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Nosferatu (Definitive Fully-restored version with original score) [Masters of Cinema] [1921] [DVD]


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Nosferatu (Definitive Fully-restored version with original score) [Masters of Cinema] [1921] [DVD] + Cabinet of Dr Caligari [DVD] + Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] [1927]
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Product details

  • Actors: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav Von Wangenheim, Greta Schroeder
  • Directors: F.W. Murnau
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, HiFi Sound
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Nov 2007
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VU0KJA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,832 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror continues to haunt and, indeed, terrify modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare, and launched the signature "Murnau-style" that would change cinema history forever. In this first-ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck, in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land... and establish his ambiguous dominion. As to whether the count's campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree, erotic compulsion, or the simple impulse of survival that remains, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all in this film that's like a blackout... Remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 (and inspiring films as diverse as Abel Ferrara's King of New York and The Addiction, and E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire), F. W. Murnau's surreal 1922 cine-fable remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of "the horror film". The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present, at long last, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror in its definitive restoration, complete with original intertitles and accompanied by the score that played with the film at the time of its initial release. SPECIAL FEATURES - 2 x DVD special edition of the 2007 F.W. Murnau-Stiftung restoration with the original score, Full-length audio commentary by Brad Stevens and R. Dixon Smith, A 96-page book containing articles by David Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen); Thomas Elsaesser (author of Weimar Cinema and After: Germany's Historical Imaginary); Gilberto Perez (author of The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium); Enno Patalas (former director of the Münchner Stadtmuseum/Filmmuseum, where he was responsible for the restoration of many German classics, including Nosferatu); a newly translated archival piece on vampires by the film's producer Albin Grau; notes on the film's restoration; and archival imagery, 53-minute German documentary about Murnau and the making of NOSFERATU complete with fascinating footage of the film's locations today, Restoration demonstration, More extras to be announced

From Amazon.co.uk

Made in 1922, FW Murnau's Expressionist masterpiece Nosferatu--A Symphony of Horrors is an unofficial but reasonably faithful condensation of parts of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. Alongside Metropolis (1926) it is one of the very few European features from the 1920s that is still regularly shown, and apart from being the first great horror film it laid the foundations of the vampire genre to the present day. Wearing astonishing rodent-like make-up Max Schreck cuts such an iconic figure as the undead Count that the 2001 comedy-horror Shadow of the Vampire suggested he wasn't acting at all! Although Murnau's film was revolutionary and technically adventurous for the time, a modern audience will have to make some allowances for the fact the movie now seems both dated and technically primitive: Murnau's stylised lighting and camera effects have been endlessly imitated and improved upon since, and even its greatest defenders generally admit the film barely raises a shudder, let alone a full-blooded scare. Nevertheless, Nosferatu holds a strange dreamlike grip on the imagination and its incalculable influence on fantasy and horror cinema means this is essential viewing for anyone seriously interested in the development of motion picture art.

On the DVD: Presented in Academy at 1.37:1 and with James Bernard's new orchestral score in well-recorded stereo Nosferatu looks and sounds as good as it has in decades. Bernard, composer of Hammer's Dracula (1958) among others, has written a superior score that captures the film's subtitle, "A Symphony of Horrors", and truly brings the images alive in a way previous scores have not. This restored version presents for the first time on video or DVD the blue and brown tints of the original cinema prints and replicates the original hand-designed inter-title cards which with their distinctive designs make the film much more of a compete visual experience. More importantly, this DVD offers approximately another quarter of an hour of material over the usually distributed American version. However, the restoration has not extended to repairing the many lines, scratches, variations in brilliance and other evidence of print damage present throughout. The film is perfectly watchable, being very much what one would expect from the early 1920s. There are text biographies and notes on Murnau and James Bernard, DVD-ROM material on the restoration of the print and a perceptive 23-minute discussion by film expert Christopher Frayling on many aspects of the movie. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By G. Ratcheson on 8 Nov 2009
Format: DVD
This review has been significantly shortened to fit Amazon.UK's 1,000 word limit.

