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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Version Ever Of The Best Vampire Film
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...
Published on 8 Nov 2009 by G. Ratcheson

versus
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE ELSTREE HILL RELEASES
I read the rave reviews of this film and ordered it not realizing that it wasn't the Masters of Cinema release that everyone lauds to the heavens. Instead it's a shoddy, blurry wreck of a release from Elstree Hill with the film's proper aspect ratio of 4:3 completely skewed.
1. Do not buy any releases by Elstree Hill. They may be cheap, but there is obviously a good...
Published 14 months ago by Film Buff


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - this authoritative edition presents an authentic and ravishing version, 3 Sep 2012
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If you are searching for a high-quality and highly authentic edition of this cinematic masterpiece, look no further, for this DVD-set is precisely that.

It can be surprisingly difficult to find a proper edition of this film. Different versions of it abound, and Amazon is not exactly helping the matter - as far as I can see, they have been indiscriminately mixing together reviews which refer to completely different editions. For instance, one of the "Amazon.co.uk Reviews" at the top of this product's page, states:

"This two-disc set gives you the choice of watching Nosferatu in either a sepia-tinted version or the original black & white. Both, however, feature the same modern electronic music score by Art Zoyd (at the movie's lavish 1922 premiere a live orchestra performed a newly composed, quasi-Wagnerian score by Hans Erdmann)." - Neither statement applies to this DVD-set; it features the Hans Erdmann score, and if there is an option to see the film in black and white, I have not found it yet (more about that in a moment).

So to prevent any misunderstanding: I am referring in this review to the "Eureka! The Masters of Cinema" edition released on 19 Nov 2007 (its cover shows a stylized drawing of Nosferatu on a blueish background, with a thin half-moon to his right and rats around his legs).

The Restoration:

The film is presented in its original format, which has been painstakingly restored. First of all, it features the German intertitles, both originals and imitations designed to look like the originals, all very stylish, and with optional English subtitles. In addition, the image has been digitally remastered. It is cleared of scratches and stains to a very high degree, and has been stabilised so as not to jerk sideways where frames have come to be slightly misaligned due to the print's age. It has also been digitally retouched for consistent brightness, which means it has very little of the usual flickering of old films.

The result is not just a steady and clear picture, it is positively astounding. I cannot begin to describe how much of a difference there is between this version and the scratchy, uneven, often dirty-looking versions I have grown accustomed to. There are shots of sublime beauty and clarity here, and by the end, I felt like in a way I had never actually seen "Nosferatu" before. This is not to say that you don't see the film's age, but at least the picture doesn't tell its wild history (barely escaping the destruction of every single copy) so palpably any more. The restoration leaves you not with a mere claim to a great film, but with a great film.

The Colouration:

The film has also been tinted. Here, I was initially slightly disappointed, seeing how reviews both on Amazon and elsewhere mentioned an option to watch the film in pure black and white. I cannot find such an option here - however, on reading the accompanying booklet (which by the way is highly informative), I came to realize that the tinting has not been done at the restorer's discretion (as I have sometimes suspected) but was part of the process of reconstructing, as authentically as possible, the original film as it would have been shown in 1922.

The booklet states that the restored version used for this DVD was done "by Luciano Berriatua on behalf of Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Stiftung [...]. A tinted nitrate print with French intertitles from 1922 of Cinematheque Française, Paris, was used as basis for the restoration" (p. 64). If we read on, we find that this "coloured copy of the first (1922) French version of the film" (p.73) was probably identical to the German original except for having different intertitles, and that "the French distributor had, as was normal at the time, received the coloured positive print from Germany, producing only the French titles in France. One could therefore assume that the French version was based on the same colouring plan as the German version" (p.73).

In other words, the print that was used for the restoration probably had the exact same colours as the original, and so the tinted version you see on this DVD is, for all we know, following as closely as possible the tinted version that was originally released in 1922. It has, however, been newly done, and thus has nothing of the faded look of other coloured versions.

The Music:

This, too, is unquestionably as authentic as it gets. Though no recording of the original score by Hans Erdmann was made at the time (all screenings being accompanied by live performances), the music suite used has been historically reconstructed, and it is such a reconstruction that has been recorded for this DVD (by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbruecken, conducted by Berndt Heller). It is beautiful and, in my opinion, fits the film better than any attempt at writing new music for it I have encountered so far. I would go so far as to say that certain scenes become enhanced by this score to an unprecedented degree - I never found the first meeting of Hutter and Orlok or the ship scene to be so scary.

Overall:

This truly is a classic of cinema brought back to life, and until the version used here is released on Blu Ray (lets hope it will be!), this DVD-set remains the authoritative edition. Almost needless to mention, it also contains a full-length commentary track, a documentary about the film's making, a short featurette about the restoration, and a booklet with further information and articles. The documentary, as other reviewers have pointed out, leaves some things to be desired, but that cannot possibly matter next to just how gorgeous this restoration is.

Wholeheartedly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original And Best Horror Classic, 14 May 2008
By 
Students of the horror film know that it really hit its stride with Nosferatu, Murnau's version of the Dracula story. With Max Schrek (was he or wasn't he??) playing the lead role to perfection, and some astounding use of light and shade, this film set the standard for years to come.

Murnau really got inside the vampire legend, and drew on many sources, although primarliy of course he used Dracula, which cause many problems after the film was released.

I have had a double disc version by Eureka for some time, and wondered if the new version was necessary, but after reading some of the reviews here I took the plunge, and very am glad that I did. The film is presented in only a single version this time, rather than the option of Black & White or Sepia, but the restoration is sharper than before, plus the score is the original one used for the film on its first release, a big improvement on the synthesised bonus score offered on the previous Eureka release.

