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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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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari -- A demented hypnotist and his ghastly henchman spread death througout the German countryside. Newly remastered from the archival German material and tinted according to original instructions with evocative score.


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8.1/10   35,995 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Carl Mayer (story) and
Hans Janowitz (story)
View company contact information for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 March 1921 (USA) See more »
The most amazing story ever screened. See more »
Dr. Caligari's somnambulist, Cesare, and his deadly predictions. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(162 articles)
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User Reviews:
Discovering Silent Film... See more (182 total) »


  (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 alter 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)
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 »
France:78 min | Spain:50 min | USA:67 min | USA:51 min (video version) | Spain:73 min (DVD version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | 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?

The earliest German film included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Schneider.See more »
Continuity: When Alan and Francis part company, they are initially right next to each other, but then at arm's reach.See more »
[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 »


Was there a real person named Dr. Caligari?
Could this movie be considered the first zombie movie?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
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119 out of 132 people found the following review useful.
Discovering Silent Film..., 27 March 2002
Author: Tim Eaton ( from Claremont, NH

It struck me last night that I've never seen a serious silent film. Everyone's seen a silent comedy: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Keystone Cops... They've all been immortalized in the minds of every film viewer, and I enjoy them as much as anyone. But it seems a strange and almost disrespectful lack to never have seen anything but comedy; so many silent films were created, and the only ones I've seen starred waddling tramps.

It was partially for that reason that I rented this movie. I had read about it on a film review site (the name of which escapes my memory) and decided it was worth the half-hour drive to the video store. The basic premise is that of a man relating a story that happened to him and his friends - their unnerving discovery of a crazed mountebank, Dr. Caligari, and his prophetic sleepwalker. It follows a series of murders and growing madness, keeping you in constant suspense and confusion until the very last scene.

There's a period of adjustment when watching it - unfortunately necessary for a modern audience. The titles seem too slow. The camera seems to hold on scenes too long. The makeup on the actors' faces seem ghostly and horrible - even on the hero.

But before long, the movie has you in its grip. You spend time staring at the architecture - buildings, doors, and windows that would have been funny in a Dr. Seuss book. In the film, they make you uneasy. The whole atmosphere is of a world gone wrong; like a dream worthy of Salvador Dalí. Nothing is square or straight. The buildings loom in on you; windows sweep upward, slanted or curved; doors are obscenely angled holes beckoning you to enter and be trapped inside.

Throughout, the story defies expectations. Small plot twists confuse and mislead you until the final surprise, completely tearing down everything you thought the movie was about. Strange shadows and shots from inside alleys paint the film's world as something terrible, never allowing you a normal look at the village, never allowing you to enjoy the quaintness of it. Through it all, the grinning, hunched figure of Dr. Caligari hangs in your mind, pushing out rational thought.

The movie is well worth your time; there's a certain pleasure in trying to capture the feeling of terror an early audience, unaccustomed to the visual effects we see every day, would have had the first time they saw this movie. It's an intellectual terror in the grand old style, giving you the same thrill you get from reading Frankenstein or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At the risk of sounding cliché: two thumbs up!

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