Let's get the most important thing out of the way: this is by far the best looking version of Nosferatu I've ever seen. Most of the scratches are gone, & while this isn't from a 1st generation print, for the first time in my experience the picture is good enough to clearly see the actors facial expressions, which is essential for silent film & just makes Max Shreck even creepier! If it really was Shreck playing this role, it's a shame that he's otherwise considered an unimportant actor with so little (if anything else) remaining on film, as he's the creepiest vampire in film history. The picture is so clear that for the first time in my experience it's apparent in a scene near the end that part of Shreck's (otherwise amazing) makeup is a piece of cotton stuck to an ear. The image is not quite on a par with the restored Metropolis (which is the best looking 1920's German restoration I've ever seen), but it's quite good. In fact, you can compare pre-restoration scenes from the film in the excellent disc 2 documentary with the restored edition on disc 1 to see just how good the restoration is.

For those not familiar with Nosferatu, here's a BRIEF history. F.W. Murnau, one of the great Expressionist German directors filmed this unauthorized take off on Dracula in 1922. Bram Stoker's widow sued, & all prints were ordered destroyed. Fortunately for us, various collector's & export copies survived & since the 1950's(??) there have been various attempts to reclaim & restore a definitive edition. Based on the editions I've seen & reading about the 2002 BFI that I haven't seen, the current version is by far the best we've got.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By J. Rae on 14 Sep 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Eureka edition of Nosferatu includes the following:
a 2 x DVD special edition of the 2007 F.W. Murnau-Stiftung restoration plus original score. This edition of NOSFERATU features Hans Erdmann's original music for the first time since the film's initial release in the 1920s. The original score in paper form has been located (no original recordings were ever made, it was only performed live in the 1920s). A lush, orchestral recording of this original score has been performed by Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken conducted by Berndt Heller
+ Full-length audio commentary by Brad Stevens and R. Dixon Smith - film historian.
+ A 96-page book containing articles by David Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen); Thomas Elsaesser (author of Weimar Cinema and After: Germany's Historical Imaginary); Gilberto Perez (author of The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium); Enno Patalas (former director of the Münchner Stadtmuseum/Filmmuseum, where he was responsible for the restoration of many German classics, including Nosferatu); a newly translated archival piece on vampires by the film's producer Albin Grau; notes on the film's restoration; and archival imagery
- 53-minute German documentary about Murnau and the making of Nosferatu complete with fascinating footage of the film's locations today
- Restoration demonstration
there might be a few other extras but nothing confirmed at this time.
The cover art is taken from Albin Grau's poster of the time.
On top of this edition "KINO" films is releasing their own version AND there is a groovy "STEELBOOK" edition available from AMAZON.DE which I have pre-ordered.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By mxd10 on 8 Dec 2007
Format: DVD
I've seen and owned several copies of Murnau's Nosferatu in my time, and to say that this is the best quality you can find in public distribution would be an understatement. Even compared to the excellent BFI release, which I previously considered to be the best version that I would ever see, this MoC release just blows it out of the water. The scratches and flaws have been digitally removed on the whole, or otherwise kept to an absolute minimum, and it provides (at times) a stunningly clear tinted image that betrays the film's 85 years. But the real beauty comes from seeing how utterly stable the picture is. Still screenshots do this no justice, but the image is no longer jerking around on your screen like the cameraman was drunk.

The music is also a real joy, as it is probably the "definitive" score for the film, the very score that was performed at the movie's premier. You will never get much better than that, and it fits the film wonderfully. While James Bernard did a great job on the BFI release, the Hammer Horror artefacts were too overbearing at times. However, the music on this release is perfectly unbiased and fits the movie like a glove.

The special features are about as good as can be expected for this nearly-lost and mysterious film. On disc two, there is one interesting documentary that delves into the history and background of the film, as well as a brief featurette about the restoration process. The documentary is good, revisiting some of the shooting locations and exploring Murnau's past and the occult background to the film, but if you're hoping for any footage of a non-Nosferatu Max Schreck like I was, then you'll be disappointed! Back on disc one, you can find a useful commentary track that delves into the film's imagery and influence.
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