IMDb > Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)
Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler
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Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922) More at IMDbPro »Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (original title)

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Overview

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7.9/10   5,865 votes »
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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
30 September 1922 (Hungary) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Western Union
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Off The Shelf – Episode 103 – New Blu-ray Releases for September 13th and 20th
 (From CriterionCast. 20 September 2016, 5:00 AM, PDT)

Dr. Mabuse The Gambler
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User Reviews:
"He's the damnation and the salvation!" See more (36 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Dr. Mabuse
Aud Egede-Nissen ... Cara Carozza, the dancer
Gertrude Welcker ... Countess Dusy Told (as Gertrude Welker)

Alfred Abel ... Count Told / Richard Fleury - US version

Bernhard Goetzke ... Prosecutor von Wenk / Chief Inspector Norbert von Wenck / Chief Inspector De Witt - US version

Paul Richter ... Edgar Hull
Robert Forster-Larrinaga ... Spoerri

Hans Adalbert Schlettow ... Georg, the Chauffeur (as Hans Adalbert von Schlettow)
Georg John ... Pesch
Károly Huszár ... Hawasch (as Karl Huszar)
Grete Berger ... Fine, a servant
Julius Falkenstein ... Karsten
Lydia Potechina ... The Russian
Julius E. Herrmann ... Emil Schramm (as Julius Herrmann)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julietta Brandt (as Julie Brandt)

Max Adalbert ... (uncredited)
Anita Berber ... Taenzerin im Frack (uncredited)
Paul Biensfeldt ... Mann, der die Pistole bekommt (uncredited)
Gustav Botz ... (uncredited)

Lil Dagover ... (uncredited)
Heinrich Gotho ... (uncredited)
Leonhard Haskel ... (uncredited)
Erner Huebsch ... (uncredited)
Gottfried Huppertz ... (uncredited)
Hans Junkermann ... (uncredited)
Adolf Klein ... (uncredited)
Erich Pabst ... (uncredited)
Edgar Pauly ... Big Spectator (uncredited)
Karl Platen ... Diener Tolds (uncredited)
Auguste Prasch-Grevenberg ... (uncredited)

Adele Sandrock ... (uncredited)
Willy Schmidt-Gentner ... (uncredited)
Hans Sternberg ... (uncredited)
Olaf Storm ... (uncredited)
Oscar Stribolt ... Enthusiastic Volunteer at Magic Show (uncredited)
Erich Walter ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Norbert Jacques  novel
Fritz Lang 
Thea von Harbou 

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
 
Original Music by
Konrad Elfers 
Robert Israel 
Aljoscha Zimmermann 
 
Cinematography by
Carl Hoffmann 
 
Art Direction by
Otto Hunte 
Erich Kettelhut 
Karl Stahl-Urach 
Karl Vollbrecht 
 
Costume Design by
Vally Reinecke 
 
Music Department
Osmán Pérez Freire .... composer: original theme
Shane Ryan .... music editor (2001) (as Shane Gledhill)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler" - Germany (original title)
"Dr. Mabuse the Gambler" - International (English title) (imdb display title), USA (imdb display title)
"The Fatal Passion" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
Runtime:
297 min (restored version) | Germany:100 min (part 2) | Germany:95 min (part 1) | Spain:114 min (part 2) | Spain:154 min (part 1) | USA:231 min (video version) | 271 min (Murnau Foundation restoration) | Germany:242 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 (first part) | Finland:K-16 (second part) | Germany:0 | Spain:T | Sweden:(Banned) | UK:A (original rating) (cut) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2004) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Included in the book "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Mabuse enters the counterfeiting den in the guise of a drunken sailor, he unlocks the ribbed door and pushes it open. The next shot, from inside the den, shows the henchman pull the closed door open for Mabuse.See more »
Quotes:
Dr. Mabuse:[First lines] You're hopped up on cocaine again, Spoerri!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Derrick - Die Pflicht ruft! (2004)See more »

FAQ

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27 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
"He's the damnation and the salvation!", 15 April 2008
Author: Steffi_P from Ruritania

1922 – Germany was in political turmoil and spiralling into a hyperinflation crisis. Meanwhile in cinema the German Expressionist movement was coming of age with the release of FW Murnau's Nosferatu and this, the first in Fritz Lang's series of epics Dr Mabuse, der Spieler. While perhaps not as classically expressionist as Murnau or Robert Wiene, Fritz Lang arguably put his finger on the mood of times better than any other. With Mabuse, his unique style develops to convey a picture of the chaos of the era.

The opening sequences of Dr Mabuse are evidence of screenwriter Thea von Harbou's growing strength as a storyteller and Lang's economy of expression. The first shot – a close-up of Mabuse's hand, holding cards showing his various disguises – presents and defines the title character. A frantic, rapidly cut action scene then hooks the viewer, whilst introducing us to Mabuse's network of minions. After that, we see Mabuse's elaborate scam at the stock market. In one particularly striking image, the crowd of traders panic and jostle, whilst Mabuse stands calmly on a pedestal above them – a perfect metaphor for his position of power amidst social chaos.

At one point in his youth Lang trained as an architect, and this fact is central to his style as a director. There are hints of this in his earliest films, but in Mabuse the architectural touch is fully matured. Throughout, the set design and décor is almost more important than the actors. Whereas other expressionists would evoke mood most frequently through use of light and shadow, Lang does it primarily through use of space. He composes shots in straight lines and geometric patterns, occasionally seeming to form eyes or faces. Often characters are dwarfed by the sheer cavernous size of the rooms they are in. Also look at how many scenes take place on a stage or lecture hall, and how Lang contrasts opposing shots of speaker (or performer) and audience – a metaphor for master and masses. He even has Mabuse sitting at his desk facing the camera, as if to make the real-life viewers his audience – a touch Lang used a fair bit throughout his work.

A frequent complaint about Dr Mabuse is its gargantuan length and I have to admit it does drag in places. Lang's following silent features, although also very long were extremely tight in structure and worked like a classical symphony in the way different parts complemented each other. Dr Mabuse is not quite up to that standard yet. While some of the individual acts are well-balanced little dramas in themselves, as a whole it is a little uneven. Mabuse also suffers from wordy title cards and a lack of convincing action sequences – again, problems that Lang would have solved by the time of Metropolis. It's worth remembering though that on its original release parts one and two were shown on consecutive nights, and it's much easier to digest this way. I wouldn't recommend any first-time viewer try to tackle the whole thing in one sitting.

Holding the whole thing together is a mesmerising performance from Rudolph Klein-Rogge in the title role. While acting in Hollywood was becoming increasingly naturalistic at this time, Germany was a little way behind and performances still tended to be a bit too theatrical and exaggerated. Lang however softens the impact of melodramatic acting by never letting the characters get too realistic in the first place. Cinema was like a comic-book for Lang, in his urban thrillers as much as in his exotic adventures, and this approach saves Dr Mabuse from becoming too strained and ridiculous.

Although it's not as polished as any of his later silents, Dr Mabuse was perhaps Lang's most influential film. The idea of revealing the identity and methods of the villain to the audience was no doubt a forerunner of Hitchcock's mode of building suspense. A young Sergei Eisenstein was given the task of cutting a shortened version of Mabuse for the Russian public, and the way Lang imbues each shot with meaning may have contributed to the concept of intellectual montage. This is not to mention the impact of the Mabuse character on generations of cinematic villains to come. Dr Mabuse, der Spieler is a far from perfect film, and can be tough to watch although it's not as dull as some would claim, and it's certainly a key film in several strands of cinematic development.

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