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The movie was banned in Sweden due to excessive horror. The ban was finally lifted in 1972.
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After 85 years, virtually all of the exteriors are left intact in the cities of Wismar and Lübeck.
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The creature that they say is a werewolf, during the scene at the Inn, is actually a striped hyena.
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All known prints and negatives were destroyed under the terms of settlement of a lawsuit by Bram Stoker's widow. However, the film would subsequently surface through second-generation reels in other countries.
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Many scenes featuring Graf Orlok were filmed during the day, and when viewed in black and white, this becomes extremely obvious. This potential blooper is corrected when the "official" versions of the movie are tinted blue to represent night.
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Count Orlok is only seen blinking once on screen, near the end of Act One.
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Ruth Landshoff, the actress who played the hero's sister, once described a scene in which she fled the vampire, running along a beach. That scene is not in any version of the film, nor in the original script.
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Selected by the Vatican in the "art" category of its list of 45 "great films."
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Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a fictionalised depiction of the events surrounding the film's production based on the urban legend that Max Schreck was in actuality a vampire. Schrek was played by Willem Dafoe in that film.
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The film was loosely based on the Bram Stoker book but the characters' names were changed in an attempt to prevent legal action (which failed). The subtitles were translated into French, then when the film went to the USA into English but with Stoker's character names used. In the meantime the original prints were destroyed because of the legal action, so the original subtitles were lost. The American version went to the UK, and then was translated back into German for a release there. When restorers were about to make a definitive version, they were looking through a number of archives. Unfortunately, all of the prints they found had the changed subtitles, so they gave up hope of being able to recover the originals. They later heard of a good print in an East German archive. When they got there, they found out that the print had been loaned out. The restorers were then offered to have a look at another print from the archive, which wasn't considered as good as the other one. When the restorers observed that print, they discovered that it had the original subtitles. It had been sitting there for half a century and nobody had noticed.
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The film was shot between August and October 1921.
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Werner Herzog told Terry Gross in 1998 that he feels this is the greatest German film ever made. Herzog directed the remake Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979).
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The film takes place in 1838.
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There was another version of the film released in the late 90's that replaced the film's score with the music of metal band Type O Negative. This film is introduced by the late David Carradine.
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There have been different first names for the main characters in different English versions. In a few, Hutter is called "Thomas", in others is "Jonathan". Although Hutter's wife is credited as "Ellen", in some versions she is called "Mina".
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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Gustav von Wangenheim was not director F.W. Murnau's first or even his second choice for the role of Hutter but his third one.
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Count Orlok appears in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants called "The Graveyard Shift" eighty years after the film was released.
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The film is included in "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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F.W. Murnau frequently used arches, doorways and gates in this film to frame characters. In at least one occasion, he also manipulated a certain portion of a shot to achieve the desired frame effect.
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At the midpoint of the movie (0:46:39) is the title card with Bulwer's line, "Like a vampire, no?," which he says upon showing his students a Venus fly-trap trapping a fly.
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The concept in popular culture that sunlight is lethal to vampires is based on this film, which depicted such a death for the very first time in film history. F.W. Murnau knew that he would be sued for borrowing heavily from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula" without permission, so he changed the ending in order that he could say that this film and "Dracula" were not exactly the same.
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The character of Nosferatu is only seen on screen for a bit less than 9 minutes in total throughout the whole film.
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