©2019, by M. Keith Booker

Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre (German title Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht) is explicitly a remake—with the addition of sound and color—of F. W. Murnau’s silent film classic Nosferatu (1922), itself based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). However, Nosferatu the Vampyre draws more directly and extensively from Stoker’s original Dracula, than did Murnau, who had to be more circumspect for copyright reasons. (By 1979, Dracula was in the public domain, so there were so such issues for Herzog.) Herzog also adds a few plot elements of his own that are not in either Dracula or Nosferatu, but most of the plot differences that set Nosferatu the Vampire apart from its predecessors have to do more with characterization than with specific events. The most important differences, though, have to do with tone, style, and pacing, elements that make Nosferatu the Vampyre a unique film in its own right—and one of the greatest vampire films of all time. As S. S. Prawer puts it in an extremely useful book-length study of the film, Herzog’s use of Murnau is a clear demonstration of the former’s “ability to assimilate such influences while still producing films that unmistakably bear his signature” (28).

In terms of characterization, Herzog’s Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski) is modeled closely on the Count Orlok of Nosferatu, especially visually, where Kinski is able to replicate Max Schreck’s repellent look almost exactly. In some ways, Kinski’s Dracula is even more unappealing than was Schreck’s Orlok, especially in the way that he is so strongly associated with death, disease, and corruption. When he comes to nineteenth-century Wismar (a port city in Northern Germany[1]), where the second half of the film is set, he brings with him coffins full of rats, which quickly overrun the city, spreading a contagion that wipes out almost the entire population. This motif of infestation by rat-carried disease—which clearly echoes the popular memory of the Black Death that swept Europe in the fourteenth century, killing roughly half the total population of the continent—helps to characterize Dracula as a sort of loathsome vermin in his own right. This disease motif acts as a sort of multiplier that magnifies the disease metaphor that is already inherent in the vampire motif. This multiplier is not present in Stoker, though it is present in Murnau’s Nosferatu. However, Herzog’s Dracula, I would argue, is much more thoroughlyassociated with disease and contagion than is Murnau’s.

Oddly enough, however, Kinski’s Dracula is also a much more sympathetic figure than Schreck’s inhuman monster, who seems driven by a thirst for blood and domination, while the Dracula of Nosferatu the Vampyre seems genuinely sad, almost pathetic, driven mostly by loneliness and a desire to be loved. Part of the odd sympathy that we feel for Dracula no doubt comes from the humanity with which he is invested by Kinski’s performance. Chaffin-Quiray summarizes the effectiveness of this performance:

When Kinski’s tortured monster first appears, but even more impressively when he hunts Lucy in her bedroom, he becomes one of the master icons of the cinema. His extended fingertips and open mouth outline his monstrosity turned into familiar desire and materialise our repressed fantasies, neither spoken nor dictated in everyday life. As a result, Nosferatu [sic] is part of us and Herzog’s film reflects on this condition with impressive vigour” (n.p.).

But the film also goes out of its way to provide Dracula with some very human motivations for this inhuman deeds, even apart from Kinski‘s anguished performance. For example, he proclaims at one point that living forever is a tragic curse if one has to be forever alone and unloved. Of course, exactly how an inhuman beast like Dracula would understand “love” (or what he would even mean by the word) is another question, but this is also a film that does not even worry about making sense. This entire film has a strange, dreamlike quality to it, and the rules of conventional logic do not necessarily apply.

Soon after he first appears in the film, Dracula tells an uncomprehending Jonathan Harker, “To be unable to grow old is terrible. Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death. Can you imagine enduring centuries, experiencing each day the same futile things?” Later, after Dracula comes to Germany, he confronts Jonathan’s wife, Lucy (Isabelle Adjani)[2] and makes an even more emotional proclamation. Again noting that his situation is far worse than death (“Death is not everything, he tells her. “It’s more cruel not to be able to die.”), he begs her to help him “partake of the love which is between you and Jonathan.” “That’d be salvation for your husband, and for me. The absence of love is the most abject pain.” This moment presents Dracula at his most vulnerable. And it might be significant that, when he approaches Lucy at the beginning of this scene, we see his shadow reflected in her bedroom mirror (though not Dracula himself). He is still a vampire, still an inhuman monster, yet he has a human dimenstion as well—as the reflected shadow suggests.

