Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Nosferatu (1922)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens (1922, Germ.) (aka A Symphony of Terror/Horror)

In this influential German expressionistic film by director F.W. Murnau, a silent film horror masterpiece and the first genuine vampire picture, shot on location and an unauthorized film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula - remade by director Werner Herzog as Nosferatu, The Vampire (1979):

  • the opening scene was set in the late 1830s in the German town of Bremen - the disguised driver of a black-swatched coach was sent to pick up visiting Wisborg real estate agent Johannes Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim), after he had been deposited as close as possible into the Carpathian Mountains region filled with fearful villagers; once they arrived up the hill at the Transylvanian castle, the driver gestured and pointed for Hutter to enter
  • as Hutter walked into the concrete castle through various Gothic arches, the tall, gaunt, big-nosed, mysterious aristocrat Count Orlok (Max Schreck) appeared and was there to greet him; he was annoyed: "You have kept me waiting -- too long -- it's almost midnight. The servants are asleep!"; the two entered the darkness of the castle - at the end of Act I
  • the most dramatic and remembered entrance of the vampire came later, at the start of the next night, while Hutter was either sleeping or rendered unconscious [Note: At the same time, Hutter's wife in Wisborg sensed that something was threatening her husband, and she called out his name.]
  • the midnight appearance of the hideous and evil Count Orlok was as Nosferatu (undead) vampire - a bald-headed and cadaverous creature with claw-like/skeletal fingernails, long teeth (or fangs) and bat ears); he was first seen glimpsed at a long distance, but then approached quickly (through dissolves) toward the horrified real estate agent Johannes Hutter; Count Orlok soon completely filled the curved, pointed doorway with a Gothic arch, revealing his ugly, scary figure
The Appearance of the Evil Undead Nosferatu Vampire to Hutter
Count Orlok
The Shock of Real Estate Agent Johannes Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim)
In Curved Pointed Doorway
Shadows of Orlok's Pointy Fingers Above Hutter
Count Orlok's Quick Unexpected Departure
  • the shadow of Orlok, with his outstretched pointy fingers, soon began to envelop a sleeping Hutter, but then unexpectedly, departed through the same doorway, which closed behind him
  • a similar scene of Count Orlok was of him rising straight up from his earth-filled coffin in the cargo hold of the double-masted "death ship" Empusa bound down-river to Wisborg - causing the crazed First Mate (Wolfgang Heinz) (who was hacking into the coffin) to run on-deck and hurl himself into the water; also, there was a low-angle image of the predatory creature walking across the prow of the ship (looking like a spider spinning his web in the rigging), transporting him to his new home in the north German town of Wisborg
  • in the film's most frightening sequence, the shadowy approach of the vampire's elongated hand and body was silhouetted as he climbed the stairs and reached out to a door and toward his stalking victim - an awaiting possessed Ellen Hutter (Greta Schroeder), Hutter's wife, who clutched at her left breast in fear; she knew from a book that "Deliverance is possible by no other means but that an innocent maiden maketh the vampire heed not the first crowing of the cock - this done by the sacrifice of her own bloode"
Count Orlok's Death Scene With Hutter's Wife
  • when Orlok entered her room, the shadow of his hand covered her heart, and he began to suck blood from her neck; she sacrificed herself to destroy Nosferatu, to trick him into being preoccupied - and overstaying his welcome when a rooster crowed, signaling dawn and the beginning of daylight; he was exposed to the sun and died in front of her window, grasping his chest, and disappearing (or fading away) in a small wisp of smoke

Count Orlok Disguised as Coach Driver Outside Transylvanian Castle

Hutter Greeted by Count Orlok

Count Orlok in Cargo Hold and On Deck On Double-Masted "Death Ship" Empusa

Count Orlok's Approach Up Stairs to Victim, Ellen Hutter


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