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Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

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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?


Just prior to the crew's arrival at the castle for the first night of filming, a quick establishing shot depicts Count Orlock (disguised as a carriage driver) arriving at his castle with Hutter. This was a scene edited from the original Nosferatu featuring Max Schreck and Gustav von Wangenheim. See more »


When Skrek first sees the picture of Greta the photos do not match between shots. This is because the first shot of the photo is taken from Nosferatu. See more »


F.W. Murnau: Go ahead! Eat the writer! That will leave you explaining how your character gets to Bremen!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits end with the sounds of the camera filming and of the phonograph which set the mood for the actors. See more »


References Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Absolutely stunning and fascinating !
9 December 2003 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

This movie is a true relief for everyone who thought the genre of horror and mystery was dead and buried. It feels good to see that it's still possible to create movies like this. Even though the plot is rather simple, the movie seems to be very original and innovating. The basic idea behind this movie is so simple that it is - in fact - brilliant and it makes me wonder why nobody has thought about this earlier. The movie is completely based on the very early horror milestone "Nosferatu, ein symphony des grauens". Legendary actor Max Schrek is portrayed here like a REAL vampire who regularly takes a bite out of his crew. Director F.W. Murnau knows about this but finishing his movie is a higher priority to him than to sacrifice a few people.

This theme makes it of course a must for the ancient horror fans. Lots of footage and trivia of the 1922 masterpiece are shown and that's a real extra value for true cinema buffs ! But of course, this movie reaches far above average thanks to the brilliant performances. A totally disguised Willem Dafoe is absolutely amazing in his role of Max Shreck. It's like looking at the real Schrek...the resemblance is terrific. His appearance (especially the long nails) give you the creeps whenever he's on screen and his voice haunts your head every time he says something. Dafoe never gives away a bad performance but this one is extraordinary. And of course,the same can be said about John Malkovich...his portrayal of director F.W. Murnau is extremely realistic and believable. He plays Murnau as the man who slowly goes insane because he tries to be too perfect. An amazing performance !!

There aren't many shock effects to detect in this movie but that's rather normal, right ? After all, it's more like a costume-drama than it is horror. The lack of exiting scenes is made up by the constant presence of tension and an extremely appropriate atmosphere. Also, a perfect image of Eastern Europe in the 1920's is presented to the audience. All these aspects make a much better movie then just some ordinary slashing and slicing throats. A must see !!

26 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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