F. W. Murnau, 1921
PLEASE NOTE: This is an NTSC (USA/JAPAN format) Region 1, DVD release
Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with such films as Faust and The Last Laugh,Frederick Wilhelm Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a storm-bound manor and thegrim mystery that lurks within. A hunting party is interrupted by the arrival of a notorious Count(Lothar Mehnert), who is believed to have murdered his brother. The uninvited guest sets in motion anelaborate plot to resurrect the ghosts of the past and bring to light the dark secret that lies at the centre of hisbrother’s death.
The foreboding atmosphere and psychological complexity inspired Murnau to delve deeper into the horror genre,which he did the following year, with the immortal vampire tale Nosferatu (1922).
Gallery of set design paintings by Robert Herlth
Excerpts of Rudolf Stratz’s novel.
Germany 1921 Colour-tinted 81 minutes
Directed by F. W. Murnau
Produced by Erich Pommer
Screenplay by Carl Mayer
From the novel by Rudolf Stratz
Photographed by László Schäffer and Fritz Arno Wagner
With Lothar Mehnert, Olga Tschechowa, Paul Hartmann,
Arnold Korff, Julius Falkenstein, Paul Bildt
Music by Neil Brandt