March 5th, 1922: Nosferatu Premieres in Berlin


Image

By Niall McArdle

It’s hard to imagine cinema without F.W. Murnau’s highly influential Nosferatu, or to give it its full original title, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horrors). Murnau’s take on the Dracula story, with the cadaverous Max Schreck as Count Orlok, had  – along with many other German Expressionist films – an incredible effect on the development of cinema. It was the first vampire film. It soon grew a cult audience, and many of its tropes became standard in horror.

Roger Ebert wrote of it, “here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in clichés, jokes, TV skits, cartoons and more than 30 other films. The film is in awe of its material. It seems to really believe in vampires.” Bram Stoker’s estate was less enthusiastic about the film: they sued for breach of copyright.

800px-Zoologischer_Garten_Berlin_-_Marmorsaal_im_ZooOn March 5th, 1922, the film had its premiere in the Marble Room of the Berlin Zoological Garden. Guests were asked to arrive in 19th century Biedermeier costume. The film received mixed reviews. Several critics didn’t find it scary enough; others found it artistically brilliant.

Nosferatu was remade by Werner Herzog in 1979, with Klaus Kinski in the role.

Advertisements

One thought on “March 5th, 1922: Nosferatu Premieres in Berlin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s