Max Schreck in Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922, dir. F.W. Murnau) (via)
Max Schreck relaxing between takes & creeping everyone out on the set of Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror(1922, dir. F.W. Murnau) (via)
During the filming of Nosferatu, Schreck reportedly stayed in character at all times, even when the cameras weren’t rolling, and the cast and crew never saw him out of full makeup and costume. While this immersive approach to acting is commonplace now, it was unusual back then and his appearance & behavior led to wild rumors that Schreck actually was a vampire. If this photo is indicative of Schreck’s demeanor around the set of Nosferatu, the crew’s wariness was entirely understandable.
Is this your wife? What a lovely throat.
Nosferatu (1922, dir. F.W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck) was essentially a thinly veiled adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, with the names & places changed in an attempt to get around copyright restrictions. Thus “vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlock” (Stoker’s widow successfully sued the filmmakers for infringement anyway and attempted to have all copies of the film destroyed)
Count Orlock’s grotesque, rodent-like appearance distinguishes him from the dashing, elegant flamboyance of the screen vampires that would follow (e.g. Bela Lugosi’s & Christopher Lee’s portrayals of Count Dracula). Orlock neither charms, nor seduces, nor, ahem, sparkles at his victims.
The film is, however, credited with creating the notion that sunlight is deadly to vampires (in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula is able to move about during the day). As depicted in the above stills, there is only one way to stop Orlock - a woman, pure of heart, must seduce him, offering her blood and keeping him by her side until morning, when the first rays of the rising sun will destroy him