F.W. Murnau - Rotten Tomatoes

F.W. Murnau



To this day German filmmaker F. W. Murnau remains one of the most influential directors of cinema. After studying art and literature history at the University of Heidelberg, he became a student of director Max Reinhardt until serving in World War I as a combat pilot. During a flight, he accidentally strayed into Switzerland and stayed there till the war's end. He made his directorial debut in 1919 back in Germany; although he made several films over the next three years, most of them have been lost. Murnau first gained international renown with Nosferatu the Vampire in 1922. Unlike others, Murnau filmed this still chilling masterpiece on location. His next film, The Last Laugh (1924), utilized unique camera techniques that later became the basis for mise-en-scene. He continued making German films, notable for their pessimism and pervading sense of doom, until he moved to Hollywood in 1926 to work for Fox studios. His first American film, Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans (1927), is considered to be the apex of German silent cinema, and was internationally acclaimed. He made two more films at Fox, and then teamed up with famed documentarist Robert Flaherty. Together they made Tabu (1931), which was shot in the South Seas. Their artistic visions for the work differed dramatically, and eventually Murnau bought up Flaherty's share and finished it himself. The film became a box-office hit, but the week before it opened, Murnau was killed in an auto accident. He was only 42.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Murnau, Borzage & Fox
  • Actor
2008
91% Tabu: A Story of the South Seas
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1931
80% City Girl
  • Director
1930
No Score Yet 4 Devils
  • Director
1928
98% Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • Director
1927
94% Faust
  • Director
1926
80% Tartuffe
  • Director
1925
No Score Yet Die Finanzen des Großherzogs (The Finances of the Grand Duke)
  • Director
1924
No Score Yet Der Brennende Acker (Burning Soil)
  • Director
1922
No Score Yet Phantom
  • Director
1922
97% Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)
  • Director
1922
No Score Yet Schloß Vogeloed, (The Haunted Castle)
  • Director
1921
No Score Yet Der Januskopf (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) (The Head of Janus)
  • Director
1920

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