Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Great Movies: Nosferatu

Transcript for Great Movies: Nosferatu


Everyone seems to feel the need around this time of year to see horror movies. I'd like to suggest you start with the original, which I selected as one of my Great Movies. This is Bill Kurtis, speaking for Roger Ebert. "Nosferatu" is a 1922 silent film based on the novel "Dracula," and it's a rare vampire movie that takes them very, very seriously. It stars Max Schreck in a deeply creepy performance.
Schreck plays the count more like an animal than a human being; notice his bat ears, clawlike fingernails, and rat-like fangs in the middle of his mouth.
The story begins when a real state agent assigns an employee to visit Count Dracula, who wants to buy a house "in town." As the man discovers, Dracula lives very far from town.
This is the film's most famous shot. Shipping himself to town in a coffin, Dracula sits bolt upright.
The film was directed by F. W. Murnau, one of the greatest of all directors. It contains images that seem more permanent and even real than modern horror films.