Lucy, though, is not impressed by his cry for help. She refuses, then drives Dracula away by brushing back her long, dark hair, revealing the crucifix that hangs around her oh-so-tempting and seemingly vulnerable porcelain white neck. Her momentary victory in this strange confrontation comes as something of a surprise, because to this point she has seemed weak and frail, apparently suffering from some unspecified illness (which we will eventually suspect might have somehow been caused by Dracula, all the way from Transylvania, though that is never made clear). The dark makeup that encircles Adjani’s eyes throughout the film enhances the effect, the extreme makeup combines with her exaggerated and pantomime-like gestures, both of which were common in silent film, to provide a link back to Murnau.

In addition, (aided by Adjani’s own ethereal beauty) the makeup also makes Lucy seem otherworldly, as if she has just arrived from another dimension. She is apparently a creature with supernatural resources of her own, and one of the ways in which Herzog surpasses Murnau is in the extent to which he is able to make Lucy Dracula’s true antagonist in this film. After all, Jonathan is overcome quite easily by the Count, while Van Helsing (who does not even appear in Murnau’s Nosferatu) is a completely ineffectual figure, a pompous windbag who does little more in the film than proclaim the superiority of science to magic, despite all the evidence that something is going on for which science cannot account. As played by distinguished Austrian film actor Walter Ladengast, he seems an aging, broken-down figure, perhaps given to drink, and certainly no match for Dracula.

Far from the vampire expert (and often daring vampire killer) that we see in so many versions of the Dracula story, this Van Helsing knows nothing whatsoever of vampire lore. In fact, he doesn’t believe that vampires exist. So it is left to Lucy to do her own research. Luckily, she is able to find a reliable book about vampires, which she attempts to read to her distract husband, who simply giggles inanely in the corner, his mind unhinged by Dracula’s bite. Having read of the vampire’s considerable powers, Lucy also happens upon some effective ways for combatting him, including a sure-fire (but costly) way of killing him: “The sign of the cross bans him; a consecrated hosts can bar his retreat; and should a woman pure of heart make him forget the cry of the cock, the first light of day will destroy him.”

She tries to explain what she has discovered about Dracula as the source of the plague to the people of the town, but no one will listen. Then she tries to explain her findings to Van Helsing, hoping that his knowledge will make him more receptive than the ignorant townspeople. But vampires are something not dreamt of in his philosophy. Condescendingly speaking to Lucy in the way nineteenth-century women were often spoken to, Van Helsing assures Lucy that her vampire theory is simply the result of an overactive imagination. “Superstitions such as you mentioned have been refuted by science,” he tells her, dismissively. He mumbles a nonsensical analogy involving farming, and she finally gives up on getting through to him. So Lucy decides to take matters into her own hands.

Lucy, the film implies, draws upon the power of God through her piety and her purity of heart. Thus, though she seems physically frail, she is morally strong—just as Dracula is physically strong but morally weak. She is every bit a match for Dracula, just as Adjani proves to be a match for Kinski, an immensely powerful actor. Adjani was only twenty-three years old when Nosferatu the Vampyre was released, but she had already delivered a stunning performance in the title role in François Truffaut’s The Story of Adèle H (1975) when she was only twenty and had given another strong performance in Roman Polanski’s The Tenant a year later. She had even crossed the Atlantic for a starring role in a major American film in Walter Hill’s neo-noir thriller The Driver (1978). So the young Adjani—who would go on to be widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful women as well as one of the world’s greatest actors—was well equipped for her role as Dracula’s nemesis in Nosferatu the Vampyre. Her strength as an actor, in fact, is a key to the film and to making us believe that such a frail-looking young woman could defeat such a powerful vampire.

The other major character who is retooled to a significant extent in Nosferatu the Vampyre is Renfield, played by Roland Topor.[3] This Renfield is a sinister figure who works as an agent of Dracula from the very beginning. It is he, for example, who sends Jonathan Harker to Transylvania in the first place. And, while there is room to interpret this as initially being a purely business arrangement, there are hints in the film that Dracula is already exercising some sort of power over Renfield, even at a distance. Renfield already seems slightly unhinged when he first appears in the film; while Harker and Dracula are still in Transylvania, Renfield is committed to an insane asylum after he attacks and bites a cow. By the time Dracula arrives in Germany, Renfield has gone completely over the edge; he turns into a cackling lunatic dancing merrily through the streets of Wismar as the citizens die off in droves from the plague brought by the vampire and his rats.

