Dr. Mabuse the Gambler

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  • Crime, Expressionism, Foreign, Silent, Thriller , produced in 1922 Germany
  • Actors: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede Nissen
  • Directed by: Fritz Lang
  • Rating: 7.8 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Includes both parts of Fritz Lang's Masterpiece! PART 1: Fritz Lang deftly evokes the soiled and shoddy world of crime-infested and inflation-racked post World War I Berlin in the first episode of his masterpiece, DR. MABUSE THE GAMBLER, PART I. Using special effects, extremely complex editing, fade outs, animation techniques and superimpositions, Lang took the lessons he learned in the supernatural films of German expressionism and applied them to this epic story of the underside of Germany. Employing his supreme powers of disguise and hypnosis, Mabuse surrounds himself with loyal servants and criminal henchmen who assassinate his rivals, manipulate the stock market and seduce wealthy citizens out of their riches. In a seedy underground cabaret, Mabuse, with the help of beautiful dancer Cara Carozza, hypnotizes a bored, wealthy man named Hull. After losing large sums of money to a disguised Mabuse, Hull is warned by police detective Wenk that he has been the victim of a master criminal. Hull ignores the warning as he has been seduced by Cara into thinking it was an honest game. Meanwhile, Wenk solicits the assistance of rich Countess Told in his endless attempts to capture Mabuse and his gang. When Cara is arrested, Mabuse retaliates by kidnapping Countess Told and eluding Wenk and the police once again. PART 2: The dark and mystical adventure of criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse careens towards its stylized climax in the final episode, which is subtitled THE INFERNO. Part two delves further into Mabuse's maniacal manipulation and dastardly forays into illegal business, as he holds the wealthy Countess Told against her will and conspires against her husband by posing as a psychiatrist. Elaborate costumes and sets--as well as special effects and editing techniques that were well ahead of their time--lend DR. MABUSE DER SPIELER PART II an air of doom and mystery, as Detective Wenk follows Mabuse's wild goose chase further into the underworld of Berlin. Unable to convince Mabuse's former assistant, dancer, Cara Carozza to reveal his whereabouts, Wenk is fooled by a disguised Mabuse, to attend a hypnotism show by master hypnotist Weltman. The pace of the film mimics Wenk's speeding car as the police race to save Wenk from Mabuse's insidious plan and attempt to capture him at his headquarters. Using Countess Told as a shield, Mabuse attempts one last escape from the police. As the showdown erupts in a hail of bullets, leaving Mabuse's survival and ultimate legacy in question, Fritz Lang uses this complex tale of power and evil as a thinly veiled metaphor for the political state of 1920's Germany.
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