6.9/10
37,298
334 user 205 critic

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer

On Disc

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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
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Popularity
4,935 ( 1,949)
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, Limited Release

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

Based in part upon a legend that Max Schreck was in reality a vampire which is why he played the role of Orlock/Dracula so well. Some variations of the legend suggest that Nosferatu (1922) was the only film Schreck made, though in reality he was already a stage and screen veteran by the time Nosferatu was shot, and would appear in many non-Vampiric roles before his death in 1936. See more »

Goofs

When Max Schreck catches a bat in mid air and starts to drink from it (approximately 52:30 into the movie), as he is holding the bat, one of his fingernails comes loose from his finger. 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 ...
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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 Vampire Reviews: Shadow of the Vampire (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Tristan Und Isolde - Overture
Written by Richard Wagner
Courtesy of KPM Music Limited
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User Reviews

 
Richly nuanced exploration of silent film classic
3 February 2001 | by maryfSee 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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