"The original Dracula movie and still, after 80 years, the scariest. If the film is not called ‘Dracula’, that is simply because Murnau and his screenwriter, Henrik Galeen, having failed to obtain the rights to Bram Stoker’s novel from his widow, calmly pinched the whole plot and changed the characters’ names. The resultant lawsuit rumbled on for years.

"Still, this piece of sharp practice can perhaps be forgiven, since it resulted in one of the greatest horror movies, not just of the silent screen, but of all time. The special effects, of course, have long since been surpassed, the dialogue is often stilted, and some of the acting especially Gustav von Wangenheim as the naïve young hero, Hutter – is hammy in the extreme. But none of this matters in the face of what makes this a masterpiece: Murnau’s visionary direction and the chilling performance of Max Schreck in the title role… Filming largely on location, Murnau creates an eerie sense of unnatural forces penetrating the natural world; the uncanny is all the more terrifying for appearing in everyday surroundings… The Nosferatu of Max Schreck is unforgettably grotesque from his very first appearance… Tall, cadaverous, bald, bat-eared and rabbit-toothed, he moves with short jerky steps, taloned hands close to his sides, as if still holding the shape of his daytime coffin." (Source: British Film Institute)

1922Rating: M, contains violence90 minsGermany

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