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Thomas Hutter is secretary to an estate agent in Wisborg, where he lives happily with his wife Ellen. One day his boss sends him to Transylvania on business, to negotiate with Baron Orlok about purchasing a house. His wife Ellen senses that something is amiss, she is aware of the danger which threatens her husband, but he will not be held back. It is night-time before Hutter meets the strange master of the castle - the latter signs the contract. When Hutter wakes the next morning, he discovers small red marks on his neck and guesses the horrors to come. Orlok is a vampire. Hutter flees the castle at once, afraid that the ghost is on his way to his wife.

One day a ship with no one at the helm lands at Wisborg, its cargo bringing plague, death and ruin to the inhabitants. The dead all have the same red marks on their necks. Ellen recognises the challenge, and in order to put an end to the disaster, she sacrifices herself and surrenders to the vampire. The mysterious form dissolves into the air in the first light of the next morning.

Restored Version by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation/Wiesbaden

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was born Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe in Bielefeld on 28 December 1888. He studied Philology in Berlin and History of Art and Literature in Heidelberg, and then broke off his studies to attend the Max Reinhardt Drama School and became a regular member of the ensemble from 1913. He directed such films as Nosferatu (1922), The Last Laugh (Der letzte Mann, 1924), Faust - A German Folk Tale (Faust - eine deutsche Volkssage, 1925/126) and Tartueff (1926), among others. In 1925, he received a four-year contract from Hollywood and made the masterpiece Sunrise (1927) before severing his contract to make Tabu in the South Seas. He was killed in a car accident a week before Tabu's premiere in 1931.
Genre Horror
Category Feature, Silent
Year of Production 1921
Director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Screenplay Henrik Galeen
Cinematography Fritz Arno Wagner
Hans Erdmann, Art Zoyd
Albin Grau
Cast G.H. Schnell, Greta Schroeder, Gustav von Wangenheim, Alexander Granach, Max Schreck, Ruth Landshoff
Producers Enrico Dieckmann, Albin Grau
Production Company Prana-Film/Berlin
Length 93 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Original Version
 Silent with German intertitles
Festivals Fantasporto 2012, Sao Paulo 2012, Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2014, Valladolid 2016, Sitges 2017, Cork 2018
German Distributor Transit Film/Munich

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