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Nosferatu  (1922) 
by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Nosferatu is a 1922 silent German Expressionist horror film directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok, a vampire who preys on the wife (Greta Schröder) of his estate agent (Gustav von Wangenheim) and brings the plague to their town. It was adapted from Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, with the names of some characters changed (in the German original).
This is the transcription of a version of the film with English intertitles that was released anonymously in the US in 1947. All of the characters in this version were renamed to their Dracula counterparts. Jonathan's name appears consistently as "Jonathon" in this translation, though, and this is incorrect to the original novel.

Key (info)
In scene
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Directed by
F. W. Murnau

(Acquired through the courtesy of La Cinémathèque Française)

From the novel by

Adaptation by

Photographed by

Art Direction by


Count Dracula, the vampire Max Schreck
Renfield, an estate agent Alexander Granach
Jonathon Harker, Renfield's clerk Gustav von Wangenheim
Nina, his wife Greta Schroeder
Westenra, Harker's friend G. H. Schell
Lucy, his wife Ruth Landshoff
The Professor John Gottowt
The Town Doctor Gustav Botz
Captain of the "Demeter" Max Nemetz
First Mate Wolfgang Heinz

From the diary of Johann Cavallius, able historian of his native city of Bremen:
"Nosferatu! That name alone can chill the blood!
"Nosferatu! Was it he who brought the plague to Bremen in 1838?"

"I have long sought the causes of that terrible epidemic, and found at its origin and its climax the innocent figures of Jonathon Harker and his young wife, Nina."

"Wait, young man. You can't escape destiny by running away..."

"The agent Renfield was a strange man, and there were unpleasant rumors about him."

"Here is an important letter from Transylvania. Count Dracula wishes to buy a house in our city."

"It's a good opportunity for you, Harker. The Count is rich, and free with his money."

"You will have a marvelous journey. And, young as you are, what matter if it costs you some pain—or even a little blood?..."

"The house facing yours...That should suit him."

"Leave at once, my young friend. And don't be frightened if people speak of Transylvania as the land of phantoms..."

"I may be away for several months, Nina. Renfield is sending me to some lost corner of the Carpathians..."

"Harker left Nina with his good friends, Westenra and his wife Lucy."

"Don't worry, Nina. Nothing will happen to me."

"From relay to relay, through the dust raised by the stages, Harker hurried on."

"Dinner, quickly! I should already be at Count Dracula's castle."

"You must not leave now! The evil spirits become all-powerful after dark!"

The Book
of the

and it was in 1443 that the first Nosferatu was born.

That name rings like the cry of a bird of prey. Never speak it aloud.....

Men do not always recognize the dangers that beasts can sense at certain times.

"Hurry! The sun will soon be setting!"

"We will go no further, sir. Not for a fortune!"

"We will go no further. Here begins the land of phantoms."

"And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him."

"You are late, young man. It is almost midnight. My servants have all retired."

"Blood! Your precious blood!"

"Let us chat together a moment, my friend. There are still several hours until dawn, and I have the whole day to sleep."

"As the sun rose, Harker felt himself freed from the oppressions of the night."

Nina, my beloved—
Don't be unhappy. Though I am far away, I love you.
This is a strange country, amazing.

After my first night in the castle, I found two large bites on my neck. From mosquitoes? From spiders? I don't know.

I have had some frightful dreams, but they were only dreams. You mustn't worry about me.

"As twilight came on, the empty castle became alive with menacing shadows."

"Is this your wife? What a lovely throat!"

"That old mansion seems quite satisfactory. We shall be neighbors."

Nosferatu drinks the blood of the young, the blood necessary to his own existence.

One can recognize the mark of the vampire by the trace of his fangs on the victim's throat.

"That same night in Bremen, in a somnambulistic dream...


"The doctor, quickly."

"Jonathon! Jonathon! Hear me!"

"A sudden fever."

"The doctor laid Nina's trance to some unknown disease. Since then I have learned that she had sensed the menace of Nosferatu that very night. And Harker, far away, had heard her cry of warning."

"The men little suspected what terrible cargo they were carrying down the valley."

"Some peasants brought him here last evening. He still has a high fever."

"Coffins...Coffins filled with earth."

"Nosferatu was en route; and with him disaster approached Bremen.
"At the same time, Dr. Van Helsing was giving a course on the secrets of nature and their strange correspondences to human life."

"The professor told his students about the existence of a carnivourous plant."

"Astonishing, isn't it, gentlemen? That plant is the vampire of the vegetable kingdom."

"Nosferatu held Renfield under his influence from afar."

"That patient who was brought in yesterday has gone out of his mind!"

"Blood!... Blood!..."

"And now, gentlemen, here is another type of vampire: a polyp with claws..."

"...transparent, without substance, almost a phantom."

"Nina was often seen alone among the dunes, watching and waiting for her husband's return."

I have had some frightful dreams, but they were only dreams. You mustn't worry about me.

I am leaving immediately to return to Bremen- and to you.

New Plague Baffles Science

A mysterious epidemic of the plaque has broken out in eastern Europe and in the port cities of the Black Sea, attacking principally the young and vigorous. Cause of the two bloody marks on the neck of each victim baffles the medical profession.

"Aboard the Demeter first one man was stricken, then all."

"One evening at sundown, the captain and his first mate buried the last man of the crew."

"I am going below. I want to have a look in the hold."

"Despite all sorts of obstacles, Harker pushed on towards Bremen.
"Meanwhile, driven by the fatal breath of the vampire, the vessel moved rapidly towards the Baltic."

"He's coming. I must go to meet him."

"The Master is coming! The Master is here!"

"I have long tried to understand why Nosferatu travelled with the earth-filled coffins. Recently I discovered that to preserve their diabolic power, vampires must sleep during the day in the same unhallowed ground in which they had been buried."

"Jonathon! Thank God you are safe! Now I feel that I too have been saved..."

"We couldn't find a single living soul on board!"

Ship's Log - Varna to Bremen

29 April 1838

Passed the Dardanelles - East wind- Carrying 5 passengers, mate, crew of 7, and myself, the Captain

6 May 1838

Rounded Cape of Inatagran- One of my men, the strongest, is sick- Crew is restless, uneasy

7 May 1838

Mate reported stowaway hiding below decks- Will investigate...

18 May 1838

Passed Gibraltar - Panic on board- Three men dead already - Mate out of his mind- Rats in the hold- I fear the plague......

"The plague is here! Stay in your houses!"


To halt the spread of the plague, the Burgomaster of Bremen forbids the citizens of this city to bring their sick to the

hospitals until further notice.

"Nina had promised her husband never to open The Book of the Vampires, but she found herself unable to resist the temptation."

The Book
of the

One can recognize the mark of the vampire by the trace of his fangs on the victim's throat.

Only a woman can break his frightful spell—a woman pure in heart—who will offer her blood freely to Nosferatu and

will keep the vampire by her side until after the cock has crowed.

"Look! Every night, in front of me..."

"The townspeople lived in mortal terror.
"Who was sick or dying? Who will be stricken tomorrow?..."

"Don't be frightened. I will get the professor."

Only a woman can break his frightful spell—a woman pure in heart—who will offer her blood freely to Nosferatu and

will keep the vampire by her side until after the cock has crowed.

"They saw him escape. He strangled his keeper."

"The professor! Call the professor!"

"Master! Master! Beware!"

"The Master is dead."


"And at that moment, as if by a miracle, the sick no longer died, and the stifling shadow of the vampire vanished with the morning sun."

The End

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

The author died in 1949, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.