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Head of F.W. Murnau, “Nosferatu” Director, Stolen From German Graveyard

F W Murnau head stolen

F.W. Murnau in 1920

The head of the late German film director F.W. Murnau has been stolen from his grave, according to reports out of Germany.

Murnau is best remembered for the 1922 expressionist horror masterpiece Nosferatu, an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The movie, thanks to Max Schreck’s portrayal of vampire Count Orlok, remains a chilling cinematic experience 93 years after its release, and inspired both a remake by Werner Herzog (released 1979) and the derivative horror-comedy Shadow of the Vampire (2000).

But back to that stolen head. Murnau’s body has rested in a family plot in Stahnsdorf, Germany, since his death in a car crash in 1931. Grave robbers broke into a metal coffin and removed the head from Murnau’s embalmed body. According to German newspaper Der Spiegel (via Variety), wax residue was found at the site, suggesting that the crime may have had a connection to the occult.

F.W. Murnau grave

Grave of German filmdirector Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau at Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf near Berlin, Germany. Bust by German sculptor Ludwig Manzel. Photo by A.Savin, source: Wikimedia Commons

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Published on: July 15, 2015

Filled Under: Films, News

Views: 2402

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