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Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror FANCY ENJOYING AN EARLY SILENT HORROR MOVIE that shocked cinema-goers in the 1920's? Yes. Then you must see the wonderfully nostalgic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, fully-restored and accompanied by the 'missing' magnificent original score that has not been heard since it played with the film over 85 years ago.

Part of the Masters of Cinema series, this is the best looking, definitive and complete edition of Nosferatu and it is the only officially-licensed version available in the UK. Now with original German intertitles, the masterly Nosferatu is an iconic film of the German Expressionist Cinema and was one of the most successful horror films of all time — the first ever, although unauthorised, screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula by the director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.

Nosferatu starts off with an indication that the year is AD 1838 and showing pages from a book entitled Chronicle of The Great Death in Wisborg. The pages read: "Does this not sound to you like the midnight cry of the Deathbird? Take care in saying it, lest life's images fade into shadows and ghostly dreams rise from your heart and nourish them-selves on your blood." Sets the scene nicely, doesn't it? Are you chilled already?

Sepia-tinted images stir the imagination and Murnau shoots through a soft-focus circle — very much the order of the day. The film introduces Hutter and his wife Ellen and the creepy Knock, a property agent.

To Ellen's dismay, Knock sends her husband into the superstitious heart of Transylvania to sell an abandoned building opposite their home in Wisborg to the sinister Count Orlok — portrayed superbly by the legen-dary Max Schreck in a performance the very back-story of which has spawned its own mythology.

At an inn, Hutter reads a book that is the stuff of nightmares and is told of local legends. On his way to meet the count, he believes himself to be hallucinating as strange things happen; and once at Orlok's eerie castle, Hutter sees things that make him suspicious. Eventually the count ships himself off to Wisborg and Hutter returns to his wife. Frighteningly, from the moment Orlok arrives, people start falling sick from a supposed plague.

Furthermore, the old book that Hutter has brought back with him and forbidden his wife to read lies open…

The publicity machine says: "As to whether the count's campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree, erotic compulsion or the simple impulse of survival, it remains, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all in this film that has the intrigue and mystery of a blackout…"

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is one of the most famous of the movie silents. It was remade by Werner Herzogin in 1979 and has inspired films as diverse as Abel Ferrara's King of New York and The Addiction, to E Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire. However, F W Murnau's surreal 1922 cine-fable Nosferatu remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of 'the horror film'.

And Murnau's Nosferatu continues to haunt today's audiences with the power of its images. The director has wrung an impressive array of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set pieces and innocuous real- world locations. He captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements
of a waking nightmare and launched the signature 'Murnau-style' that would change cinema history forever.

Don't underestimate this great silent — it is well worth watching for both its historic and filmic value. Subtitles are clear and pertinent and there is nothing about this little gem to dislike.

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is a special edition of the 2007 F W Murnau-Stiftung restoration with the original score. There is a full-length audio commentary by Brad Stevens and R Dixon Smith and also a 53-minute German documentary about Murnau and the making of Nosferatu, complete with fascinating footage of the film's locations today. A restoration demonstration is also included and additional extras are expected to be announced.

A special 96-page book is also included, containing articles by David Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen); Thomas Elsaesser (author of Weimar Cinema and After: Germany's Historical Imagery); Gilberto Perez (author of The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium); Enno Patalas (former director of the Münchner Stadtmuseum/ Filmmuseum, where
he was responsible for the restoration of many German classics, including Nosferatu); a newly-translated archival piece on vampires
by the film's producer Albin Grau; notes on the film's restoration; and archival imagery.

One of The Masters of Cinema series, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is on sale from 19 November 2007 as a two-DVD set. Catalogue No: EKA40214 | Barcode: 5060000402148 | Certificate: PG | Running Time: 93 minutes | Format: B&W | Genre: Horror | Director: F W Murnau | 1921, Germany.