An excellent commentary, a second disc of extras and documentaries, a superb 80 page book, and a much improved cover make this an essential buy if you haven't got the earlier, or indeed, any other version, but if you already have this film on your shelves, I would upgrade without hesitation to this Masters Of Cinema release.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i agree with the others, 30 Nov 2007
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This is an important release. I doubt if even the director saw the movie looking as good as it does now! I honestly believe he'd sob with joy and amazement at the way his great film has been honoured. The restoration is quite stunning. Here we have a film from the birth of cinema looking immaculate. If you like horror films then this film has to be in your collection. If you like cinema you should have this film. Sorry to go on but after years of watching scratched, badly cropped and 'knackered' copies Masters of Cinema have made my day. Check out the 'extras' and 80 page book! It's a joy.
Can we please have Cabinet of Dr Caligari restored now please?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars what are they talking about, 25 Sep 2007
By 
Stephen D. Kutos "der fritz mann" (Kwaidan, Mexico) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nosferatu [1922] [DVD] (DVD)
One reviwer has compared this release to the masters of cinema release. As of today, September 26 2006, the Masters of Cinema version hasn't been released yet, so they haven't even seen it yet, and the comment about the "modern" score on the MoC version, is completely inaccurate. The MoC release uses the original score play with the film in the 20's. The Bfi version uses a newly recorded score.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great film, 22 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This is a truly great film. The imagery used in the film is nothing short of stunning, and the atmosphere created is really chilling. There is a plain black and white version of the film on the second disc, but for me the tinted version works better.
Not everybody seems to like the modern soundtrack, but I think it just goes to show that the film is still relevant 80 years on!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The all time classic, the first, the best and the Only., 13 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Nosferatu [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If you are a lover of all things vampyric, the myth and tales of the vampires then this is more than an absolute must. The very first filmic representation of Bram Stocker's Dracula. If you have any interest in Vampires or Horror films or even just classic and cult movies then this has to be in your collection. Despite being decades old the film is daunting and terrifying through out. The direction and the astounding emotion and feeling in the film harken back to the truth of Bram Stockers great novel. This film is so powerful and terrifying and truly incredible I find it impossible to believe that anyone could be with it this amazing film
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware, 4 May 2012
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This item I received does not match Amazon's description. There is but one dvd in the box containing the film and nothing more. There is no sound track to the film.
It would appear that the description and customer reviews from different dvd releases have been mixed together. Make sure you choose the right one but don't ask me how you would know!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark becomes darker, 22 May 2004
By 
Taliesin_ttlg (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nosferatu [1922] [DVD] (DVD)
As you are reading this it is easy to assume that you are familiar with this classic silent movie. That might not be the case so let me explain a little about the movie first. Directed by F W Murnau and released in 1922 the movie was the first adaptaion (loosely) of Dracula. Unfortunately Murnau did not have permission to adapt the book and most copies of the original were destroyed. Luckily for us, a few survived as it is a materpiece of cinema.
There are many versions available, so why buy this version. The main difference is the soundtrack, which is the gothis industrial mix mentioned in the title. A very dark score it is as well, with main contribution by Rozz Williams of Christian Death.
In the main the score fits very well and adds a very different dimension to the film. In some respects it is very difficult to get one's head around modern music scoring a silent music, so sometimes it feels as though you are watching a music video, but don't let that put you off. The mix adds to this film and makes it a worthwhile addition to a film collection, especially if you are a fan of the vampire genre or goth/industrial music.
In the end the film would get 5 stars whatever, the music on this version only adds to that rather than detract.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film, Terrible Score, 9 April 2003
By A Customer
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Nosferatu is an undisputed classic of Silent film and the visual imagery is brilliant.
I found this Eureka 2disc set quite frustrating. The extras are good and there's a particularly perceptive and detailed commentary by "voiceover man". However both the sepia and b/w versions of the film have a terribly distracting electronic/quasi-orchestral score by avante garde group Art Zoyd. Now this is probably a love or hate case, I was in the latter category. It's a shame there is no alternative, more conventional score as an option. I suspect that the BFI version of this classic may be the better option if you want to add this great film to your collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure brilliance that keeps coming back., 28 May 2011
By 
Nosferatu has been one of my fave films for some years now. The first real vampire film! (And I'm not usually into these things) and it was with excitement that I received this shiny new Eureka edition for Christmas.
We're lucky to have this film, considering Mrs. Stoker tried to have it destroyed for y'know, unbeleivably ripping off Dracula without permission. But even with repeated (supposedly sucessful) attempts to remove every copy, somehow this film has survived.
And I'm so glad!
Points in brief -

Those familier with the Dracula tale will need no review of the storyline. The names are different, but most of the plot is there. As for Orlok (Dracula)... he is superb. Max Schrek did a fabulous job, right down to the lack of blinking, the stiff movement becoming suddenly frighteningly swift and smooth when he swoops in for Ellen (Mina), the lack of emotion, bar a few moments where Orlok exhibits some fabulous tinges of excitement, relief and finally, terror. But my favourite part of him has to be that magnificent shadow, that creeps up stairs and reaches out, opening doors and stealing souls. A lot of older films these days can't be said to be scary anymore, and while this may be true of Nosferatu for some, he certainly still sends a chill down my spine.

This edition features the original score, which is unintrusive and adds to, rather then blares out, what's on the screen. It also features tinting, original to the first-aired copies if not to the copies sent abroad.

And thats before we get to the on-screen images. When I first put this film in and hit play, I had to pause it and shed a few tears. This edition is cleaned to absolute perfection. It's beautiful.

I really hope more people buy and watch this film. It's finally been given the attention it deserves, and it certainly sends me up and down the emotional scale when I watch it. Long live Nosferatu!
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Nosferatu [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]
Nosferatu [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray] by F.W. Murnau (Blu-ray - 2013)
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