Unboxing the Silents: Murnau Bluray Double Feature – The Haunted Castle and The Finances of the Grand Duke

Today, we’re going to be looking at two of F.W. Murnau’s lesser-known films, which are being released as a double feature on Bluray by Kino.

As always, thanks to Kino Lorber for the review copies!


The Bluray double feature of The Haunted Castle and The Finances of the Grand Duke will be released as a region A Bluray on February 12, 2019. Learn more and pre-order here.

If you prefer DVD, both films have been previously released by Kino in that format. The Haunted Castle is available here and The Finances of the Grand Duke is available here.


Both films have fine piano scores. Neil Brand handled The Haunted Castle and Ekkehard Wรถlk accompanied The Finances of the Grand Duke.


Here are some screen shots from the films. As usual, the only alteration I made was to crop out the pillarboxes. Oh, and the films are presented in their original German with optional English subtitles.

The Haunted Castle, or, Constant Teutonic Glowering

The Finances of the Grand Duke, or, Murnau Does Lubitsch by Way of von Harbou (also, Max Schreck)

This is a very nice presentation of two of Murnau’s less-famous films. They’re not Nosferatu or Faust but they are interesting and fans of his work will enjoy seeing them in HD. Vampire fans will particularly enjoy seeing Max Schreck as one of the conspirators in The Finances of the Grand Duke.

Disclaimer Regarding Speeds and Progressive Scan

I really do not want to discuss progressive scan vs. sound speed or interlacing. The comments on the topic have become, well, progressively ruder (always from the anti-progressive side) and I don’t feel my readers should have to put up with insults from a vocal minority. If you have no idea what this is about, you are honestly better off but if you really want to know, I wrote a thread on the topic, typos and all.

I was pleased with the look, speed and presentation of this release.


  1. David Steere

    Thanks for this news, Fritzi, although I’d marked this release date for the two Murnau films some time ago. Not sure if I like them enough to buy the new Kino Blu ray. Believe it or not, NETFLIX actually has THE FINANCES OF THE GRAND DUKE in the Kino DVD edition. Who’d have thunk it? You didn’t find a copy of 4 DEVILS while you were unboxing? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I did go to your thread on the scan issues but didn’t really care to dive in. I was much more interested in the adorable Clara Bow GIF hiding behind the thread. My favorite clip of hers (the beckoning finger) occurs during the opening credits of every episode of Brownlow and Gil’s magisterial 1980 documentary HOLLYWOOD…to the gorgeous theme music of Carl Davis. Although I own the doc in VHS, a restored Blu ray should have been produced long ago.

  2. Shari Polikoff

    A little off-topic, but …. I, too, like the Clara Bow ‘beckoning finger’ clip, but I have yet to find the movie that it comes from. Please tell me!

  3. Keith S.

    I have both films already and must say they are not my idea of Murnau at his best.
    Regarding the other matter, I don’t understand, don’t think I need to, so my default position is: I am on your side.

    1. Fritzi Kramer

      Yes, these are definitely “for the fans” titles. But it reminds me that I need to see Finances because I have a point to make about Lubitsch’s underrated talents and how Murnau’s lack of copycat success shows just what Lubitsch pulled off.

      The other matter: Yes, I dare say that 99% of all viewers never notice. I just bring it up because I have had to delete some rather rude comments on the matter. It’s madness and I am tired.

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