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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
"Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari." (original title)

 -  Horror  -  19 March 1921 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 30,963 users  
Reviews: 166 user | 140 critic

Dr. Caligari's somnambulist, Cesare, and his deadly predictions.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Friedrich Feher ...
Francis (as Friedrich Fehér)
...
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ...
Alan (as Hans Heinrich v. Twardowski)
Rudolf Lettinger ...
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Storyline

Francis, a young man, recalls in his memory the horrible experiences he and his fiancée Jane recently went through. It is the annual fair in Holstenwall. Francis and his friend Alan visit The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, an exhibit where the mysterious doctor shows the somnambulist Cesare, and awakens him for some moments from his death-like sleep. When Alan asks Cesare about his future, Cesare answers that he will die before dawn. The next morning Alan is found dead. Francis suspects Cesare of being the murderer, and starts spying on him and Dr. Caligari. The following night Cesare is going to stab Jane in her bed, but softens when he sees the beautiful woman, and instead of committing another murder, he abducts her. Jane's father awakens because of the noise, and he and some servants follow the fleeing Cesare. When Cesare cannot outrun his pursuers anymore, he gently places Jane down on the ground, and runs away. Francis and the police investigate the caravan of Dr. Caligari, but the ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dr. Caligari and his mysterious slave - the black and white phantom who lives in a cabinet and goes forth in his sleep to do his master's bidding. the weirdest characters ever seen on the screen and the most daringly different picture ever seen. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

19 March 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the May 12, 1921 edition of the Chicago Daily News, Carl Sandburg wrote of the film: "It is a healthy thing for Hollywood, Culver City, Universal City, and all other places where movie film is being produced, that this photoplay has come along at this time. It is sure to have healthy hunches and show new possibilities in style and method to our American Producers." See more »

Goofs

When Alan and Francis part company, they are initially right next to each other, but then at arm's reach. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in garden: Spirits surround us on every side... they have driven me from hearth and home, from wife and child.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Baba Yaga (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Masterpiece of German Expressionism !
22 October 2002 | by (Rio De Janeiro , Brazil) – See all my reviews

This picture is a masterpiece ! How could someone think in something like this at that time ? The film has really good casting ! Werner Krauss is excellent playing Doctor Caligari and Conrad Veidt (Cesare) too !

This movie has an obscure and bizarre mood makes the film looks really scary sometimes ... The painted scenario gave the film the touch that it needed ! It puts you in a nightmarish world , gives you the sensation of claustrofobia , depression and madness ! The objects have a strange shape and an irregular geometry that collaborate for the maintenance of the dark mood !

But the most important thing in this motion picture is the open ended story ! You´re never sure about the end ! It has so many ways of interpretation... It´s useless to try to define "one end" to this movie. You´ll be always asking yourself about the legitimacy of the man´s vision of the story.

It´s not scary , just sometimes , as I said. But it´s dark and it uses the shadows and lights effects so well that I was amazed the first time I saw and I still amazed ! German Films of that time were really good !

Congratulations to Robert Wienne and his cast ! It´s a masterpiece of madness and paranoia!

Rating : *****/******


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