Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)
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- The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
- 122 min.
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Another masterpiece by Lang.
Great psychological thriller!
Dr. Mabuse is a name I'd heard, a pulp villain who would give Moriarty or Fu Manchu a run for their money (he even went up against Sherlock Holmes in the old TV series, didn't he?), but my first exposure to the character has him pretty much working from beyond the quote-unquote grave in Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, a sequel to another of his films, adapted from the original novel during his silent period. Shades of M, the film has a procedural bent as police try to figure out the complex crimes being committed in Mabuse's name, even though the master criminal has been catatonic since the events of the first film. His creepy terrorism manifesto is in play though, so is someone following his blueprint for anarchy, or is he running the show from a mental institution. Or possibly... both? We also follow an unwilling participant in the crimes trying to make a fresh start with his lady love, and how they have to get out of one of Mabuse's death traps, a pretty cool sequence. Lang once again presents interesting characters in well thought-out situations, and he pleasantly uses a lot of trick photography to simulate mad visions, but also to create effective transitions. With so many plot threads running, he's also his usual unrestrained self, but while you may wonder if it's all necessary, there are moments even in the superfluous romance that you wouldn't want to part with.
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In 12 official lists
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This movie ranks #10 in 101 Gangster Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #15 in IMDb's Horror Top 50
This movie ranks #19 in IMDb's 1930s Top 50
This movie ranks #36 in The 100 Most Significant German Films
This movie ranks #111 in The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #117 in Masters Of Cinema
This movie ranks #118 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
This movie ranks #136 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films
This movie ranks #256 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #316 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #450 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
This movie ranks #626 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?