary machine designed and built to cure the foam prosthetics rapidly due to the very limited production constraints. A world first in foam latex curing within the film industry. See more »


Referenced in Dance in the Vampire Bund: Shadou obu vanpaia (2010) See more »


The Flying Dutchman Overture
Written by Richard Wagner
Courtesy of KPM Music Limited
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User Reviews

Willem Dafoe is Magnificent!
24 March 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

A fictionalized account of the making of the classic vampire film Nosferatu, directed by F. W. Murnau, 'Shadow of the Vampire' is an interesting yet creepy film, but above all, its Willem Dafoe Magnificent Performance as Max Schreck, that makes this film unmissable!

'Shadow of the Vampire' Synopsis: The filming of Nosferatu is hampered by the fact that the star is taking his role far more seriously than what seems humanly possible.

'Shadow of the Vampire' is a fictionalized account, so you shouldn't take this one too seriously. This Horror film, is creepy, atmospheric & yet funny. The Entire Story, The Entire Execution, in fact, is very convincing, even though, it won't work for the faint-hearted.

Steven Katz's Screenplay is superb. It's scary, creepy, atmospheric, funny & VERY innovative. E. Elias Merhige's Direction is as Eerie as it gets! Cinematography by Lou Bogue is fabulous. Editing by Royinba Onijala is crisp. Music by Dan Jones is good. Make-Up is Marvelous.

Performance-Wise: Willem Dafoe is Truly Magnificent, in an Oscar-Nominated Performance! His performance as Max Schreck, who plays Count Orlok/Count Dracula, is an astonishing embodiment, that's an Actor-Study. This is a Performance that deserves to be viewed by each & every actor! John Malkovich as Frederich Wilhelm Murnau, is competent. Udo Kier as Albin Grau, is first-rate. Udo Kier as Albin Grau, is impressive. Catherine McCormack as Greta Schroeder, is worth a mention.

On the whole, 'Shadow of the Vampire' is an interesting film, but Willem Dafoe's Performance is its greatest merit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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