The exact nature of the relationship between Dracula and Renfield remains a mystery in this film—as do many other things. There are suggestions that Dracula’s powers extend across Europe and that he, from his base in Transylvania, has scanned the continent and located, in Jonathan and Lucy, the ideal love of which he wishes to partake. By this reading, he then exercises control over Renfield to get him to send Jonathan to him so that he can turn Jonathan into a vampire as a first step toward getting Lucy to join them in an unholy ménage à trois (though most critics appear to accept at face value that Dracula only learns about Lucy through the picture of her that Jonathan takes with him to Transylvania. However, that Lucy has been dreaming of bats (and being visited by actual bats) from the very beginning of the film seems to substantiate the notion that Dracula has been scouting the Harkers long before Jonathan’s trip to Transylvania. Still, the film never really provides details concerning this mysterious arrangement, leaving it up to viewers to draw their own conclusions about just what is going on and just how far ahead Dracula has plotted the entire scenario.

The vague plot of Nosferatu the Vampyre is, of course, very well suited to the tone of the entire film, which is poetic, mysterious, and dreamlike throughout. The whole film proceeds almost as if it had been shot in slow motion. As opposed to the hasty plotting of the 1931 Dracula, which gets the action underway so quickly, this film proceeds at a leisurely pace, echoing the way in which Dracula himself so often seems to be moving and talking in slow motion. For example, the film begins with a sort of tone poem in which the opening credits roll while somber music (Popol Vuh’s “Brüder des Schattens”) plays and the camera scans a group of mummies that seem to have expressions of horror on their desiccated faces, as if perhaps they died of fright. These mummies are followed by an immediate cut to a shot of a flying bat in slow motion, followed by a cut of Lucy awakening, screaming. She has apparently been dreaming of the bat; perhaps she dreamed the mummies as well, though that connection is not clearly made in the film. But these mummies really have nothing to do with the plot; they are there purely for atmospheric effect, strictly to set up the sense of horror that permeates the film and to reinforce the notion of “the futility of mankind in the presence of death” that is a major thematic point of the film (Williams 43).[4]

The slow pace continues in a variety of ways beyond this point. When Harker goes to Transylvania, it takes him four weeks to get there on horseback. Once he arrives, at an inn apparently run by gypsies, he finds that no one will take him to Dracula’s castle. The initially hospitable gypsies, in fact, turn coldly away from him, not wishing to have anything to do with anything that involves Dracula. Jonathan’s horse is too worn out to continue, so he heads into the mountains on foot, ignoring the warnings of the locals as superstitious nonsense. He stands to score a huge commission by unloading a piece of rundown German real estate on the count, and he’s not going to let anything stop him—though he has motives that make his quest for cash seem a bit less greedy: the commission will allow him to acquire a better house for Lucy, and Lucy deserves the best.

The walk to Dracula’s castle gives Herzog time to linger on the scenery and to make clear the stark natural beauty of the Carpathian Mountains[5], through which Harker makes his way toward Dracula’s lair, a dark, ruined edifice that stands in sharp contrast to the natural beauty that surrounds it. But the nature encountered in the film is not simply there to be admired. It is an obstacle to be overcome, it is dangerous, filled with threat—as nature often is in Herzog’s films. The craggy peaks of the mountains are surrounded in swirling fog. Rogert Ebert, in his review of the film, nicely captured the texture of Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein’s cinematography for this film:

There is a quality to the color photography in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre that seeps into your bones. It would be inadequate to call it “saturated.” It is rich, heavy, deep. The earth looks cold and dirty. There isn’t a lot of green, and it looks wet. Mountains look craggy, gray, sharp-edged. Interiors are filmed in bold reds and browns and whites—whites, especially, for the faces, and above all for Count Dracula’s. It is a film of remarkable beauty, but makes no effort to attract or visually coddle us. The spectacular journey by foot and coach to Dracula’s remote Transylvanian castle is deliberately not made to seem scenic.

