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Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  26 January 2001 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 32,514 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 336 user | 189 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: E. Elias Merhige
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

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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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burned to Light  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$8,279,017 (USA) (30 March 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1921. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene the pillows on the bed are piled up, yet when the actress goes to lay down on the bed, they need to be piled up again. See more »

Quotes

Max Schreck: I would like some makeup.
F.W. Murnau: Well, you don't get any.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Profile: John Malkovich (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flying Dutchman Overture
Written by Richard Wagner
Courtesy of KPM Music Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unforgettable
4 March 2001 | by (Grand Haven, MI) – See all my reviews

The idea behind this film is one that was just waiting to be utilized. So great is this material for cinema, once the idea is actually executed, more is the shame if it's not done with a sure hand. I'm pleased to report that "Shadow" is one of 2000's finest. I still giggle at the genius of the its premise, that the mysterious star of the 1922 vampire classic "Nosferatu", Max Schreck, was a real vampire! True, after his debut, Schreck went on to make many more films. But "Shadow" offers a tasty 'what if' scenario that's irresistible.

F.W. Murnau, the obsessive director of "Nosferatu" doesn't feel he can make a realistic enough vampire movie with an actor in the title role. While traveling through Transylvania Murnau meets Count Orlock, an actual bloodsucker and makes a deal with him to star in his new film. Because the director has cast a genuine monster as his lead, his cast and crew start to disappear until finally...well, not exactly. Orlock isn't the kind of vampire we've come to imagine because of Hollywood, but a simple recluse living alone in a castle. That's the coup that director E. Elias Mehridge and writer Stephen Katz pull. There is no attempt to make this a horror film. It's as scary as the old black-and-white silent horror films are to us in our computer effects-driven era of movies. Most of the time these films are good for a laugh from a modern audience. But the directors of those old films were always after something dark, deep, and meaningful. The screams they produced were simply a side effect.

The problems that Murnau encounters arise out of Schreck's very real vampire needs. For starters, he's cast a man who is not an actor. "Shadow" is not a comedy, but it's funny seeing Murnau's idea of a vampire clash with Schreck's. Schreck can't possibly act like a vampire. He IS one. The first scenes they use him in (he'll only appear at night of course) are disastrous. He doesn't follow direction, doesn't follow the script, and just acts weird. Willem Dafoe, under tons of make-up, perfectly portrays a guy who obviously doesn't get out very much. Eventually the cast and crew change their opinion of Schreck from believing he's awful to seeing him as a very committed method actor (the producer and writer witness him catch a bat in mid-flight and eat it).

Mehridge goes out of his way to bring the audience something completely original and succeeds. Even though "shadow" is based on the making of another film, every image, every word of dialogue seems painstakingly crafted to give you something you've never seen before. Mehridge is definitely one to watch.

Grade: A


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