Nosferatu Script - Dialogue Transcript

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Nosferatu Script

  This script was originally transcribed by BJ Kuehl. 




   Count Dracula, the vampire....................Max Schreck

   Renfield, an estate agent..............Alexander Grannach

   Jonathon Harker, Renfield's clerk...Gustav von Wangenheim

   Nina, his wife............................Greta Schroeder

   Westenra, Harker's friend....................G. H. Schell

   Lucy, his wife.............................Ruth Landshoff

   The Professor................................John Gottowt

   The Town doctor...............................Gustav Botz

   Captain of the 'Demeter'.......................Max Nemetz

   First Mate.................................Wolfgang Heinz

>From the diary of Johann Cavallius, able historican of his

native city of Bremen:  Nosferatu! That name alone can chill the

blood! Nosferatu! Was it he who brought the plaque to Bremen in

1838? I have long sought the causes of that terrible epidemic,

and found at its origin and its climax the innocent figures of

Jonathon Harker and his young wife Nina.

                     B R E M E N   1 8 3 8


            At the Home of Jonathon and Nina Harker

                     Harker leaves for work

HARKER:  (presents Nina with a bouquet of flowers)

                    In the streets of Bremen

                      Harker walks to work

                     An old man approaches

OLD MAN:  Wait, young man.  You can't escape destiny by running


HARKER:  (shakes the old man's hand and continues walking)

             At the Estate Office of Agent Renfield

                    Renfield reads a letter

The agent Renfield was a strange man, and there were unpleasant

rumors about him.

                          Enter Harker

RENFIELD:  Here is an important letter from Transylvania. Count

Dracula wishes to buy a house in our city.  It's a good

opportunity for you, Harker.  The Count is rich, and free with

his money.  You will have a marvelous journey.  And, young as

you are, what matter if it costs you some pain--or even a little

blood?  The house facing yours...that should suit him.  Leave at

once, my young friend.  And don't be frightened if people speak

of Transylvania as the land of phantoms.

                   At the Home of the Harkers

HARKER:  I may be away for several months, Nina.  Renfield is

sending me to some lost corner of the Carpathians.

NINA:  (looks worried)

Harker left Nina with his good friends, Westenra and his wife


                  Outside the Westenras' House

               Nina runs to say goodbye to Harker

HARKER:  Don't worry, Nina, nothing can happen to me.

              Harker mounts a horse and rides away


                    T R A N S Y L V A N I A

>From relay to relay, through the dust raised by the stages,

Harker hurried on.

            A coach speeds along rugged countryside


                         A Village Inn

      Harker disembarks from the coach and enters the Inn.

HARKER:  Dinner, quickly!  I should already be at Count

Dracula's castle!

              The inn patrons look away in worry.

INNKEEPER:  You must not leave now!  The evil spirits become

all-powerful after dark!

HARKER:  (chuckles to himself)

                      In a room at the Inn

                    Harker undresses for bed

           He reads from a book left on the bedtable

                    THE BOOK OF THE VAMPIRES

     ...and it was in 1443 that the first Nosferatu was


     That name rings like the cry of a bird of prey.  Never

     speak it aloud...

     Men do not always recognize the dangers that beasts can

     sense at certain times.

HARKER:  (laughs and goes to bed)

               Outside the window, a hyena prowls

                 Village horses scatter in fear

                 Village women cower in terror


                        Outside the Inn

                        A coach departs

                         LATE AFTERNOON

                  In the Carpathian Mountains

             The coach speeds along mountain roads

PASSENGER:  Hurry!  The sun will soon be setting.

                      AT DUSK THAT EVENING

                        At a crossroads

             The coach stops and Harker disembarks

DRIVER:  We will go no further, sir.  Not for a fortune!  We

will go no further.  Here begins the land of the phantoms.

            The driver throws down Harker's luggage

HARKER:  (Walks away, crossing over a bridge)

And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet


  Harker is met by a coach which carries him to Castle Dracula

                         An the Castle

            Harker is greeted by the Nosferatu Count

NOSFERATU:  You are late, young man.  It is almost midnight.  My

servants have all retired.

            He leads Harker to sup at a dining table

HARKER:  (cuts finger on a bread knife)

NOSFERATU:  Blood!  Your precious blood!

                    Harker warily backs away

NOSFERATU:  Let us chat together a moment, my friend. There are

still several hours until dawn, and I have the whole day to


           He leads Harker to a chair by a fireplace

As the sun rose, Harker felt himself freed from the oppressions

of the night.

                         Harker awakens

                 He notes two marks on his neck

                       LATER THAT MORNING

       Harker walks in the countryside around the Castle

      He finds a gazebo and writes there a letter to Nina

     Nina, my beloved-

          Don't be unhappy.  Though I am far away, I love

     you.  This is a strange country.  After my first night

     in the castle, I found two large bites on my neck.

     From mosquitoes?  From spiders?  I don't know.  I have

     had some frightful dreams, but they were only dreams.

     You mustn't worry about me.  I am leaving immediately

     to return to Bremen--and to you.