It might also be noted that the “Borgo Pass”[6] through which Jonathan carefully makes his way was actually the Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge), which is located in southern Germany in the Reintal valley near the south German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Jonathan must edge his way carefully along the steep edge of the gorge, as ominous mountain waters rush violently through the narrow passage below. These are no babbling mountain springs. This gorge is a site of great natural beauty and is a popular tourist destination, though it definitely looks dangerous.

Incidentally, the scenic town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen itself, about 50 miles southwest of Munich, was the principal site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games, and is now a favorite spot for tourists who wish to engage in winter sports. This location thus irresistibly recalls the fact that these games (and the more famous 1936 Summer Games, held in Berlin) were turned by Hitler and the German Nazis into spectacles of nationalist propaganda intended to tout the greatness of the Third Reich. However, just as America’s Jesse Owens disrupted Hitler’s plans to use the Summer Games as a demonstration of Aryan supremacy, so too did tiny Norway frustrate the Führer by surpassing Germany in terms of both gold medals and total medals won at the games. This suggestion that the use of the Partnach Gorge in Nosferatu the Vampyre connects the film to Germany’s Nazi past is obviously a tenuous one, but there are other aspects of the film (and aspects of Herzog’s well-known contempt for what the Nazis did to the German film industry) that make it quite appropriate to see the intimations of an evil stalking Germany that we see in the film as including the Nazis in their rhetorical sweep.[7]

Given the relatively slow pace of this film, it takes nearly half an hour for Dracula to first appear on screen, first merely as a dark silhouette, befitting his shadowy character. It takes more than another half an hour for Dracula to arrive in Germany in search of Lucy, his main target. We see very little of him once he arrives, and he doesn’t finally bite Lucy until the final few minutes of the film. This is the scene that Dracula has waited for throughout the film, but it is one that is thoroughly orchestrated and controlled by Lucy. Suspecting that Jonathan is now Dracula’s ally, she even surrounds him with a circle formed from crumbled-up consecrated communion wafers so that he will be unable to come to Dracula’s aid. Then she goes up to her bed and lays her trap for the count.

Dracula, at this point, is thinking with his fangs, so he falls into the trap immediately, coming to Lucy’s room to drink her blood. It is one of the longest biting scenes in all of vampire film—approximately four minutes, roughly the same running time as Jonathan’s entire walk through the Carpathians. It is also one of the most overtly erotic scenes of vampire lust ever put on film. After an initial bit of what almost amounts to foreplay (as Dracula slowly pushes Lucy’s gown up to reveal her bare legs), the vampire takes his time, savoring the taste of Lucy’s blood, his long-clawed hand placed almost tenderly on her breast as he sucks eagerly at her throat, bared to him at last. But the scene is extended even further by Lucy’s willing participation in the biting, which she intentionally stretches out, offering herself to Dracula and even pulling him toward her, while enticing him with her soft moans—so that he will linger long enough to be killed by the rising sun, bringing his time in the film to an abrupt end.

Lucy’s destruction of Dracula is clearly a problematic moment of feminine heroism, given that she must sacrifice herself in the process, suggesting a rather regressive view of feminine generosity. It is also potentially problematic that she must use what is essentially a version of feminine seductiveness to lure Dracula to his doom. One might, however, see her destruction of Dracula as a refusal to become his sexual possession, refusing him in the only way she can. For Gregory Waller, in fact, Lucy and her counterpart in Murnau’s film “are the antithesis of defenseless female victims” that we find in many vampire stories (225). For Waller, these women “are as much aliens in bourgeois civilization as is the vampire” (225). Put differently, Van Helsing and the other figures of bourgeois authority in this film are as foreign to Lucy as is Dracula. Even Jonathan is by this time a vampire, and Lucy knows it. Lucy dies not to save Jonathan or to save Wismar (which has pretty much been wiped out anyway), but to save herself (and perhaps other women) from being conscripted into Dracula’s evil plans.

