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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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 »
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NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Western Union
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Off The Shelf – Episode 103 – New Blu-ray Releases for September 13th and 20th
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Dr. Mabuse The Gambler
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User Reviews:
superior for its time See more (34 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 ... Die Russin
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:
The car seen in the first few minutes of the film, during the train robbery, is a 1911 Brennabor Landaulet Typ F. Brennabor was the biggest auto manufacturer in Germany for part of the 1920s, to be surpassed eventually by Opel. The company stopped producing automobiles by the early 1930s, and went back to producing baby carriages, bicycles and motorcycles. It was finally dismantled in 1945.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 Ulysses' Gaze (1995)See more »

FAQ

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
superior for its time, 11 June 2008
Author: mukava991 from United States

This film, like many of Fritz Lang's best efforts, mixes pulp fiction, realism, fantasy and social comment, in this case to adapt to the screen Jacques Norbert's serial novel about a diabolical mastermind (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) who can destabilize the national economy by manipulation of the stock market, operate an underground counterfeiting ring manned by blind slaves, hypnotize card players into losing all of their money to him and even engineer a mass hallucination. He changes his identity for every caper via costumes, wigs, prosthetics and fake facial hair. He has in his employ an army of henchmen from slum denizens and cutthroats to a celebrated follies dancer whom he uses as a lure for wealthy victims. And for what? His purpose in life is to "play the game" and undermine his opponent's will. At one point he states that there is no such thing as love, only lust and the will to power (or, as some interpretations go, the will to possess what one desires). When state prosecutor Von Wenk (the sturdy Bernhard Goetzke) launches an investigation into this one-man crime wave his pursuit covers the social spectrum from the dives and gutters of the underworld to the palaces of the nobility.

The film is beautifully designed and photographed and organized into scenes and acts. Each scene is a story unto itself. This structuring helps provide a centering or equilibrium for the viewer amidst the cascade of events and characters.

Among Mabuse's victims: A bored countess (Gertrud Welcker) who frequents the illegal gambling houses to observe the reactions to wins and losses on the faces of the players so that she can vicariously experience passion. She longs for an adventure the likes of which she can never experience at home with her wimpy husband who spends his time tinkering with antique art objects. Little does she know that she is about to be plunged into the adventure of her life.

Another young beauty, this one a prominent cabaret performer (Aud Egede Nissen), has fallen under the spell of Dr. Mabuse, lives in an apartment adjacent to his hotel suite and serves as bait for unsuspecting victims like the wealthy young Edgar Hull (the not-so-young Paul Richter), who is milked of his fortune by Mabuse.

No one can defy Mabuse. He seems to be everywhere and know everything, so that if you dare betray him you are as good as dead. This terror ensures his gang's devotion. The similarities to Hitler (or any totalitarian leader with secret police tentacles reaching far and wide) are obvious and this film has been cited often as a foreshadowing of the Hitler era. Part 2 is even subtitled "a story for our time." The notion of conspiratorial forces operating behind the scenes was on the German mind when this film was made.

There are many startling parallels between MABUSE and the 1920 classic THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, an interesting fact considering the legend that Lang was involved in the conceptual stage of CALIGARI. Both stories feature a spooky doctor with hypnotic powers who spreads evil through the land. In both films the identity of the central evil character changes: Dr. Mabuse assumes many disguises; Dr. Caligari remains himself until he appears as a psychiatrist at the end. The sign on Mabuse's door reads "Psychoanalyse." Caligari's somnambulist predicts a man will die within hours; Mabuse hypnotizes a man into driving himself over the bank of a canal. The villains even visually resemble each other in both films: Mabuse often wears white fright wigs and high hats reminiscent of Werner Krauss's look in Caligari. MABUSE operates on a wider canvas than CALIGARI. Whereas Caligari's only instrument is his somnambulist slave, Mabuse operates an extensive network of henchmen. At the climax of both stories a word ("Caligari"/"Melior") is animatedly superimposed over the screen action to intensify the impact. The whole of CALIGARI is designed expressionistically; expressionistic sets are used minimally and subtly in Mabuse but the subject of expressionism is briefly discussed in one scene wherein Mabuse describes it as "another game" or words to that effect. The expressionism in CALIGARI is all-encompassing; in MABUSE it is under control, part of a larger design. In both films there are scenes in prison cells. In both films a beautiful young woman who has fainted is carried off and then liberated.

In the Kino edition of MABUSE there is one apparent technical glitch: a car chase near the end starts at night and suddenly flips to daylight with no sense of transition. If this was Lang's idea of "day for night" shooting, he overshot the mark hugely.

On display here is Lang's penchant for mixing exotic pulp, unadorned realism, and pure fantasy. In MABUSE it is the doctor's magical hypnotic powers that stretch and finally break credulity, woven as they are into an otherwise naturalistic crime melodrama. This mixture of the fantastical and the ordinary occurs in all of Lang's 1920's work, right through WOMAN IN THE MOON (1929). Only with M (1931) does he begin to abandon fantasy and concentrate on social issues, whereupon he steered clear of pulp and exotica until late in life when he returned to the genre in the late 1950s with his India trilogy. But by that time film audiences had long outgrown the conventions of the 1920's. And so ended Lang's career.

But the sheer scope and expert execution of this film under the conditions that prevailed in Germany in 1921-22, supervised by a man barely 30 years old, is quite an achievement and should be seen.

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