                    Harker stops a traveler

                and gives him the letter to post

As twilight came on, the empty castle became alive with menacing


                In the parlour at Castle Dracula

          Harker and the Nosferatu review legal papers

            The Count sees Harker's picture of Nina

NOSFERATU:  Is this your wife?  What a lovely throat!  That old

mansion seems quite satisfactory.  We shall be neighbors.

                   Count signs the documents

                           THAT NIGHT

                      In Harker's Bedroom

                Harker packs away Nina's picture

               He finds The Book of the Vampires

                         and reads more

     Nosferatu drinks the blood of the young, the blood

     necessary to his own existence.

     One can recognize the mark of the vampire by the trace

     of his fangs on the victim's throat.

HARKER:  (peeks out his bedroom door)

COUNT:  (stands motionlessly at the end of the hall)

HARKER:  (quickly closes his bedroom door, looks out the window

at the river far below, and climbs into his bed)

                        Enter the Count

That same night in Bremen, in a somnabulistic dream...

                  At the home of the Westenras

NINA:  (awakens in a trance and walks out to the terrace)

                        Westenra follows


               Nina collapses in Westenra's arms

                         Enter servant

WESTENRA:  The doctor, quickly!

                        LATER THAT NIGHT

             In Harker's Bedroom in Castle Dracula

         The Count advances on Harker as he lies asleep


                  In Nina's Bedroom in Bremen

                 The doctor, Westenra and Lucy

                 stand over Nina as she sleeps

NINA:  (suddenly sitting up)  Jonathon!  Jonathon!  Hear me!

                         MOMENTS LATER

             In Harker's Bedroom in Castle Dracula

          The Count turns from Harker's sleeping body

                         Exit the Count


                  In Nina's Bedroom in Bremen

NINA:  (sighs relief and returns to sleep)

DOCTOR:  A sudden fever.

The doctor laid Nina's trance to some unknown disease.  Since

then I have learned that she had sensed the menace of Nosferatu

that very night.  And Harker, far away, had heard her cries of


                        THE NEXT MORNING

             In Harker's Bedroom at Castle Dracula

                         Harker awakens

       He rushes from his bedroom out into the courtyard

                    and wanders into a crypt

              He finds the Count lying in a coffin

                     Exit Harker, horrifed

                       EARLY THAT EVENING

              Harker looks out his bedroom window

    He sees the Count loading coffins on a horse-drawn cart

COUNT:  (climbs into a coffin and closes the lid)

              Exit horses, cart, coffins and Count

HARKER:  (Makes a rope from a bedsheet and climbs out window)

  Harker falls to the ground below and is knocked unconscious

                          THE NEXT DAY

            A cargo-bearing raft floats down a river

The men little suspected what terrible cargo they were carrying

down the valley.

                       SEVERAL DAYS LATER

          In a hospital room somewhere in Transylvania

        A nurse and doctor tend to Harker at his bedside

NURSE:  Some peasants brought him here last evening.  He still

has a high fever.

HARKER:  (leaps up suddenly)  Coffins!  Coffins filled with


                         In a shipyard

                Sailors load crates onto a ship

      Tipping over one crate, they find only dirt and rats

Nosferatu was en route; and with him disaster approached Bremen.

 At the same time, Dr. Van Helsing was giving a course on the

secrets of nature and their strange correspondences to human

life.  The professor told his students about the existence of a

carnivourous plant.


                          B R E M E N

               Professor Van Helsing's Laboratory

             Van Helsing and four colleagues watch

                as a Venus flytrap traps a fly.

VAN HELSING:  Astonishing, isn't it, gentlemen?  That plant is

the vampire of the vegetable kingdom.

Nosferatu held Renfield under his influence from afar.

                       At the Sanatarium

           An attendant enters the doctor's quarters

ATTENDANT:  That patient who was brought in yesterday has gone

out of his mind!

              In Renfield's cell at the Sanatarium

                   Enter Doctor and Attendant

RENFIELD:  (catches and eats flies)  Blood!  Blood!

                    Renfield leaps at Doctor

                   Attendant subdues Renfield

                  In Van Helsing's Laboratory

          Van Helsing and colleagues peer into a tank

VAN HELSING:  And now, gentlemen, here is another type of

vampire:  a polyp with claws...transparent, without substance,

almost a phantom.

Nina was often seen alone among the dunes, watching and waiting

for her husband's return.

                On the dunes overlooking the sea

            Nina sits on a bench looking out to sea.

       Lucy and Western bring Nina the letter from Harker


      In Harker's Hospital Room Somewhere in Transylvania

         Harker dresses for his journey back to Bremen

                        AT THE SAME TIME

         In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium in Bremen

       Renfield unfolds a newspaper clipping and reads it


                   A  mysterious  epidemic of

                   the plaque  has broken out

                   in eastern Europe  in  the

                   port  cities  of the Black

                   Sea, attacking principally

                   the  young  and vigourous.

                   Cause  of the  two  bloody

                   marks  on the neck of each

                   victim baffles the medical


RENFIELD:  (laughs)

Aboard the Demester, first one man was stricken, then all.