The biting scene is obviously the dramatic climax of the film, but Nosferatu the Vampyre includes a number of striking scenes, especially the ones in which it occasionally erupts into moments of sheer cinematic strangeness that might have been distractions in a more normal film, but this film was just bizarre enough that these moments mesh perfectly with its overall texture. Pretty much every moment involving Renfield is strange, for example, but perhaps the strangest sequences of all involves Lucy’s forays into the town to seek help in battling Dracula. In the first of these, she wanders out into the streets of the wasted town and immediately comes upon, first a dead horse, then a procession of top-hatted, gloved pallbearers carrying a long line of caskets, filled with plague victims. They are acting out a social ritual as if in a trance. Nothing in their bourgeois lives has prepared them for anything this terrible. It comes as no surprise, then, that no one will listen to Lucy when she tries to explain that Dracula is the source of the plague.

Later, she actually goes on the offensive, seeking out Dracula’s coffin, which at the time is inhabited only by rats. She sprinkles the Transylvanian earth inside with crumbled-up consecrated communion wafers, then heads back out into the rat-infested streets. The rats themselves add a surreal tinge to the film (though they mainly seem to be white pet rats that don’t really look all that sinister except that there are so many of them). Lucy staggers through the ruined streets and encounters the film’s weirdest scene. Fires are scattered through the streets; pigs, sheep, and other animals wander about, looking for food. Then Lucy drifts into the town square, where the surviving locals are conducting a weird, surreal festival of death, like something out of a Bosch painting or a warped form of the Day of the Dead. Lucy spins away as several of the celebrants try to get her to dance with them. One group is enjoying an formal last meal at an elaborately set table, as rats mill about on the ground. After a quick cut, the same table is shown again, now deserted by humans, rats swarming on the table and enjoying the remains of the meal. It’s clear that Lucy is alone in the fight against Dracula. What is not yet clear is that she very much up to the task.

This is a relatively quiet film; long stretches of it have no dialogue whatsoever, which echoes its silent-film origins, but also no doubt made it easier to film simultaneously in German and in English, given that these non-verbal segments could be used in both versions without refilming[8]. When there is dialogue, it tends to be restrained. Dracula, especially, speaks slowly and sadly. Yet there are also moments when the dialogue suddenly breaks out into modernist poetry, especially when Dracula speaks of his long and painful existence. One gets, from his speech, the sense that he has lived too long and seen too much, that, if he cannot somehow partake of the love of Jonathan and Lucy, then he would rather die once and for all. But Lucy, always Dracula’s equal (if not more than his equal), can also erupt into poetry. Thus, when Dracula tells her that Jonathan, whom he has infected with his vampire bite, will not die, she responds that, of course he will: “Death is overwhelming. Eventually, we’re all hit. Stars spin and reel in confusion. Time passes in blindness. Rivers flow without knowing their course. Only death is queerly sure.”

This speech, delivered during Lucy’s first encounter with Dracula, becomes prophetic in the end of the film, when Lucy, using the knowledge gained from her research into vampire lore, brings death to Dracula, sacrificing herself in the process. Lucy’s willingness to sacrifice herself to save others is, of course, no surprise given the way she has been portrayed throughout the film. We should not, however, be too hasty to conclude that her plan to destroy Dracula is entirely successful. She does indeed, kill the count. As far as we know, however, the rats and the contagion are still swarming over the city. More importantly, while Lucy has prevented Dracula from being able to draw sustenance from the love between Lucy and Jonathan, she has not been able to save Jonathan himself, who has not only become a vampire, but who clearly plans to continue as Dracula’s successor.

Nosferatu the Vampyre is an audacious bit of filmmaking: for a German filmmaker essentially to remake Nosferatu is a bit like an American filmmaker embarking on a remake of Citizen Kane. Herzog himself has stated his belief that Nosferatu is the greatest German film of all time, in any genre, so he was obviously aware of the daunting task that faced him in remaking it. However, this attempt to link back to the cinema of Weimar Germany has an added historical dimension that demonstrates just how versatile horror film can be as a cultural tool. As David Williams discusses, Herzog is among many in Germany who feel that the progress of German culture in general and German cinema in particular was warped and stunted by the rise of the Nazis and their subsequent attempts to convert the once-great German film industry into a tool of Nazi propaganda, producing films that either overtly advanced the Nazi agenda or provided mindless entertainments that diverted attention from the very great evils being perpetrated in the name of the German nation. Williams, in fact, goes so far as to argue that “one of the most jolting emotional effects” of Nosferatu the Vampyre

comes not from the terror onscreen but from the actual terror that its making serves as a sobering reminder of. Though Herzog did not set out with the specific aim in mind, his film is partly a testament to what German cinema was, what it became upon being seized by malevolent influences, and the seductive, manipulative potential of filmmaking. (42)

