The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari

Downloadable Video - 1919
Average Rating:
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The most brilliant example of that dark and twisted film movement known as German expressionism, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted, a world in which a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetuate a series of murders in a small community. Featuring Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Von Tardowsky.
Publisher: [Germany]: , Films sans frontières (Firm) [distridutor], , [1919]
Copyright Date: ©1919
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (1 hr. 11 min. 27 sec.)) : sound, black & white

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Maoisdead
Jan 23, 2017

In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a visionary team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted, a world in which a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.

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SEELOCHAN BEHARRY
Jan 22, 2017

This film is rather interesting. Shows how much can be said even when there are no words. The film allows us to put in our own dialogue and be involved or to think what is being said and to create our own script to fit the scenes. Have to look at it again.
The end was a surprise.
Seelochan Beharry

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Kagamusha
Mar 11, 2016

More hype than delivery. I'd long heard of this and was hoping that it would be as good as "Nosferatu", but it isn't even as good as the horrid Klaus Kinski "Nosferatu". I'd much rather re-watch "Freaks". I did, however, love the German Expressionistic sets. Exciting and trippy (in the LSD and the actual tripping walking on those wild sets)...it was mesmerizing to watch, the acting and story...not so much. I would rather just watch the sets! I was surprised though to see light nudity in a 1920 film. Oh, well. I'm hoping that the next silent I'd like to see, "Witchcraft throughout the ages" will meet it's reputation.

c
Cole1trane
Feb 06, 2016

WOW! Great story, wild set...just a mind blowing film. I thought it might be dull being an old silent film but it was riveting. I did not choose the orchestral soundtrack but went with the default soundtrack (reminded me of Pink Floyd's Umagumma)

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ManMachine
Aug 11, 2014

Because this somewhat weird, German-Expressionist film (with its original colour tinting) is now 94 years old, I really did try to be lenient and cut it some slack with my overall rating of it.

But, with that said, I'm sorry to have to tell you ('cause I'm not going to lie), the best that I could ever possibly give as a score for this silent-era freakshow would only be a measly 1.5 stars, and that's all. Regardless of its old age, it just doesn't deserve more than that.

For one thing, at 75 minutes, this picture was about 20 minutes too long. And, when it came to its rather bizarre and deliberately distorted set designs, I found them, before long, to be quite boring, and literally under-whelming.

You can be sure, had this fantasy film been made in the USA (circa. 1920), I highly doubt that all the snobs-of-early-cinema would still be falling all over themselves with absolute, undying praise for it, right to this very day.

From my point of view, this vintage film's story was so simple that it came across as being downright simple-minded in nature. And, as far as the Dr. Caligari character goes, he was far from being convincingly sinister and treacherous. On the contrary, this dumpy, old creep struck me as being nothing but a stupid, senile, windbag who couldn't even scare a child.

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pronto1961
Apr 15, 2013

the classic horror silent film.

a
AtomicFez
Aug 29, 2011

Holy CRAP is this cool! It's purported to be the first horror film (it being from 1920, and "Nosferatu" didn't appear until 1922), and yet there's so much in place here that it's stunning that no-one had done one before. The story form has been around for a long time, but to present one visually and not simply present a stage play on film is another matter entirely. The look of the film is fantastic (and see if you can locate a copy of the Kino-release with the film tinting), with all sorts of nifty imagery. There's not a straight line anywhere, due to the "German Expressionist Style" making everything quite anarchic. The wrap-around telling of the story either adds an extra level of vagueness to the story — is it madness, is it a dream fantasy, or is it reality — or simply makes you wonder "why did they bother to complicate the thing?" I've not made up my mind which camp I'm in.

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