Originally Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (German)
Director F.W. Murnau; writer Henrik Galeen; featuring Max Shreck
English version: director Tod Browning; writers Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston; variably featuring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan.
Spanish version: director George Melford; writ. Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston, Baltasar Fernández Cué; featuring Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Pablo Álvarez Rubio
Three films variably featuring Gloria Holden, Otto Kruger, Edward Van Sloan, Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Paige, John Carradine, Onslow Stevens, Glenn Strange
Also called Dracula
Director Terence Fisher; writer Jimmy Sangster; featuring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough
Three films variably featuring Peter Cushing, David Peel, Yvonne Monlaur, Martita Hunt, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson
Director John Badham; writer Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston, W.D. Richter; featuring Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance, Kate Nelligan
Two films. 1979: director Stan Dragoti, featuring George Hamilton, Richard Benjamin. 1995: director Mel Brooks, featuring Leslie Neilsen, Steve Weber, Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman
Also called Dracula
Director Francis Ford Coppola; writer Jame V. Hart; featuring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Cary Elwes, Tom Waits
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Director E. Elias Merhige; writer Steven Katz; featuring John Malkovich, Willem Defoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes
Director Patrick Lussier; writer Joel Soission, Lussier; featuring Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Jeri Ryan
Director Bill Eagles; writer Stewart Harcourt; featuring Marc Warren, David Suchet, Sophia Myles
John Malkovich, left, is director F.W. Murnau filming 1922's Nosferatu, in 2000's Shadow of the Vampire.
Behind the scenes with Dracula
The dawn of new millennium saw unique takes on the old-world vampire.
Dracula fans, as well as film buffs, might appreciate Shadow of the Vampire (2000), which is supposedly about the making of that original silent movie, Nosferatu (1922). As you may recall, Nosferatu was the first major treatment of Dracula on film, although the name had to be changed for copyright reasons.
Willem Dafoe as Max Shreck as Nosferatu.
Shadow of the Vampire imagines the lead actor in that first Dracula film, Max Shreck, to be a real vampire who keeps eating the crew.
He's portrayed by an unrecognizably gaunt, bald and hideous Willem Dafoe—looking practically identical to the Shreck Nosferatu.
John Malkovich is the obliging director F.W. Murnau, intent on getting his masterpiece on film whatever, and whoever, it takes. It's blackly humorous, as well as artsy in a way John Malkovich films often are.
The sequences moving between the colourful reality of the film set and the grey-toned footage seen through the camera lens are quite well done. If anything, this takeoff may encourage you to have a look at the original film.
And watch for cult film favourite Udo Kier, the title character from Warhol's kitschy 1970s' Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula, in a major role here.
Trailer for the vampire film about making an earlier vampire film.
This is a movie that loves its film history, but doesn't take it too seriously. Exactly as you should approach Shadow of the Vampire.