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Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  26 January 2001 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 30,534 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 333 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 18 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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:

£42,539 (UK) (2 February 2001)

Gross:

$8,279,017 (USA) (30 March 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) recites Tennyson's poem 'Tithonus' at one point: 'The woods decay, the woods decay and fall, the vapors weep their burthen to the ground...' This is apropos, because the poem is about a character from Greek mythology who was immortal even though he continued to age. Just like Schreck, this made him a tragic figure. See more »

Goofs

You can see a reflection of Count Orlock's head in the mirror moments after a big deal was made about the fact that he cast no reflection in the same mirror (although this is possibly a deliberate nod to Nosferatu in which a similar error was made). See more »

Quotes

[Asked what he thought of the book, Dracula]
Max Schreck: It made me sad.
Albin: Why sad?
Max Schreck: Because Dracula had no servants.
Albin: I think you missed the point of the book, Count Orlock.
Max Schreck: Dracula hasn't had servants in 400 years and then a man comes to his ancestral home, and he must convince him that he... that he is like the man. He has to feed him, when he himself hasn't eaten food in centuries. Can he even remember how to buy bread? How to select cheese and wine? And then he remembers the rest of it. How to prepare a ...
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 »

Connections

Featured in The 2001 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Richly nuanced exploration of silent film classic
3 February 2001 | by (El Cerrito, CA) – See all my reviews

What if the lead character in the film Nosferatu really was a vampire? Shadow of the Vampire explores this unusual concept as it follows the story of the filming of the 1921 silent film classic. Malkovich plays the role of Murnau, the German director who makes the bargain from hell to provide realism to his Dracula knock-off, only to find that he has unleashed a monster. This is a horror film that is really a psychological drama -- the true horror lies in the man who decides no price is too high for the making of his movie. At the same time, there's a lot of humor, as well as an intriguing glimpse of Berlin in the decadent 1920s.

Dafoe is definitely an Oscar nominee with this performance (and the film should get an Oscar for his make-up, too): especially powerful scenes include his describing his reaction to reading the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker; and a confrontation with Murnau near the end of the film, when Murnau finally is forced to recognize what he has done. Strong acting performances from the supporting actors as well -- Elwes' accent wanders, as does Malkovich's, but the cast (including native Germans) is generally strong. Some really nice cinematography and editing.

It adds to the experience to have seen the silent film first, by the way; it is well worth viewing in any case. It's available in a remastered print with a good soundtrack. "Shadow" takes a few liberties with the original film, but not important ones (those night scenes were obviously not shot at night, for example).

I loved this film -- two thumbs up!


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