6.9/10
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333 user 210 critic

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
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 16 wins & 27 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 ... 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

The locomotive that conveys the film crew to Czechoslovakia is named "Charon". In Greek myth, Charon was the ferryman who conveyed the souls of the dead across the river Styx. See more »

Goofs

As Gustav is going to bed, he picks up one of the candles, brings it to his bed and blows it out. Although there's still a candle in the room, the room turns dark in the next shot from outside the building. See more »

Quotes

Max Schreck: I don't think we need the writer any longer.
See more »

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

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

 
Battle of the misfit thespians
16 July 2001 | by dfranzen70See all my reviews

Back in 1924, the silent movie Nosferatu was released. At the time (as now) it was the definitive expression of the timeless story of Count Dracula. There have been, of course, endless renditions of the 1896 Bram Stoker tale; however, Nosferatu was unique in that the medium of cinema was extremely new in 1924, and the maker had to deal with prejudices against this newfangled form of entertainment, which had to compete with the written word. Now, of course, a new Dracula film need not compete with the original story; it only needs to compete with earlier versions on film. This movie explains the story of how Nosferatu was produced. The director, F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich), is filming his masterpiece in Germany (the widow of the story's author refused to sign the rights to the story, so they couldn't film in Transylvania or use any of the names in the book). His choice to play the part of the vampire Nosferatu is Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe), a beastly, hideous man who will appear to the cast and crew only in character (an early example of Method acting, to be sure). Shreck will not travel or bunk with the company; he will live only in the cave dwelling that the film's protagonist, Count Orlac, calls his home. With a leading man that eccentric, it's no wonder trouble appears on the set. People get sick, others appear listless and not quite into their work. Still, the tenacious Murnau pushes on. He must get his shot! His film must be completed! And as it progresses, he slips a little further into his own world, and Schrek - who, it has been said, played perhaps the ugliest vampire in film history - assumes more and more control over the direction of the movie (although not literally). Dafoe is unrecognizable in makeup, but the sinister creepiness he brings to most of his roles is evident here. It's an accomplished actor who can play a part in full makeup and still make the role distinguishable from... well, from some chump in a lot of makeup. Dafoe's excellent here, and his interplay with Malkovich is galvanizing. Their scenes together are like an actor's class on How To Emote and Project. There are times when each actor appears to ham it up slightly (or, in the case of Malkovich, more than slightly), but the two of them together constitute a casting coup. This is a wonderful little film, yet another that didn't quite get the acclaim it deserved. The atmosphere is both rich and compelling, both essential qualities for a film that's all about vampires from long ago. This is not a movie that's high on special effects, either; don't expect to see a lot of flash and fancy. It's also a homage to silent movies and to old-time horror films in general. It's a minimalist film in terms of set itself, but much is done with so little.


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