Nosferatu (1922) Script

Overture Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror After the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker Freely adapted by Henrik Galeen Direction: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Costumes and Sets: Albin Grau Photography: Fritz Arno Wagner Music: Hans Erdmann Persons:

Count Orlok: Max Schreck Hutter: Gustav von Wangenheim Ellen, his Wife: Greta Schröeder Harding, a Shipowner: G.H. Schnell Ruth, his Sister: Ruth Landshoff Professor Sievers, the Town Doctor: Gustav Botz Knock, a Property Broker: Alexander Granach Professor Bulwer, a Paracelsian: John Gottowt A Captain: Max Nemetz

1st Sailor: Wolfgang Heinz

2nd Sailor: Albert Venohr Act I

Chronicle of the Great Death in Wisborg The Year of Our Lord 1838 Nosferatu.

Does this word not sound to you like the midnight cry of the Deathbird?

Beware that you say it, else the images of life fade into shadows, haunting dreams rise from your heart and nourish themselves on your blood.

Long have I thought about the onset and conclusion of the Great Death in my hometown of Wisborg. Here is its story:

There once lived in Wisborg Hutter and his young wife Ellen...


“Why have you killed them... the beautiful flowers...?!”

“Not so hasty, young friend! No one outruns their fate.”

There was also a property broker, Knock, about whom all sorts of rumors went around.

One thing for certain, he paid his people well...


“Count Orlok – His Grace... from Transylvania...”

“wishes to purchase a lovely house... in our little town...”

“You could earn a tidy sum...”

“...though it shall cost some effort...”

“a bit of sweat and perhaps...”

“a little blood...”


“He wants a right fine, deserted house...”

“That house... just across from yours. Offer him that one!”

“Travel quickly, travel well, young friend, into the land of spectres.”

“I travel far, far away into the land of thieves and spectres.”


Thus did Hutter give his distraught wife over to the care of his friends, the wealthy shipowner Harding and his sister...


“Do not be concerned.”


...and the young Hutter traveled many dusty roads, but at last the peaks of the Carpathians glowed ahead of him. The horses pulled harder...


“Quickly... my dinner – I must get to the castle of Count Orlok!”


“You cannot go any further, the werewolf roams through the woods.”


Of Vampyres, Ghastly Spirits, Witchcraft, and the Seven Deadly Sins

From Belial’s Seed sprang forth the Vampyre Nosferatu, one who does live and feed himself from the Blood of Mankind.

Unredeemed he dwells in fearsome Caverns, Sepulchres, and Coffins, such as may be filled with accursed Earth from the Fields of the Black Death.


Of Vampyres, Ghastly Spirits, Witchcraft, and the Seven Deadly Sins


“Drive on! The sun sets!”


“Pay what you want! We’ll travel no further!”

“We won’t go! It’s creepy on the other side of the pass!”


Scarcely had Hutter crossed the bridge, when he was struck by the eerie visions of which he has often told me.


“You left me waiting – waiting too long.”

“Now it is coming on midnight.”

“The servants are asleep!”

End of Act I Act II


“You have done yourself injury... The precious blood!”


“Shall we not keep one another company”

“a little while, most lovely man?”

“It is yet quite a long time until sunrise –”

“and I sleep in the day, my dear fellow,”

“I truly sleep the deepest sleep – –”

Once the sun rose, the shadows of night also retreated from Hutter...


My Darling! My Dearest!

Let yourself not be grieved that your Beloved travels far away.

The mosquitoes are a real nuisance.

Two have just bitten me on the neck, quite close together, each on one side.

One dreams heavily here in this desolate castle, but do not be alarmed.


The spectral evening light seemed to revive the shadows of the castle once again...


“A beautiful neck your wife has...”

“I am buying the house... that fine, deserted house, the one across from yours...”


In the Night this same Nosferatu may latch his claws onto his Victim and suck for his own infernal Life-potion their Blood.

Take heed lest his Shadow, like an Incubus, encumber you with gruesome Dreams.


At the same hour.


“A doctor... a doctor!”


“Harmless blood congestion.”

The doctor related Ellen’s distress to me as some sort of unknown malady.

I know, however, that her soul heard the the cry of the Deathbird that night – Already was Nosferatu spreading his wings.

But with the morning light, Hutter set out to investgate the horrors of that night.


The raftsmen did not know of the sinister load they carried into the valley.

End of Act II Act III

“He was brought yesterday to the hospital by farmers.”

“They said he had fallen. He is still feverish...”

“Coffins – – –”

Nosferatu was on the way.

The peril for Wisborg drew near.

