Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  26 January 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 33,148 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 339 user | 191 critic | 31 from

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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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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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:




| |


| |

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?


Udo Kier, who appears as Albin Grau, played the Count himself in Blood for Dracula (1974) and Vampire Elder Dragonetti in Blade (1998) See more »


When Wagner first arrives by plane he moves his goggles from his eyes,the camera changes shot and he moves his goggles again. See more »


Max Schreck: I told you, I feed erratically, and often enormously.
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 »


References Nosferatu (1922) See more »


Tristan Und Isolde - Overture
Written by Richard Wagner
Courtesy of KPM Music Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

Well made – the `who is the real monster' thing works really well
27 May 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 1922 filming of Murnau's movie `Nosferatu' has begun. Murnau has recruited the mysterious Max Shreck to play the lead role. Crew fall ill and Shreck never appears out of character or during the day. Fellow actor Gustav believes Shreck is an intense method actor – however Shreck is a real vampire and has agreed to star in the film in exchange for the neck of the leading lady when filming finishes. However Shreck's lust for blood continues to grow throughout the shoot.

This is an inventive film that looks at how far art will go to create. The director Murnau seems as driven by the creative process as Shreck is by his lust for blood. This comparison is carried through the whole film until the inevitable showdown between the two drives. The setup itself is fascinating but the comparison between the two men makes it even better.

The film is well shot and uses the different cameras well. It looks really good and mixes bright shots with shadowy darkness really well. It also benefits from a good cast. Malkovich is excellent as the driven director who easily becomes a monster himself but Dafoe is even better. Despite being almost unrecognisable under the make up, Dafoe manages to bring humanity to his monster – he also brings some humour without making his a comedy role. Elwes is underused, but Izzard is great as a bad 1920's actor!

Overall this may not inspire interest in everyone but it has a great cast and a good central story. The comparisons drawn between Murnau and Shreck only improve what is already a very enjoyable film.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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