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Shadow of the Vampire Details


The torturous production of the classic 1922 vampire film is recreated in this stylized account of director F.W. Murnau and his obsession with creating realistic horror by any means necessary -- even if those means include actual bloodletting. The film begins as Murnau (John Malkovich) is ready to take his unauthorized interpretation of the Bram Stoker tale on location in Czechoslovakia. There, the director has arranged for his cast and crew to live in the same castle in which they will shoot their parts, as they all wait for their co-star, Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) -- Murnau's choice to play Count Orlok -- to arrive. Their leader has warned them that Schreck is a student of the Stanislovsky method of performance and will not respond to them out-of-character. Nothing, however, can prepare them for the real thing: when the actor arrives, he's already in full Gothic regalia, asserting that he is indeed a vampire. Schreck makes good on his claims by terrorizing the cast and crew, attacking Murnau's original cinematographer (Wolfgang Muller) and plucking bats out of the air for midnight snacks. Director E. Elias Merhige previously made his name with his experimental theater productions and with his horrific film school thesis, E. Elias Merhige. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

  • Release date:May 15, 2000


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Lou Bogue Best Cinematography 2000 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Willem Dafoe Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Willem Dafoe Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Willem Dafoe Best Supporting Actor 2000 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Willem Dafoe Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Willem Dafoe Best Supporting Actor 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Amber Sibley Best Makeup 2000 Nominee


John Malkovich
as FW. Murnau
Willem Dafoe
as Max Schreck
Cary Elwes
as Fritz Wagner
Eddie Izzard
as Gustav Von Wangerheim
Udo Kier
as Albin Grau
Catherine McCormack
as Greta Schroeder
Ronan Vibert
as Wolfgang Muller


E. Elias Merhige
Jeff Levine
Nicolas Cage
Steven Katz
Chris Wyatt
Assheton Gorton
Production Designer
Jimmy De Brabant
Paul Brooks
Executive Producer
Caroline de Vivaise
Costume Designer
Carlo Thoss
Sound/Sound Designer
Carl Proctor
Amber Sibley
Key Make-up
Nigel Heath
Sound Editor