Read in this way, of course, the film’s ending—which is original to Herzog and appears in neither Stoker nor Murnau—takes on a particularly chilling intonation. After Lucy has managed to kill Dracula with sunlight, Van Helsing for once actually does something and drives a stake through the vampire’s heart, just to make sure. When the authorities (or what’s left of them) arrive, Jonathan then turns the tables by accusing Van Helsing of murdering Dracula and having him arrested—in a weirdly comic scene in which a diminutive town clerk reluctantly takes charge of the prisoner in light of the fact that all the police are dead. The vampire Jonathan manages to escape from his circle of consecrated crumbs by getting a maid to sweep it up. He then gallops away on horseback, announcing that “I have much to do now.” It’s an ominous reminder of the persistence of evil of a sort that often occurs at the end of horror films. However, if the true evil of which Nosferatu the Vampyre is meant to remind us is fascism, then this ending serves as a warning to those who would complacently conclude that fascism, like Dracula, has safely been killed once and for all. Given the global political climate two decades into the twenty-first century (and nearly a hundred years after the original Nosferatu), this warning is more urgent now than ever.


Chaffin-Quiray, Garrett. “An Adaptation with Fangs: Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht.Kinoeye 2.20 (December 16, 2002). Accessed December 7, 2018.

Ebert, Roger. “Nosferatu the Vampyre.Roger (October 24, 2011). Accessed December 6, 2018.

Prawer, S. S. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. 2nd ed. London: British Film Institute, 2013.

Waller, Gregory A. The Living and the Undead: From Stoker’s Dracula to Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.

Williams, David. “In Darkness: The Reality of Evil in Nosferatu the Vampyre.” Klaus Kinski: Beast of Cinema: Critical Essays and Fellow Filmmaker Interviews. Ed. Matthew Edwards. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016. 40–48.


[1] The “Wismar” scenes were actually shot in the town of Delft, Holland, a tourist center that maintains a number of historical areas that were perfect settings for the film.

[2] This film essentially collapses the figures of the friends Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra from Stoker’s novel into the single character of Lucy Harker—though Herzog’s does also include a friend for Lucy who is called Mina.

[3] Interestingly, the multi-talented Topor (who was a cartoonist, painter, and playwright, among other things) wrote the 1964 novel The Tenant, on which Polanski’s 1976 film, which featured Adjani in a leading role, was based.

[4] If Dracula might have been scanning the world for signs of love, Herzog seems to have scouted the world for a perfect image of horror with which the begin his film. The mummies in the opening sequence are, in fact, part of a display at the Museo de las Momias (Mummy Museum) in the old colonial city of Guanajuato, Mexico. They date back hundreds of years, to a time when the city cemetery only allowed bodies to buried for five years unless the families of the deceased made additional payments. If those payments were not made, the bodies were exhumed. Some of them were found to have been naturally preserved as mummies, thus providing material for the museum, which houses more than a hundred such mummies. They were temporarily removed from their glass museum cases and specially arranged for use in the film.

[5] For practical and budgetary reasons, this part of the film was actually shot in the High Tatra Mountains of northeastern Slovakia, but the topography there is similar to that of the Carpathians.

[6] The Borgo Pass is a real location in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, though it is more commonly called the Tihuta pass. The Partnach Gorge was again chosen as a filming location for practical reasons, but it also has the advantage of looking much more dangerous than does the actual Borgo Pass.

[7] The heavy use of Richard Wagner’s Das Reingold in the soundtrack supports this view as well. Wagner was the single German composer most closely associated with the Nazi regime in Germany; his music is known to have greatly influenced the development of Hitler’s deranged ideas.

[8] This simultaneous filming recalls the simultaneous filming of Dracula in Spanish and English. However, in the case of Nosferatu the Vampyre, the same actors performed in both languages with the same director. I am not really equipped to judge, but one suspects that the performances in German are even better than the English ones, given that German is the first language of most of the main actors. For her part, Adjani (whose mother was German) grew up speaking both German and French and is more fluent in either than in English.