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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Restored Authorized Edition) (1919)

Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, more...
Director: Robert Wiene
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Kino
Genre: Classics, Horror, Silent, Classic Horror, Classic Horror, Mad Science, Silent Horror, Mad Science, Silent Horror
Running Time: 75 min.
Languages: German
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

In one of the most influential films of the silent era, Werner Krauss plays the title character, a sinister hypnotist who travels the carnival circuit displaying a somnambulist named Cesare (Conrad Veidt). In one tiny German town, a series of murders coincides with Caligari's visit. When the best friend of hero Francis (Friedrich Feher) is killed, the deed seems to be the outgrowth of a romantic rivalry over the hand of the lovely Jane (Lil Dagover). Francis suspects Caligari, but he is ignored by the police. Investigating on his own, Francis seemingly discovers that Caligari has been ordering the somnambulist to commit the murders, but the story eventually takes a more surprising direction. Caligari's Expressionist style ultimately led to the dark shadows and sharp angles of the film noir urban crime dramas of the 1940s, many of which were directed by such German émigrés as Billy Wilder and Robert Siodmak. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Supplemental Features Include:
43 minute condensation of Robert Wiene's GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE, Behind the scenes footage, two musical scores to choose from, and a gallery of more than 40 photos, posters, and production sketches.

GreenCine Member Reviews

new improved??? by RRappuhn June 11, 2004 - 10:02 AM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
I had not viewed this Film in a long while and this restored version on DVD, while marvelous in almost every respect, seems quite different than my memory of the version I originally saw (on TV as part of PBS series of greatest films );

in some ways this version, with the great scoring, is much more frightening than I remember the original viewed film and score to be; but conversly, by adding the breaks for introducing the acts, using an expressionistic type design for the subtitles rather than simple block lettering, and employing the 'original'(??? )tinting in some of the scenes, these added effects became more a distraction to me; especially when I pull up my memories of the originally viewed print.

I need to view that print again, and wonder what I would think of it in comparison, if I had seen this version first...
but think that I rather like the black and white better;
Don't miss the extras, there is a great little 43 minute film in there... same extrodinary sets/costumes

the score in both Caligari and the extra are just superb and quite a reinforcement to what I find as pure dread/disorientation;

this Film along with 'M' are definitely on my list of favorite/best films

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.97)
210 Votes
add to list New List

Silent Film 101
Essential films from the silent era
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