The Life and Near Death of Nosferatu

 26 May 1897, a book was published by the name of Dracula by Irish author, Bram Stoker. Almost immediately, people started adapting the horror story into plays. Shortly after the novel was published, motion pictures started to catch on, and one of the first books to be adapted into film was Dracula.

In 1922, German silent film director F. W. Murnau made a film titled Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (“Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror”). By then, Bram Stoker had been dead ten years, but his widow, Florence Stoker, was still alive, and hadn’t given permission to make the film.

The screenwriter, Henrik Galeen, had changed the names and places of the story, and even some key plot points, but the story was unmistakeably based on Bram Stoker’s novel. So Florence Stoker sued for copyright infringement, and won. The makers of Nosferatu were ordered to burn every negative and copy of the film, which they did.

However, piracy was a big thing back thing, just as it is now, and bootlegged copied of the film were hidden away. It’s because of these bootleggers that the film remains to this day, and is perhaps one of the most terrifying films of all time. It is now in the public domain, so the entire film is on youTube. Enjoy.

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