• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

The vampire movie that predates Dracula.


"Mortal terror reigned

Sickness now, then horrible death

Only Lucy knew the truth

And at her window -


Nosferatu (rarely used full title: Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror) is the first known "vampire" movie, released in 1922. Director Friedrich W. Murnau cast Max Schreck as Count Orlok, with the veteran German character actor wearing huge pointed ears, long fangs, and completely bald... one of the most frightening characters in film history. The myth that Nosferatu was Schreck's only role is untrue; he appeared in over 20 films and a number of stage roles, all in Germany. This movie is also notable for spawning the idea that vampires can be killed by sunlight.

Nosferatu was originally intended to be a direct adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but Stoker's widow, who owned the copyright, refused permission. So the Murnau and his team changed the characters' names,[1] simplified the plot, and tried to pass Nosferatu off as an original story.

It didn't work. The film company that produced Nosferatu was forced to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying Bram Stoker's estate for copyright infringement. All copies of this film were supposed to be destroyed because of the infringement, but a Keep Circulating the Tapes mentality among fans of the film kept it from being lost. (pre-digital movie piracy? It's Older Than You Think) We, too, can see the greatness of Murnau's vision.

The myth that Schreck only appeared in this one film was perpetuated by the 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire, which portrayed Schreck as an actual vampire.

This movie is in the public domain and may be viewed in its entirety at Google Video, YouTube, and the Internet Archive.

Also notable under this title: Werner Herzog's 1979 Nosferatu the Vampyre, a re-adaptation of Dracula heavily influenced by the Murnau film's iconic visuals and streamlined plot. Klaus Kinski played the title role (now back to the name "Dracula"), and it's generally considered to be almost as good as the original. Some would even call it better. Kinski would return for the 1988 sort-of-sequel Nosferatu in Venice.

Named The Following Tropes:

This film contains the tropes:

  1. Some later English-language prints "restore" the character names to their Dracula originals.