31 Days of Halloween – 017: Nosferat-who?

October marches on, and so does our countdown to All Hallows Eve. This year, rather than trying to do a full 31 film reviews or something truly time-consuming like that, most of what I’m going to be posting are favorite trailers, short films, some full-length movies, and other items just to kind of help get everyone in the spirit of what really is one of my favorite holidays.

nos12David Kalat has posted a very interesting article over at the Movie Morlocks page at TCM. Me. Kalat is a well known author on the subject of horror and has also contributed to a number of commentaries on horror films on DVD and Blu-ray, including a commentary track that will be featured on the upcoming Masters of Cinema Blu-ray release of F.W. Murnau‘s celebrated 1922 film Nosferatu.

The article is actually an expansion of one of the ideas that he presents in the course of that commentary track: specifically that while Murnau, as director, obviously brought a lot to the making of the movie, he may be being given much more credit than he deserves in the creation and especially the look and feel of the film, and that much more of that acclaim should actually go to the man credited for art and costumes on the film, Albin Grau.

Kalat relates not only the “story behind the story” that highly influenced this version of the classic vampire tale, but presents a history of Grau that establishes his role in the film’s creation much more as what would today be credited as a “producer” instead of the “art designer” that most people think of him as – if they even think of him at all.

It’s a fascinating article and is filled with some great artwork, and is one that I would even say should be required reading for any fan of the film. The entire article can be found here.

And, just in case there is anyone who hasn’t actually seen the film, or if you simply want to watch this masterpiece again (and it really is one of those films that both deserves and rewards repeated viewings) here is a beautifully restored version:

So, in a case like this what do you think? Movies obviously are often the product of a shared vision, and it really does take more than one person to bring them to the screen. And all too often there are behind the scenes people who deserve much more credit than film history gives them. Do you know of any other stories like this? Let me know either in the comments below, or over on the Durnmoose Movies Facebook page which can be found here.

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