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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Criterion Collection) (1933)

Cast: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke, Gustav Diessl, more...
Director: Fritz Lang
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion, The Criterion Collection/Janus Films
Genre: Classics, Foreign, Germany, Cops, Criterion Collection
Languages: German
Subtitles: English
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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Criterion Collection) (1933)
Fritz Lang directed this sequel to his nearly four-hour Dr. Mabuse silent of 1922 (often shown in two parts, Dr. Mabuse: Der Spieler/The Gambler and Dr. Mabuse: King of Crime). The film opens with Detective Hofmeister (Karl Meixner) spying on the activities of a criminal syndicate. Not realizing he has been seen, Hofmeister is attacked by the thugs and later turns up out of his mind. He is placed in the institution of Professor Baum (Oscar Beregi), who becomes increasingly obsessed with another patient -- the master criminal and hypnotist Dr. Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge). Baum's assistant, Dr. Kramm (Theodor Loos), connects Mabuse's writings to a series of the syndicate's recent criminal activities, and is murdered for his knowledge by crime lord Hardy (Rudolf Schündler) who takes orders from a hidden Mabuse. Putting all these pieces together is chief investigator Lohmann (Otto Wernicke), whose story plays out simultaneously with that of ex-cop Thomas Kent (Gustav Diessl), a member of the gang who is torn between his need for money and his love for a young woman named Lilli (Wera Liessem). Various clues lead Lohmann to suspect Mabuse's involvement, but when he arrives at the asylum, Baum reveals that Mabuse has died. Meanwhile, Kent's decision to confess to the cops lands himself and Lilli in a room with a hidden bomb. Lohmann traps the gang in a moll's house, leading to a wild shootout. Kent and Lilli escape and race to Lohmann to tell him that Mabuse is behind the crimes. They all race back to the asylum where they discover that Mabuse has taken control of Baum, who sets a monstrous fire at a chemical factory. The mad doctor then leads Lohmann and Kent on a wild car chase back to the asylum where the mystery behind the Baum-Mabuse-Hofmeister connection takes a disturbing turn. ~ Patrick Legare, All Movie Guide

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc: Le Testament du Dr. Mabuse/Mabuse in Mind) (1933)

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary by David Kalat, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Criterion Collection) (1933)
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7.85 (74 votes)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc: Le Testament du Dr. Mabuse/Mabuse in Mind) (1933)
New Listadd to list
7.50 (24 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

If it Pisses off Goebbels it must be good! by RHorsman June 7, 2004 - 1:07 PM PDT
7 out of 8 members found this review helpful
Lang's last German film is one of his best. Where the Mabuse of Dr. Mabuse The Gambler is a caricature/symbol of Weimar materialism and amorality, here Mabuse is a more peripheral figure; an insane and broken man scribbling his plan for the "Empire of Crime". But even as the physical Mabuse is fading away, his spirit is becoming identical with that of the times, infecting others and building towards a destruction of society, under the guise of rebuilding it in a new and transcendant form. It's no wonder the Nazi's banned this film: this is no sly parody or subtle satire, but a sincere indictment of the very soul of Nazi philosophy.

The action sequences still stand up today: the first "operation" by Division 2-B is particularly good. The art direction and casting give the film a unique look and feel, even while being unmistakably a Fritz Lang picture. Technically, The Criterion collection comes through again with a beautifully restored print (all but 3 minutes of the original German release have been assembled here). The bonus disc is also worth a rental.

More reviews for titles in this product:

my criterion favorites
excellent criterion films
A List of Good Movies

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