Shadow of the Vampire

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Shadow of the Vampire ★★★ 2000

Behind the scenes look at what possibly went on during the making of the silent vampire classic, 1922's “Nosferatu.” Director F.W. Murnau (Malkovich) and his crew head for Czechoslovakia for location shooting on his version of “Dracula” and the first meeting of the dedicated actor who will play the title role—a very eccentric Max Schreck (Dafoe). Only Murnau has struck a devil's bargain with Schreck, who is an actual vampire—the leading man gets leading lady Greta (McCormack) as a reward—and a snack. But it seems Schreck can't wait, as the crew starts to fall mysteriously ill. A little slow going but strangely compelling and the two lead performances are outstanding. 93m/C VHS, DVD . GB John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Catherine McCormack, Cary Elwes, Eddie Izzard, Udo Kier, Ronan Vibert, Aden (John) Gillett; D: Edmund Elias Merhige; W: Steven Katz; C: Lou Bogue; M: Dan (Daniel) Jones. L.A. Film Critics '00: Support. Actor (Dafoe).