NOSFERATU (1922) B/W "silent" 81m dir: F.W. Murnau
w/Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Greta Schroeder
The full title of this horror masterpiece is NOSFERATU, A SYMPHONY OF HORROR, and it's absolutely the best-directed version of the famous Dracula story, creepy and eerie in its sets and atmosphere.
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films : "Only in its theme can Nosferatu be called expressionistic. It was produced mainly in exteriors. Albin Grau's sets, such as the Carpathian castle or the three empty houses sold to Nosferatu, are more realistic than deformed, and in any case are less fantastic than many natural sets. The romantic couple are stiff and awkward, but Max Schreck, with his exaggerated makeup, bald head, long pointed ears, talons, jerky walk, and gangly black silhouette, creates a Nosferatu who is a convincing 'symphony of horror.' ... The film only really begins when the clerk enters the region of the castle. 'And when he crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him.' A mysterious black-draped coach appears and hurtles him along the roads to Count Orlock's castle. Famous sequences: Nosferatu carrying a coffin on his shoulders through the streets; the coffins full of earth and rats; the plague killing the ship's crew; the dead ship entering Bremen harbor; the madman eating flies; Nosferatu vanishing when the cock crows."