Vampyr (1932) - full transcript

Allan Gray arrives late in the evening to a secluded riverside inn in the hamlet of Courtempierre. An old man enters his room, puts a sealed parcel on the table, blurts out that some woman mustn't die, and disappears. Gray senses in this a call for help. He puts the parcel in his pocket, and goes out. Eerie shadows lead him into an old house, where he encounters a weird village doctor. The doctor receives a bottle of poison from a strange, old woman. Through the window of an old castle Grey recognizes the old man from the inn. A shadow shoots the man, who drops dead. Inside the house Grey finds his two daughters, Gisèle and Léone, and some servants. He opens the parcel, and finds an old book about vampires. Léone is seriously ill after being bitten by a vampire. Instead of helping her, the village doctor places the bottle of poison at her bedside table, and then abducts her sister Gisèle. An old servant starts reading the old book, and finds out that the vampire in Courtempierre is a dead woman called Marguerite Chopin. He goes to the cemetery, opens her grave and strikes a thick iron stick through her body. The curse is broken, Léone recovers, Grey liberates Giséle.

VAMPYR was produced in 1931/32
in German, French and English versions.

The original negative
for picture and sound was lost.

Partially complete prints
of the German and French versions

served as the basis
for this restoration.

The new German version of 1998
was a collaboration between

Cineteca del Comune di Bologna,
Deutsche Kinemathek and ZDF/Arte.

This is the tale of the strange
adventures of young Allan Gray,

who immersed himself in the study
of devil worship and vampires.

Preoccupied with superstitions
of centuries past, he became a dreamer

for whom the line between the real
and the supernatural became blurred.

His aimless wanderings
led him late one evening

to a secluded inn
by the river

in a village called

Who's there?

Go around.

It was an eerie moonlit night.

Light and shadow, voices and faces
seemed to take on hidden meaning.

Allan Gray felt a sinister
force descend upon him.

In vain he fought
the terror that seized him,

and fear of things he could not name
haunted his restless sleep.

Who are you?


She must die.
You understand?



What was going on?

What terrifying secret
was unfolding?

Allan Gray felt certain
of one thing:

A soul in mortal distress
was crying out for help,

and a voice within
urged him to heed that call.


Did you hear that?

Yes. The child.

There's no child here.

But the dogs.

There are no children
or dogs here.

He followed the fleeting shadows
and came to a large estate

where a forlorn manor rose up
among ancient trees.

Here, in seclusion,

with only his two daughters
and a few servants for company,

lived the man who had appeared
to Allan Gray earlier at the inn.

The wounds have almost healed.

The blood.

Don't go to bed
until the doctor arrives.

Open up. Hurry.

For heavers sake, hurry.

I'm coming.

What's wrong?

What is it?

They're trying to kill him.

The other door.

Jeanne, light the lamps
in the library.

And you stay with Gis?le,
you hear?

Is he dead?

Won't you please
stay here with us?

Where is he going?

To the police.



Accounts from many ages and lands
tell of terrible demons called vampires.

These are the bodies
and souls of the dead

whose terrible deeds in life
deny them repose in the grave.

Under the bright light
of the full moon,

they rise from their graves

to suck the blood of children
and young adults

and thus prolong
their shadowy existence.

The Prince of Darkness
is their ally

and lends them supernatural power
among the living and the dead.

At night these creatures
from the abyss

haunt the abodes of the living,

where they sow
death and decay.

A vampire's victim is doomed
to perish without hope.

A wound on the throat,
as from the bite of a cat or rat,

is the mark of damnation.

Neither medical science...


There, outside.



Like a plague,
the vampire's lust infects the victim,

who is torn
between a thirst for blood

and a desperate repulsion
toward this craving.

The innocent young person
itself becomes a vampire

and seeks to prey
on its nearest and dearest.

Entire families, even entire villages,
are thus brought under the curse.

If I could only die.

No, L?one.

I know.

I'm lost.

I'm damned.

I think she's dying.

Didn't you hear a scream?

The carriage is back.

She's asleep.

Good God.

What is that?

See that?


The ghosts of executed criminals
are in their service,

but the living too may fall
under their dreadful sway.

An account from Hungary
tells of a village doctor

who, having sold his soul
to the Evil One,

became a vampire's henchman

and thus an accessory to a series
of horrid crimes in that region.

Good evening, Doctor.

Good evening.
How is she doing?

- Not well at all.
- Why is that?

We found her
out on the grounds.

Well, let's go see.

She has another
of those marks on her neck.

We'll have a look.

Good evening.
Come along.

You stay down here.

She's doing very poorly.

- Pulse?
- Weak.

Can't she be saved?


But she needs blood.

It must be human blood.

Are you willing
to give her your own?

Come, young man.

I'll draw your blood.

Why does the doctor
always come at night?

Once the vampire has gained
complete control over its victim,

it seeks to drive
the victim to suicide,

thus delivering that soul
to the Evil One.

For he who takes his own life
is lost for all eternity.

To him the Golden Gates
of Heaven are closed.

For him all hope is lost.


Come here a moment.

You may go to bed now.

Did you hear me?

Who can solve the riddle
of life and death

or fathom the dark secrets
hidden from the light of day?

For just as strange
as a vampire's existence

is the manner of its demise.

These dead who cannot find peace
must be murdered

to deliver a tormented humanity
from their grip.

Many monasteries and libraries
possess in their secret archives...

What's wrong?

I'm losing blood.

Your blood is right here.

...accounts of how vampires have been
rendered harmless in many places.

In the village of Kisilova,

haunted a generation ago
by a vampire in the form of an old woman,

the following procedure
was used:

At dawn the grave was opened,

and the old woman
was found lying as if asleep.

An iron stake was driven
through her heart,

nailing her horrid soul
to the earth.

She then died a true death,

and the curse that had lain
upon herself and her victims was broken.

Come... follow me.

We shall become
one soul, one blood.

Follow me.

Death is waiting...

...deliverance by the grace
of our heavenly Lord.

Even in these parts,

tradition tells how certain areas
were haunted by vampires.

Just 25 years ago,
a murderous epidemic

claimed 1 1 victims
in the village of Courtempierre.

Doctors assigned the plague
a medical name,

but a persistent rumour
circulated among the people

that a vampire was
the cause of the scourge.

Many firmly believed
that vampire to be

none other than Marguerite Chopin,
who lay buried in the village cemetery.

All her life, Marguerite Chopin
had been a monster in human form.

She died
an unrepentant soul,

and the Church denied her
the Last Sacraments.

Come quickly.

Something terrible is happening.

Come quickly.


I'm afraid of dying.

I am damned.

My God.


She must die.

She must live until sunrise,
you understand?



Now go.


I feel strong.

My soul is free.

You're here.
Open this.

You hear me?

Listen to me.

Listen to me.

Curse you, you swine.

Open up.

Let me out of here.

Open this gate.

Over here.

This way.