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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.

Director:

E. Elias Merhige

Writer:

Steven Katz
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Malkovich ... Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Willem Dafoe ... Max Schreck
Udo Kier ... Albin Grau
Cary Elwes ... Fritz Arno Wagner
Catherine McCormack ... Greta Schröder
Eddie Izzard ... Gustav von Wangenheim
Aden Gillett ... Henrik Galeen
Nicholas Elliott Nicholas Elliott ... Paul (as Nicholas Elliot)
Ronan Vibert ... Wolfgang Müller
Sophie Langevin Sophie Langevin ... Elke
Myriam Muller Myriam Muller ... Maria
Milos Hlavac Milos Hlavac ... Innkeeper (as Milos Hlavak)
Marja-Leena Junker Marja-Leena Junker ... Innkeeper's Wife
Derek Kueter ... Reporter 1
Norman Golightly 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Luxembourg

Language:

English | German | Luxembourgish

Release Date:

26 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burned to Light See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$150,171, 1 January 2001

Gross USA:

$8,293,784

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,155,214
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Murnau's line, "If it isn't in the frame, it doesn't exist", is a paraphrase of a piece of advice the real Murnau gave to the young Alfred Hitchcock when the latter visited the Ufa Studios in Berlin before becoming famous. Hitchcock never forgot this advice and was still quoting it when making his final movie in the mid-1970s. The use of the quotation in the context of "Shadow Of The Vampire" is a distortion of what the real Murnau meant. See more »

Goofs

After they film Gustav entering the castle, he is talking in the doorway with Murnau and Grau. Murnau and Grau then walk into the courtyard where Gustav is already waiting for them. See more »

Quotes

Max Schreck: Go to hell, Murnau!
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 Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flying Dutchman 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 bob the mooSee 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.


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