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Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1919)
Thorn EMI

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1919) - video artwork

Sleeve Sypnosis:
Chosen as one of the 'Twelve Best Films of All Time' at the Brussels Expositon in 1958, Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr Calgari, is without question, an imaginative and innovative production, as fascinating today as it was when it was first released in Germany in 1920. A continuing source of inspiration to directors, lighting cameramen and set designers, Dr Caligari must also be a close contender for the title of the film that has had the greatest number of erudite, in-depth analyses written about its Expressionist treatment, its story, its characters, and the implications and significence of all three. There are so many conflicting reports about the circumstances in which it was produced and who made the final decisions - and why - that unravelling the facts is like trying to solve an unfinished detective story.

Viewed simply as a piece of entertainment made on a shoestring budget, with limited facilities avialable in 1919, it is an eerie horror story of somnambulist (Conrad Vedit) who prowls the crooked streets of a medieval town by night in search of victims to slay. The hero-narrator Francis (Friedrich Feher) believes fairground showman Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) to be the instigator of the crimes; and, after his sweetheart (Lil Dagover) has been abducted, he pursues his suspect to a mental asylum, where Dr Caligari proves to be the director. Later it is revealed that it is Francis who is mad and he is telling this fantastic tale to another inmate.

There are many meanings to be found in The Cabient of Dr Caligari as there are minds to probe for clues and sift evidence. One theory is that the screenwriters Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz wrote the story within the story as an attack on the insane absurdities of authority. Another is that dark forces at work n this Gothic drama can be intepreted as heralding the eventual rise to power of the Nazis. But there can be no argument about the film's stature. It forms a landmark in the history of the cinema for its use of Expressionist art to create atmosphere.

© Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung-Wiesbaden

Director: Robert Wiene

Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Friedrich Feher, Hans Heinrich Von Twardowski, Rudolf Lettinger, Ludwig Rex, Elsa Wagner, Henri Peters-Arnolds, Hans Lanser-Ludolff

Genre: Horror and Occult

Addtional Notes:
Run Time Approx: 44 mins.

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1919)

Cat No:
TVE 900826 2
* N/A or Unknown

Small Box - Rental Tape


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Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1919)
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The (1919)

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