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Dr. Mabuse and his organization of criminals are in the process of completing their latest scheme, a theft of information that will allow Mabuse to make huge profits on the stock exchange. Afterwards, Mabuse disguises himself and attends the Folies Bergères show, where Cara Carozza, the main attraction of the show, passes him information on Mabuse's next intended victim, the young millionaire Edgar Hull. Mabuse then uses psychic manipulation to lure Hull into a card game where he loses heavily. When Police Commissioner von Wenk begins an investigation of this mysterious crime spree, he has little to go on, and he needs to find someone who can help him. Written by
The police force are on the trail of Mabuse, a criminal mastermind wreaking havoc on Weimar Germany. But can they catch him before he strikes again or self-destructs?
Fritz Lang's first masterpiece, a four & a half hour double-feature with hardly a moment wasted, has been restored to stunning effect. (WARNING: In the KINO DVD edition, you MUST lower the contrast & brightness levels to reveal the full grey scale.) On one level, this is simply a far-fetched, but smashingly entertaining detective drama about Mabuse, a criminal mastermind who shows up in more disguises than Alec Guinness in KIND HEARTS & CORONETS to counterfeit, manipulate the stock exchange, kill personal rivals, run the drug racket and generally lord it over the pursuing police force of the modern city. If Part One offers a more devastating look at the perilous world that was Weimar Germany, there's still plenty of action & schemes left for Part Two. In MABUSE, Lang manages, more than he would in METROPOLIS, to hold all the expressionist elements (design, acting, story construction) in perfect balance. The dynamism for an early '20s pic, (before the era of easy camera movement) is simply phenomenal. And where else will you find an inter-title as glorious as: 'Eat some cocaine, you weakling!'
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