Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
The Last Laugh
The Haunted Castle
F. W. Murnau joined forces with documentarist Robert J. Flaherty, and they fashioned an emotionally rich story of the flowering romance between a young man and woman, filmed on location in Tahiti.
Until the late 1960s, City Girl was considered lost; when it was found, film scholars were amazed to discover F. W. Murnau’s complete silent version,“a dazzling work which adds much to Murnau’s already monumental reputation” (Richard Koszarski, Film Comment).
F. W. Murnau handpicked Janet Gaynor to star in his first Hollywood feature, a masterpiece of silent cinema widely considered among the greatest films ever made, which tells an elemental tale with virtuosic visual invention.
F. W. Murnau’s version of the Faust legend is a masterwork of chiaroscuro lighting, and it helped redefine what black-and-white cinematography could accomplish. Emil Jannings stars as a subtly mischievous Mephistopheles.
F. W. Murnau’s venture into the world of comic irony was greeted with delight by contemporary critics. Working from a screenplay by Thea von Harbou, he crafted a playful espionage thriller reminiscent of Ernst Lubitsch.
F. W. Murnau revisited Moliére’s fable of religious hypocrisy, in which a woman (Lil Dagover) tries to convince her husband (Werner Krauss) that their morally superior guest, Tartuffe (Emil Jannings), is in fact a lecherous, imbibing hypocrite.
A proud hotel doorman falls from grace in F. W. Murnau’s classic of German Expressionism, whose roving camerawork and hallucinatory imagery “changed the way that movies were made” (Dave Kehr).
Long believed lost, Phantom, made after Nosferatu and before The Last Laugh, is considered a key work in F. W. Murnau’s development, with its variety of montage and trick effects that conjure a nightmarish world.
Still among the most unnerving and poetic of horror films, investing the natural world with eerie incandescence, Nosferatu stars Max Schreck as an unforgettable vampire—a living death, a walking ruin.
35mm Archival Print
“Murnau proved a master both at interior design . . . and at stunning exterior shooting. The fire at the oil-well, ‘the burning earth’ surrounded by snow, is an unforgettable image of hell on earth” (TIFF Cinematheque).
Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with films like Faust, F. W. Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a stormbound manor and the grim mystery that lurks within.
This reconstruction of the earliest surviving F. W. Murnau film represents a major rediscovery of a work that, even upon its release, was hailed as a milestone in the art of cinema.