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Kino International is proud to release a new six-film, thinpak box set dedicated to the German films of legendary UFA director F. W. Murnau.

Contains

  • FAUST - Disc 1 of Restored Deluxe Edition (NEW)
  • THE HAUNTED CASTLE (NEW)
  • THE FINANCES OF THE GRAND DUKE (NEW)
  • THE LAST LAUGH - Disc 1 of Restored Deluxe Edition (previously released)
  • NOSFERATU - Disc 1 of The Ultimate Edition (previously released)
  • TARTUFFE - Restored Authorized Edition (previously released)

All six films included in the box set, The Haunted Castle (1921), Nosferatu (1922), The Last Laugh (1924), The Finances of the Grand Duke (1924), Tartuffe (1925), and Faust (1926) have been recently restored by the Murnau Foundation and Transit Films, Germany, and were mastered from 35mm archival materials.

Of these six films, three of them are new to DVD in the US: Faust, being presented in a restoration of the German release edit never seen in the US, as well as The Haunted Castle and The Finances of the Grand Duke, both being made available for the first time in the US.

Kino's all-new Murnau box set comes with a suggested retail price of $99.95, and a prebook date of February 17, 2009. Its street date is March 17.

Nosferatu, The Last Laugh and Faust are presented in the new Murnau box set on single discs, containing the latest 2007 and 2008 restorations, along with all the special features found in the double-disc sets. The deluxe versions of Nosferatu (Kino, 2007), The Last Laugh (Kino, 2008) and Faust (Kino, 2009) continue to be available as double-disc sets on DVD.

Born on December 28th, 1888, in Germany, Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe (F.W. Murnau) studied art history at the University of Heidelberg before dedicating himself to filmmaking. Greatly influenced by the work of Max Reinhardt's theatre company, Murnau inherited the expressionistic use of high-contrast lighting from Reinhardt's work. Also highly influenced by his art history background, Murnau's work has direct references to Rembrandt's paintings and other masterworks of European art.

Murnau's ability to create an uncanny combination between camera movement, choreographed action, and then-unseen lighting techniques, makes him one of the archetypes of the "artist filmmaker."

More than pushing cinema into new aesthetic grounds with his revolutionary use of multiple exposure and warped lenses, Murnau will always be remembered as a director who further developed the relationship between the moving image and its subject matter.


The Haunted Castle
Director: F. W. Murnau
Country: Germany
Year: 1921

Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with such films as Faust and The Last Laugh, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a storm-bound manor and the grim mystery that lurks within.

Nosferatu: Ultimate Edition (single DVD boxset version)
Director: F. W. Murnau
Country: Germany
Year: 1922
F.W. Murnau's NOSFERATU is triumphantly reborn in this breathtaking new restoration by the F.W. Murnau Foundation.

The Finances of the Grand Duke
Director: F. W. Murnau
Country: Germany
Year: 1924
In Murnau's playful espionage thriller reminiscent of Ernst Lubitsch (who had recently left Germany for Hollywood), Harry Liedtke stars as a benevolent dictator who must preserve the tiny nation of Abacco by fending off creditors, wooing a wealthy Russian princess, and evading a band of demonic conspirators.

The Last Laugh | Restored Deluxe Edition (single DVD boxset version)
Director: F. W. Murnau
Country: Germany
Year: 1924
Newly restored edition of F.W. Murnau's THE LAST LAUGH with the original score. One of the crowning achievements of the German expressionist movement. THE LAST LAUGH stars Emil Jannings as an aging doorman whose happiness crumbles when he is relieved of the duties and uniform which had for years been the foundation of his happiness and pride.

Faust (single DVD boxset version)
Director: F. W. Murnau
Country: Germany
Year: 1926

Gösta Ekman stars as the titular alchemist who, struggling with his faith amidst a devastating plague, is offered the power to cure and the gift of youth...in exchange for his soul.  As the diabolical Mephisto, Emil Jannings (The Last Laugh) delivers a performance of operatic scale and intensity, by turns charming, comical, and horrific.

Tartuffe (thinpak cover)
Director: F. W. Murnau
Country: Germany
Year: 1926
A fable of religious hypocrisy, in which a faithful wife (Lil Dagover) tries to convince her husband (Werner Krauss) that their morally superior guest, Tartuffe (Emil Jannings), is in fact a lecherous hypocrite with a taste for the grape.

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Details

CastAlexander Granach, Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss, Gösta Ekman, Lil Dagover, Gustav von Wangenheim, Max Schreck, William Dieterle, Greta Schröder
DirectorFriedrich Wilhelm (F.W.) Murnau
Genre:  Foreign
Release Date:  1921, 1922, 1924, 1926
MPAA Rating:  Unrated
Screen WriterHenrik Galeen, Thea von Harbou
DVD Release Date:  March 17, 2009
Runtime:  521 minutes
Studio:  Kino International
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Quick Tip by . April 09, 2011
posted in Cinema of Silence
Despite the fact that I already own four of these films in different versions, I absolutely love this set mainly because it includes wonderful restorations of three of Murnau's greatest films (Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, and Faust) as well as four documentaries and many great special features. The artwork on the packaging is beautiful and as I was able to get it on sale for a great price I was even more happy with the purchase. Ultimately, what you end up with here are three great films, two …
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