The greatest vampire
movie of all time was undoubtably F. W. Murnau
's (silent) film Nosferatu
. The image
s of that film are unforgettable; this film shows how Nosferatu was created.
Murnau (John Malkovich) announces in Berlin, while filming Nosferatu, that the entire cast and crew will continue filming in Czechoslovakia. The production has already suffered a setback: they won't be filming Bram Stoker's Dracula, since Murnau hasn't reached an agreement with the copyright holders. So instead, they're filming "Nosferatu".
In Czechoslovakia, they will finally meet Herr Schreck (Willem Defoe), who will play the part of the vampire. Schreck is completely unknown; apparently he was with Max Reinhardt's company in Austria, or perhaps he studied with Stanislavski in Russia. In any case, true to the Stanislavski method, he will appear only in character.
What follows is an immense conflict of egos between the director and his leading actor; each of them seeks his own type of glory and eternal life. This excellent comedy (directed by E. Elias Merhige) manages to show or re-shoot nearly all of the original Nosferatu; some images are shown out of context. I'm sure I didn't catch all the quotations, but I caught plenty.