Probably the most famous silent film in history and a true milestone in horror cinema.

In 1838, Thomas Hutter lives in the fictional German town of Wisborg.His employer, estate agent Herr Knock, sends Hutter to Transylvania to visit a new client named Count Orlok who plans to buy a house in Wisborg…

The studio behind "Nosferatu", Prana Film, was a short-lived silent-era German film studio founded in 1921 by Enrico Dieckmann and occultist artist Albin Grau, named for the Hindu concept of prana. Although the studio's intent was to produce occult- and supernatural-themed films, Nosferatu was its only production, as it declared bankruptcy shortly after the film's release. Filming began in July 1921, with exterior shots in Wismar. A take from Marienkirche's tower over Wismar marketplace with the Wasserkunst Wismar served as the establishing shot for the Wisborg scene. 

The film is an unauthorized and unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula". Various names and other details were changed from the novel, including Count Dracula being renamed Count Orlok. It has long been repeated that these changes were implemented in an attempt to avoid accusations of copyright infringement. However, this seems unlikely as the original German intertitles explicitly state that the film is based on the Bram Stoker novel. Film historian David Karat states in his commentary track for the film that "No source has ever documented" this claim and that since the film was "a low-budget film made by Germans for German audiences... setting it in Germany with German named characters makes the story more tangible and immediate for German speaking viewers".

"Nosferatu" brought Murnau into the public eye, especially when his film Der brennende Acker (The Burning Soil) was released a few days later. The press reported extensively on Nosferatu and its premiere. With the laudatory votes, there was also occasional criticism that the technical perfection and clarity of the images did not fit the horror theme. The Filmkurier of 6 March 1922 said that the vampire appeared too corporeal and brightly lit to appear genuinely scary. Hans Wollenberg described the film in photo-Stage No. 11 of 11 March 1922 as a "sensation" and praised Murnau's nature shots as "mood-creating elements." In the Vossische Zeitung of 7 March 1922, Nosferatu was praised for its visual style.

Even with several details altered, Stoker's heirs sued over the adaptation, and a court ruling ordered all copies of the film to be destroyed. However, a few prints of Nosferatu survived, and the film came to be regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema.

The film is an unauthorized and unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Various names and other details were changed from the novel, including Count Dracula being renamed Count Orlok. 

The Soundtrack

Nosferatu was the very first film made by Caspervek. It was commissioned to the ensemble in December 2013. Since then, the score has become one of the most performed by the group over the years. In 2019, Brais González undertook a revision of the soundtrack, which was expanded for a quintet line-up (two violins, two percussionists and piano). The original material was preserved, adding new themes and slightly accentuating the experimental and dramatic character of the melodies. This new version was recorded for the digital platform Tolemias, which presented an innovative version of the film in which the viewer can decide what kind of shot he/she wants to watch from the film.


  • Original title

    Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

  • Director

    F. W. Murnau

  • Writer

    Henrik Galeen
    Bram Stoker (novel)

  • Runtime

    91 min

  • Year


  • Country


  • Company


  • Genre

    Horror. Fantasy. Expressionism


Max Schreck

Alexander Granach

Greta Schröder

Gustav von Wangenheim

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