7.5/10
31,843
199 user 181 critic

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (original title)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
Reviews
Popularity
2,916 ( 611)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klaus Kinski ... Count Dracula
Isabelle Adjani ... Lucy Harker
Bruno Ganz ... Jonathan Harker
Roland Topor ... Renfield
Walter Ladengast Walter Ladengast ... Dr. Van Helsing
Dan van Husen ... Warden
Jan Groth ... Harbormaster
Carsten Bodinus Carsten Bodinus ... Schrader
Martje Grohmann Martje Grohmann ... Mina
Rijk de Gooyer ... Town official (as Ryk de Gooyer)
Clemens Scheitz Clemens Scheitz ... Clerk
Lo van Hensbergen Lo van Hensbergen ... Harbormaster's Assistent
John Leddy John Leddy ... Coachman
Margiet van Hartingsveld Margiet van Hartingsveld ... Vrouw
Tim Beekman Tim Beekman ... Coffinbearer
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Storyline

Jonathan Harker is sent away to Count Dracula's castle to sell him a house in Wismar where Jonathan lives. But Count Dracula is a vampire, an undead ghoul living off of men's blood. Inspired by a photograph of Lucy Harker, Jonathan's wife, Dracula moves to Wismar, bringing with him death and plague... An unusually contemplative version of Dracula, in which the vampire bears the curse of not being able to get old and die. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As this movie was made long after the copyright to Bram Stoker's "Dracula" had expired, Werner Herzog decided to restore the original names of the characters, while still following the movie blueprint laid out by F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922). See more »

Goofs

As Lucy Harker walks into the town square, she passes a 1970s single strut town bench concreted into the cobbles, and double yellow lines (no parking). When Lucy Harker shuts the front door of her house, there is a yale lock on it. See more »

Quotes

Count Dracula: The absence of love is the most abject pain.
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Alternate Versions

Two versions of the film were shot back-to-back, one in German, the other in English. See more »

Connections

Version of Drácula (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Listen He Who Ventures
(uncredited)
(Featured in German and American film versions)
Written by Florian Fricke
Performed by Popol Vuh
See more »

User Reviews

 
Atmospheric, creepy and gorgeous
28 September 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Another classic collaboration of Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, Nosferatu is not just a remake of the F. W. Murnau silent classic, but an extension of it. Herzog not only develops the Stoker story more directly than the original did, but even reintroduces the original characters - Orlok becomes Dracula, and the Hutters become the Harkers.

Like many of the films involving Herzog and Kinski, Nosferatu is a period piece and creates the context of its plot through beautiful cinematography and a relentless but unhasty pace, not through the script. ThoughKinski dominates the screen just as he always does in these collaborations, the performances of fellow greats Isabelle Adjani and Bruno Ganz are also worthy of mention. Ganz's Jonathan Harker is certainly the most sympathetic character in the film, and Adjani's Lucy is beautiful, spooky, and just odd enough to fit the role perfectly.

Nosferatu is a retelling of the Dracula tale. Unlike its generally inferior competitors, Nosferatu - both the 1922 and 1979 versions - sticks very close to Bram Stoker's text - neither elaborating the focus on bloodsucking (obsessed upon by most American interpretations of Dracula), nor revising Jonathan Harker and Dr. Van Helsing as heroic characters, nor adding erotic or romantic elements to the depravity of the original concept. If you know what Stoker was about, you will thrill to the often forgotten aspects of Stoker's novel which are redeemed here - the plague rats, the gypsies, etc.

Kinki's intensity allows him to become a perfect Dracula. He understands his role perfectly and never once slips out of 'the hunter'. This is another very important aspect of the Stoker legend which has been sadly contorted by the popularization of the Dracula legend. Nosferatu's Count Dracula is not a charming eastern European gentleman with a quirky bloodsucking habit and a lovesick soul, he is a wily, terrifying, soulless, inhuman, obsessive, predator. And he has absolutely no concern for the affairs of Homo sapiens sapiens.

The film is mostly shot in Amsterdam's old city, which fits the mood of the film well. Other locations are in Germany, and Dracula's castle, for once, is an actual castle - even the interior shots! The wonderfully eerie and disorienting Popul Vuh soundtrack compliments the typically Herzogian picture-perfect visuals.

This is a great film for those seeking an accessible introduction to film-as-art, and the legendary collaborations of Herzog and Kinski. It will likely annoy those who think of Dracula as a good looking romantic guy with a nasty habit, but is highly recommended for fans of Stoker's original work.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

West Germany | France

Language:

German | English | Romany

Release Date:

17 January 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Nosferatu the Vampyre See more »

Filming Locations:

Tatra Mountains, Slovakia See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,874
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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