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F.W. Murnau’s Phantom (MOC) in October

Eureka Entertainment have announced the UK DVD release of F.W. Murnau’s Phantom & Die Finanzen des Großherzogs as part of their Masters of Cinema Series on 19th October 2009 priced at £24.99. After filming the landmark Nosferatu, the silent cinema’s master innovator F. W. Murnau demonstrated the reach of his genre versatility with a pair of films that explored the dimensions of the psychodrama and the adventure-programmer.

In Phantom, an aspiring poet on the verge of what he takes for a big break experiences a chance encounter with a beautiful woman in the street — and falls headlong into love and fantasy. With debts piling up and his promised literary celebrity failing to materialise, the poet descends into obsession, deception, and, ultimately, a criminal act.

Die Finanzen des Großherzogs sees Murnau exploiting the Mediterranean clime to film the tale of a rakish duke whose lifestyle has dried up his noble coffers. When word arrives about the existence of valuable sulphur deposits on his tiny duchy of Abacco, a comic adventure of high-seas intrigue, “animal impersonators”, and the Crown Princess of Russia unreels at a sprightly pace. Max Schreck (the mythic actor behind the makeup of Nosferatu’s Count Orlok two years earlier) appears in a supporting role.

Features on this 2-Disc set include:

  • The most recent film restorations from the F.W. Murnau Stifftung, Germany
  • Original German-language intertitles with newly translated optional English-language subtitles
  • Audio commentary by film-scholar David Kalat on Die Finanzen des Großherzogs
  • A lengthy booklet containing a new essay on both films by professor and film-scholar Janet Bergstrom — and more!

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