After 90 years of bloodsuckers in movies and television, it's astounding that the most frightening depiction of a vampire on film is still the original one.
F.W. Murnau's silent classic Nosferatu screens on Sunday, October 28, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch as part of the Movies That Matter film series.
Introductory and closing remarks are provided by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
Made in 1922, Nosferatu was a blatant ripoff of Bram Stoker's Dracula with the characters' names changed in an attempt to avoid lawsuits for copyright infringement. (The filmmakers were sued anyway.)
The movie is dark and moody and director Murnau upped the weirdness with cinematic tricks like using the film negative for certain scenes.
But the real terror comes in the performance of Max Schreck as the evil Count Orlok. This vampire is more feral than human, with pointy bat ears and opossum teeth. Schreck, a member of Max Reinhart's theater troupe, went on to make three dozen German films before dying in 1936 at the age of 57.
What better way to observe Halloween than with the greatest vampire flick of them all?
Admission is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
Other titles in the series:
November 4: Raging Bull (1980)
November 18: The Bicycle Thieves (1948)
December 2: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
December 9: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939)
January 6: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
January 13: My Darling Clementine (1946)
January 27: Bringing Up Baby (1938)
February 10: All About Eve (1950)
February 25: Dr. Strangelove (1964)
March 10: The Circus (1928)
March 24: Rear Window (1954)
April 7: Wings of Desire (1987)
April 21: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
May 5: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
May 19: Metropolis (1927)