Murnau, Friedrich W. (frēˈdrĭkh mŏrˈnou) [key], 1889–1931, German film director, b. as Friedrich W. Plumpe. He began directing films in Germany in 1919 and went to Hollywood in 1927. Murnau's films, especially those made in collaboration with writer Carl Meyer, are noted for their fluid, expressionistic use of the camera to depict states of mind, an alternative stylistic model to the editing-centered works of Sergei Eisenstein. His best-known works are Nosferatu (1922), The Last Laugh (1924), Faust (1926), and the American films Sunrise (1927), Our Daily Bread (1930), and Tabu (1931).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.