                   In the hold of the Demeter

                 Captain tends to a sick sailor

              The Count appears briefly then fades

One evening at sundown, the captain and his first mate buried

the last man of the crew.

                   On the deck of the Demeter

          Captain and first mate toss a body overboard

FIRST MATE:  I am going below.  I want to have a look in the


                   In the hold of the Demeter

       First mate sees the Nosferatu rise from his coffin

FIRST MATE:  (rushes topside and leaps overboard)

CAPTAIN:  (ties himself to the sterring wheel)

              The Nosferatu approaches the Captain

Despite all sorts of obstacles, Harker pushed on towards Bremen.

 Meanwhile, driven by the fatal breath of the vampire, the

vessel moved rapidly towards the Baltic.

                           ONE NIGHT

                    At the Westenras' House

                 Nina sleepwalks to the terrace

                       Lucy follows Nina

NINA:  He's coming.  I must go to meet him.

                     In the Bremen Harbour

                  The Demeter sails into port

              In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium

           Renfield attempts to climb out his window

RENFIELD:  The Master is coming!  The Master is here!

                        Renfield escapes

I have long tried to understand why Nosferatu travelled with the

earth-filled coffins.  Recently I discovered that to preserve

their diabolic power, vampires must sleep during the day in the

same unhallowed ground in which they had been buried.

         The Count carries his coffin from the harbour

             to his newly-purchased house in Bremen


                    At the Westenras' House

               Harker returns and is met by Nina

NINA:  Jonathon!  Thank God you are safe!  Now I feel that I too

have been saved!

                        THE NEXT MORNING

                     In the Bremen Harbour

                  Officials search the Demeter

             The captain is found dead at the wheel

OFFICIAL:  We couldn't find a single living soul on board!

           A second official discovers the Ship's Log

                  Ship's Log - Varna to Bremen

                                       24 April 1838

     Passed the Dardanelles - East wind - Carrying 5

     passengers, mate, crew of 7, and myself, the Captain.

                                          6 May 1838

     Rounded Cape of Inatagran - One of my men, the

     strongest, is sick - Crew is restless, uneasy.

                                          7 May 1838

     Mate reported stowaway hiding below decks - Will


                                         18 May 1838

     Passed Gibraltar - Panic on board - Three men dead

     already - Mate out of his mind - Rats in the hold - I

     fear the plague.

BURGOMASTER:  The plague is here!  Stay in your houses!

                          HOURS LATER

               In the deserted streets of Bremen

                    Towncrier reads a notice

                  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ NOTICE ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

               To halt the spread of the plague,

               the Burgomaster of Bremen forbids

               the citizens of this city to bring

                  their sick to the hospitals

                     until further notice.

Nina had promised her husband never to open The Book of the

Vampires, but she found herself unable to resist the temptation.

               In the living room of the Harkers

            Nina reads from The Book of the Vampires

     One can recognize the mark of the vampire by the trace

     of his fangs on the victim's throat.

     Only a woman can break his frightful spell--a woman

     pure in heart--who will offer her blood freely to

     Nosferatu and will keep the vampire by her side until

     after the cock has crowed.

                          Enter Harker

NINA:  (pointing out the window to the mansion across the

street)  Look!  Every night, in front of me!

The townspeople lived in mortal terror. Who was sick or dying?

Who will be stricken tomorrow?

                     At the Harkers' House

                     Nina lies sick in bed

HARKER:  Don't be frightened.  I will get the professor.

                          Exit Harker

                   Nina looks out the window

     at the line of coffins being carried along the street

            She reads from The Book of the Vampires

     Only a woman can break his frightful spell--a woman

     pure in heart--who will offer her blood freely to

     Nosferatu and will keep the vampire by her side until

     after the cock has crowed.


                     Outside the Sanatarium

                Two old women talk to each other

OLD WOMAN:  They saw him escape.  He strangled his keeper.

        Renfield runs down an alley, pursued by a crowd

                     He climbs onto a roof

                 The crowd throws rocks at him

            He climbs down and runs outside of town

                       The crowd pursues

                           THAT NIGHT

                    In the Harkers' Bedroom

      Nina is awakened by the Nosferatu outside her window

                      She opens the window

           Harker awakens and Nina faints in his arms

HARKER:  The professor!  Call the professor!

                          Exit Harker

                      Enter the Nosferatu

                        THE NEXT MORNING

                    In the Harkers' Bedroom

                         The cock crows

      The Nosferatu looks up from drinking at Nina's neck


              In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium

RENFIELD:  Master!  Master!  Beware!

                   Outside the Harkers' House

                 Harker and Van Helsing arrive

                    In the Harkers' Bedroom

              Sunlight sweeps across the buildings

              across the street from Nina's window

  Nosferatu attempts to escape but is touched by the sunlight

                 He vanishes in a puff of smoke

              In Renfield's Cell at the Sanatarium

RENFIELD:  The Master is dead.

                    In the Harkers' Bedroom

                          Nina awakens

                          Enter Harker

NINA:  Jonathon!

           Harker takes Nina in his arms as she dies

And at that moment, as if by a miracle, the sick no longer died,

and the stifling shadow of the vampire vanished with the morning


                            THE END

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