Nosferatu: The Film Resurrected (Part 2)

Florence Stoker, widow to Bram Stoker, did all she could to stamp out any imitators to the vampire in Dracula. She had all copies of Freidrich Willhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens burned. Yet Nosferatu did not stay dead. Like any good horror movie, the villain revived himself and carried on the fight. A print of the film resurfaced in 1929, playing to audiences in New York and Detroit. However preeminent Dracula scholar, David J. Skal, writes that the film “was not taken seriously” and that most audiences considered it “a boring picture”. The print was then purchased by Universal to see what had already been done in terms of a vampire movie. The film was studied by all the key creative personnel leading to the Universal production of Dracula in 1931.

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The undead film continued to rise from the grave throughout the years. An abridged version was aired on television in the 1960s as part of Silents Please, and subsequently released by Entertainment films under the title Terror of Dracula, and then again by Blackhawk Films under the name Dracula. Blackhawk also released the original version to the collector’s market under the title Nosferatu the Vampire. An unabridged copy of the movie survived Florence Stoker’s death warrant and was restored and screened at Berlin’s Film Festival in 1984.

Despite its influence on the making of the 1931 Dracula, Nosferatu has few film decedents. It’s theme of vampire as a scourging plague has only been seriously taken up by two films: the 1979 remake by Werner Herzog, Nosferatu: The Vampyre.

Another film (same year) was the television miniseries of Salem’s Lot, directed by Tobe Hooper.

Perhaps if the original Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens had been allowed regular release, this would not be the case. It remains to be seen if Nosferatu will vanish again with the daylight or if this rare film will rise again in a new form.

For more information on the making of the original Dracula, check out David Skal’s book Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen.

Tim Kane

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3 comments on “Nosferatu: The Film Resurrected (Part 2)

  1. […] one movie: Nosferatu. Discover how Florence Stoker had all the prints destroyed. Then see how the film rose from the ashes to emerge as a classic 40 years […]

  2. Gaymen says:

    They could have come up with so many better tviria questions for Ghostbusters. Like what did the Mayor call the Priest in his office when the Ghostbusters were being questioned about the cities problems.Oh well not every Trivia book will be gold. Thanks for doing some Dracula Trivia. Even with that painfully fumbled movie you still know Way too much about it to be healthy.About the lack of Video. It was allot less fun. I can honestly say I missed seeing the facial expressions to go with the answers. Whats strange though is there are some parts of this where Mike was almost as hard to hear as he was in the noisy restaurant. Does recording equipment just hate him? Or does he refuse to speak louder than it takes to talk to what he’s looking at.Say he’s looking at the book page he gets quieter as if he only has to talk loud enough for someone as far away as the page to hear him.It was odd.Since it’s now September 1st the submissions on Monster Madness should be closed. Looking forward to what comes from all the submissions.Not sure if I will be around to check out new content on the 2nd since that’s my birthday and all but still enjoying and looking forward to new things added to the site.

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