The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

1933

Crime / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

159
IMDb Rating 8 10 11,243

Synopsis


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December 13, 2020

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.08 GB
1280*720
German 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
122 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.01 GB
1920×1080
German 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
122 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rpowell-4 9 / 10 / 10

Two crowded hours

This film's a thriller, a detective story, a ghost story; it has romantic and comic sub-plots, a striking array of sets, some of the first convincing special effects ever used, echoes of other films; and it is not hard to find in it political relevance to today. It's a lot to cram into two hours, and one has to work to follow every twist of the plot, but it is both a rewarding and entertaining experience. The film draws on an exceptionally wide variety of cinematic styles. There are expressionist moments, and these are particularly striking, but they account for only two or three minutes out of a running time of 120. There are moments when one could almost be in a screwball comedy. And there are moments which come close to social realism – it would be interesting to know whether the patients at the mental hospital played themselves. The dominant mode, though, is an anticipation of film noir. I would, though, counsel against investing too much historical hindsight in this film – yes, Fritz Lang did go into exile from the Nazis – but it is more the shadow of Weimar than the shadow of Hitler that hovers in the background here. Not perfect; not an absolute masterpiece: but an occasionally stunning and always stimulating film, which deserves 9 out of 10.

Reviewed by denmans 10 / 10 / 10

The prototype thriller

The film reads like a trainer for all the thrillers that came thereafter: The staring face reminiscent of 'Alien', the scary opening scene, which deserves to be better known, the tough but lovable cop, the haunted (literally) master criminal, the asylum, the heroine with an excuse to get her dress all wet and clingy, the Mae West look-alike, the spooky special effects, the explosions and the fires (real ones not your computer generated rubbish), the shoot out, the chase through the woods, the car chase, the high tech gadgets (using 78 vinyl!). There's even what looks like a placement add (Mercedes, during the car chase). Yes, all the thriller clichés are there but way back in 1933 they weren't clichés. Unfortunately some rather wooden acting by the heroine, Wera Liessem, who seems to be stuck in silent film mode, mars the film. As for the political overtones, I'm not sure if these were deliberate. Lang's stories about himself were as fantastical as his films, especially the one about being offered the head of the Reich films.

Reviewed by Eumenides_0 10 / 10 / 10

The Ultimate Cinema Villain

Watching The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, I'm struck with the notion that every filmmaker should at least make a silent movie before graduating to talking pictures. Fritz Lang already had a long long career in silent movies before creating this masterpiece: The weary Death, Dr. Mabuse The Gambler, Siegfried's Death, Metropolis. From these speechless movie he learned to rely on powerful scenes and clear sequences to convey information. When he moved to sound pictures, he didn't just put talking heads on screen. He created amazing, suspenseful sequences which use the settings' sounds and the characters' own behavior and facial expressions to tell the story. The first sequence of the movie defines the movie's style very well: a man hides behind a trunk in an empty room. Everywhere we can hear the sound of heavy machinery, certainly marking the rhythm of his own heart beats as two men enter the room and move towards the trunk. One spots his foot, but they don't betray their knowledge of him. They walk out and wait to ambush him. The man hiding isn't an idiot either and doesn't leave through the door. But man are waiting him outside nevertheless. No words are exchanged, we don't know who's who, but its' one of the most suspenseful and clearest sequences I've seen in cinema in a long time, the type Alfred Hitchcock was learning to make by the time this movie came out. Throughout the movie we see sequences like these. Lang realized sound wasn't just for dialogue but an important storytelling technique too; he had realized that already in M, in which a killer is found out by his trademark whistling. But The Testament of Dr. Mabuse takes sound to new heights. Modern filmmakers should take a few lessons from Lang his contemporaries. But what's this movie about anyway? It's the sequel to Lang's 1922 Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler; I haven't seen it and I regret it because events from that movie have a lot of important in this one. Lang fills in the details as best as he can, but I bet nothing beats watching the real deal. Dr Mabuse, a master criminal, lives now in an asylum and spends his days writing what seems to be a testament. Meanwhile criminals carry out elaborate crimes. Slowly we realize the criminals and Mabuse's testament are connected, but how can that be if he's locked up and seemingly insane? That's what Commissioner Lohmann tries to find out in this labyrinthine crime thriller. People who have prejudices against old movies, black-and-white movies and foreign subtitled movies, should learn this is one of the best movies ever made, mixing just about every genre imaginable, from horror to romance; engaging from start to finish, with one of the best villains ever to grace cinema and with one of the most realistic and logical plots to spread crime and gain power, Lang created a precious gem that honors the history and language of cinema.

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