IMDb > The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari.
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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) More at IMDbPro »Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   31,362 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Carl Mayer (story) and
Hans Janowitz (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 March 1921 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most amazing story ever screened. See more »
Plot:
Dr. Caligari's somnambulist, Cesare, and his deadly predictions. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(155 articles)
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User Reviews:
Caligari: A creepy, distorted gem of the silent era... See more (166 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Werner Krauss ... Dr. Caligari

Conrad Veidt ... Cesare
Friedrich Feher ... Francis (as Friedrich Fehér)

Lil Dagover ... Jane Olsen
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Alan (as Hans Heinrich v. Twardowski)
Rudolf Lettinger ... Dr. Olsen
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Ein Verbrecher (uncredited)
Hans Lanser-Rudolf ... Ein alt Mann (uncredited)
Henri Peters-Arnolds ... Ein junger Arzt (uncredited)
Ludwig Rex ... Ein Mörder (uncredited)
Elsa Wagner ... Die Wirtin (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Wiene 
 
Writing credits
Carl Mayer (story and screen play by) and
Hans Janowitz (story and screen play by)

Produced by
Rudolf Meinert .... producer (uncredited)
Erich Pommer .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Alfredo Antonini 
Giuseppe Becce (premiere)
Timothy Brock (1996)
Richard Marriott (1987)
Lothar Prox (1985)
Rainer Viertelboeck (1993)
 
Cinematography by
Willy Hameister (photography)
 
Production Design by
Walter Reimann (design)
Walter Röhrig (design)
Hermann Warm (design)
 
Set Decoration by
Hermann Warm (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Walter Reimann (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rochus Gliese .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Harry Froboess .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Timothy Brock .... music produced by (1996)
 
Other crew
Katherine Hilliker .... intertitler
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari." - Germany (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
France:78 min | Spain:50 min | USA:67 min | USA:51 min (video version) | Spain:73 min (DVD version)
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Alberta/Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-15 (new rating: 2001) | France:U | Germany:12 (bw) (1964, 1995) | Germany:18 (1920) | Spain:7 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1993) | USA:Unrated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Sets were constructed for less than $800 and the leading actors were paid $30 a day.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Can "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" be considered an Expressionist movie?
Is this movie based on a novel?
Any recommendations for early German movies similar to "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari"?
See more »
44 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
Caligari: A creepy, distorted gem of the silent era..., 4 April 2000
Author: Spiro Agnew (clurge@home.com) from Canada

Like so many of the films from the silent era, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari gets overlooked (if you can even find it!) for big budget duds, and runny romantic comedies. Directors of the period like Griffith, Lang, Eisenstien, and Caligari's Wiene, are never given the credit they deserve. And if credit is given, it is in small cultish circles in various pockets around the world.

The set design here is amazing, not a single right angle can be found in any one of the sets. This may not only apply to the disjointed and distorted characters in the film, but also the state of Germany at the time. After all, the film was made in the dark ages in Germany between WWI and WWII. This point is validated by Siegfried Kracauer, with his notion of how the main character of Dr. Caligari can be easily interpreted to Hitler, and vice versa. Both controlled subjects with a form of "brainwashing", both were upset with current forms of society and government, and both were masters of deception. In a period where Germans were looking for direction, and let's face it, authority as well, Dr. Caligari embodied it fully.

In the area of the players, all the names in the film turn out a literally "speechless" performance. Dagover, Krauß, and especially Veidt as Cesare (pronounced Chez-a-ray) are excellent in the use of gestures and motion to get their point across without using words. The camera, stationary as in most early features, uses the mise-en-scene effectively, letting us identify with characters such as Francis and Jane, and disjointing us from Caligari, and the Criminal.

The use of lines and stripes, not only in the sets but in small places like in the good doctor's hair and on his gloves, adds to the telling of the character. Colour tints of the B&W film also play a special part in bringing the whole film together. An amazing sequence where Caligari reveals his true madness, pits Caligari stumbling through the unequal streets of Germany while being haunted by textual ramblings written in the air. A marvelous achievement for it's time. And it adds so much.

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari has changed the way I look at horror films, and even films in general. I urge anyone reading this to pick up this film. The DVD offering is utterly fantastic with the restored print, an audio essay of the film, and production notes. Bypass the overblown "motion picture events of the year", and pick up Caligari, quite possible the greatest motion picture event in the history of motion pictures.

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