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The Cabinet of Caligari (1962)

Approved | | Thriller | 27 June 1962 (Sweden)
Jane's car breaks down and she makes her way to a nearby estate, owned by a mysterious man named Caligari. Soon she finds that she has become a virtual prisoner, and none of the strange ... See full summary »




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Complete credited cast:
Jane Lindstrom
Caligari / Paul
Richard Davalos ...
Mark Lindstrom
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Dr. Frank David
Constance Ford ...
Vicki Trickett ...
Jeanie the Maid
Doreen Lang ...
Charles Fredericks ...
Bob (as Charles E. Fredericks)
Phyllis Teagardin ...
Little Girl


Jane's car breaks down and she makes her way to a nearby estate, owned by a mysterious man named Caligari. Soon she finds that she has become a virtual prisoner, and none of the strange inhabitants of the estate are willing or capable of helping her escape. Caligari reveals himself as a passive pervert, showing her filthy pictures, spying on her, and trying to make her talk about intimate details of her life. She attempts to free herself by the only means at her disposal. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






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Release Date:

27 June 1962 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In his autobiography Bloch expressed regret about getting screenplay credit on this film as it was rewritten, and he felt ruined, by one of the producers - who was refused credit by the writer's guild. See more »


As Jane sits at the dinner table having a private discussion with Paul, the bowl of lobster bisque she refuses to eat disappears between shots. See more »


Caligari: How old were you when you first let a man make love to you? Next, who was he? Next, how did you feel at the time? Next, how did you feel afterwards? What did you feel? What did you think? Were you pleased, frightened, ecstatic, disgusted? What did he say? What words did you speak? That's what I want to know. Now. Tell me. Now. Now. All of it, now. Tell me. YES!
See more »


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User Reviews

See It For Glynis
9 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As was the case with many baby boomers, my first encounter with South African-born Glynis Johns, the daughter of renowned Welsh character actor Mervyn Johns, was via her short-lived American TV show, "Glynis." On this 1/2-hour sitcom, which only ran from September-December 1963 on CBS, Glynis played a character named Glynis Granville, a mystery writer who helped her husband solve crimes, and who was absolutely--to my young mind--delightful. A recent viewing of one of Glynis' later films, 1973's "Vault of Horror," served to remind me of just how charming she has always been, with her pretty blonde looks and inimitable husky voice. So it was with great eagerness that I even more recently popped one of her films that I'd never seen, "The Cabinet of Caligari," into the DVD player at home. Released in May 1962, five months before Glynis' 39th birthday, this "remake" of the classic German silent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) jettisons most of the original's story line, salvaging only that famous twist ending. Scripted by Robert "Psycho" Bloch, the film introduces us to 27-year-old Jane Lindstrom (our Glynis), who seeks help at the ultramodern house of Dr. Caligari (Dan O'Herlihy) after her automobile suffers a blowout. The doctor is more than accommodating, but after she is unwittingly drugged, poor Jane realizes that she--and a good half dozen other residents under the doctor's roof--is a prisoner in this bizarre household, while Caligari's demands for highly personal information, as well as his peeping Tom proclivities, abuse of other "guests" and proffering of pornographic pictures, only add to Jane's distress....

Though lacking the surreal sets that made the original film an enduring and endearing classic of German Expressionism, the 1962 "Caligari" is still a fairly strange experience. Director Roger Kay utilizes interesting camera angles, freeze frames and occasionally non sequitur dialogue to engender an atmosphere of the macabre. Kay makes excellent use of space in his CinemaScope frame, and yes, DOES throw in some decidedly Expressionistic FX toward the film's conclusion. (I should perhaps add here that those viewers who choose to watch this DVD utilizing the "full-screen" option, rather than the "wide-screen," will be lacking almost 50% of the image, and will certainly be missing most of the picture's impact.) The director is ably abetted by the excellent camera work of John L. Russell, who had lensed "Psycho" for Hitchcock two years earlier (Jane Lindstrom, it might be added, has a bathtub experience in the film that is not QUITE as harrowing as Marion Crane's!), as well as by the lovely and memorable score provided here by Gerald Fried. But surely, this picture belongs to Glynis Johns, who perforce appears in every single scene in it. She is simply superb here, running the gamut from sweet to scared, haggard to Marilyn Monroe-type sexpot, suicidal and submissive to zesty and domineering; practically an Oscar-worthy performance! (And while I'm on the subject, hey, Academy: Glynis is 88 as of this writing. Howzabout an honorary Oscar for this wonderfully unique performer while she's still with us?) Perfectly cast here, she brings a combination of steely outrage and befuddled defenselessness to her role that is quite wonderful to behold, and makes the film--essentially a 100-minute-long red herring--a genuine must-see, and one that can stand independently of its famous forebear....

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