Real estate agent Thomas Hutter (von Wangonheim) journeys to Wisborg to settle a business deal with his eccentric client Count Orlok. Hutter is struck by the level of fear of his compatriots while staying at an inn before his meeting with the Count. He arrives by coach shaken by the journey, but even more startled by the appearance of his gaunt and feral looking host with long sharp fingernails, pointed ears, and a deathly white complexion. Hutter cuts his finger on his knife while eating supper in Orlok's castle. The Count moves hungrily to feast but is repulsed by the scream of Hutter's wife hundreds of miles away. Drinking the wine he falls under the Counts spell. He sees the strangest things occur at the castle including the Count asleep in a coffin in the cellar.
The Count leaves for Bremen and Hutter is at the mercy of Orlok's spell lacking the strength to leave. With Orlok aboard, the crew of the ship he is sailing on dies of plague and fright. Finally Hutter escapes to pursue the Count to Bremen. When the ghost ship lands the count runs off in the shape of a large dog/wolf. He returns and carries his own coffin off the ship under one arm! The Count is menacing Frau Hutter (Schroder), Thomas' wife Ellen, and bringing death and disease to the town. Orlok has enslaved Hutter's employer, a man named Knock. Knock is now insane and locked in an asylum. He escapes and totes the Counts coffin on his back. Professor Bulwer (Gottowt) is consulted and Ellen must lure the Count to his demise by exposure to the morning sun. The Count falls for the ruse and vanishes in a puff of smoke.
If the story line seems familiar that's because it is the 1922 German (unauthorized) version of Dracula by director FW Murnau, a little closer to Bram Stoker's story than the Browning/Lugosi film. Francis Ford Copula returned to most of the Stoker/Nosferatu storyline with his version in the 90's.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Fletcher