The Paracelsian, Professor Bulwer, who at this time was fathoming the secrets of Nature and their most profound correlations, told me about it:

Onto the double-masted schooner, Empusa, were loaded coffins filled with earth...

“The ship’s all set for sail this night.”

Port Authority Galaz Lading of the Vessel Empusa Route: from Galaz to Wisborg Lading Port: Varna Parcelled Goods: from Varna to Wisborg 6 crates, containing earth for experimental purposes.

Galaz, 17 August 1838


Of those days, I will note that Professor Bulwer was explaining to his pupils the savage manner of carnivorous plants.

With horror they beheld the mysterious workings of Nature.


“Is it not – like a vampire!”

It seems that the approach of the wretched Nosferatu had already driven the property broker Knock into his Shadow.

“The patient admitted yesterday is having a fit of raving madness...”


“Blood is life! Blood is life!!!!”


“And this one here...”

“...a polyp with tentacles...”

“...transparent... almost incorporeal...”

“...nearly just a phantom...”

“Spiders...!”


Ellen was often seen on the beach in the solitude of the dunes.

Her yearning flew out towards her beloved, her eyes searched over waves and in the distance.


My Darling! My Dearest!

Let yourself not be grieved that your Beloved travels far away.

The mosquitoes are a real nuisance.

Two have just bitten me on the neck, quite close together, each on one side.

One dreams heavily here in this desolate castle, but do not be alarmed.


“No, I must be away... on the shortest path home!!!”


Plague In Transylvania and the Black Sea ports of Varna and Galaz, an epidemic of plague has broken out. Young people are being carried off in droves. All victims present the same peculiar stigmata on their neck, the origin of which is still baffling to doctors.

The Dardanelles were closed to all ships suspected of carrying the plague.


“Below deck, a sailor has fallen ill. He’s delirious.”


It crept like a pestilence throughout the ship.

The first sailor who was infected pulled the whole crew after him into the dark grave of the waves. In the light of the sinking sun, the captain and ship’s mate bid farewell to the last of their comrades...


“I’m going below!!! If I’m not back up again in ten minutes...”


The Death Ship had its new captain.

End of Act III Act IV It is very hard to say how, with his depleted strength, the young Hutter succeeded in overcoming every obstacle on his journey home, while Nosferatu’s deadly breath swelled the sails of the ship, so that with supernatural haste it flew towards his destination.


“I must go to him. He is coming!!!”


“The Master is nigh... The Master is nigh...!”


Long have I pondered why Nosferatu was said to have brought coffins filled with earth along with him. I found it recorded that vampires can only draw their shadowy power from the accursed earth in which they were buried.


“I thank God... you are safe... All is well now...”


“Looked over everything... No living soul on board.”


Varna – 12th July Crew – excluding myself as Captain one Helmsman one Ship’s Mate five Sailors


Second Day: 13th July One sailor taken ill with fever Heading: SSW Wind Direction: NE Third Day: 14th July Ship’s mate talking crazy An unknown passenger may be below deck Heading: SE Wind Direction: NE

Tenth Day: 22nd July Rats in ship’s hold Danger of plague

“Danger of plague!! Get to your homes! Bar all windows and doors!”


Proclamation Be it hereby declared and known to all citizens that the most-high Magistrate forbids the transport of suspected plague victims to the hospital, for doing so will only spread plague through the streets.


End of Act IV Act V


Hutter had bound Ellen to a solemn promise not to touch the book that had frightened him with its visions.

She however could not resist its strange, foreign compulsion.

In the Night this same Nosferatu may latch his claws onto his Victim and suck for his own infernal Life-potion their Blood.

Take heed lest his Shadow, like an Incubus, encumber you with gruesome dreams.

Forasmuch as no other Deliverance is available, it may be that a Woman truly without sin make the Vampyre forget the first Crowing of the Cock, would She give him Freely of her own Blood.


“Thus I see it – every evening...!!!”


Fear crouched in every corner of the town. Who was still healthy? Who already ill?

“I am running over as quick as I can... I will fetch Sievers...”


Forasmuch as no other Deliverance is available, it may be that a Woman truly without sin make the Vampyre forget the first Crowing of the Cock, would She give him Freely of her own Blood.

Convulsed by fear, the town sought out a scapegoat: it was Knock.

“We’ve seen him! He ran from the house! He has strangled the warder...”

“He has strangled him... the vampire!”


I love You


“Bulwer! Fetch Bulwer!”


“Knock is captured!”


“The Master... the Master...!”


“The Master... is... dead.”


...and the Truth bore witness to the Miracle: at the same hour, the Great Death ceased as the Shadow of the Deathbird was scattered before the victorious beams of the living Sun.

The End