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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (original title)
Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director:

Robert Wiene
Reviews
Popularity
4,233 ( 48)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Werner Krauss ... Dr. Caligari
Conrad Veidt ... Cesare
Friedrich Feher ... Franzis (as Friedrich Fehér)
Lil Dagover ... Jane Olsen
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Alan (as Hans Heinz v. Twardowski)
Rudolf Lettinger Rudolf Lettinger ... Dr. Olsen (as Rudolph Lettinger)
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Storyline

Francis, a young man, recalls in his memory the horrible experiences he and his fiancée Jane recently went through. It is the annual fair in Holstenwall. Francis and his friend Alan visit The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, an exhibit where the mysterious doctor shows the somnambulist Cesare, and awakens him for some moments from his death-like sleep. When Alan asks Cesare about his future, Cesare answers that he will die before dawn. The next morning Alan is found dead. Francis suspects Cesare of being the murderer, and starts spying on him and Dr. Caligari. The following night Cesare is going to stab Jane in her bed, but softens when he sees the beautiful woman, and instead of committing another murder, he abducts her. Jane's father awakens because of the noise, and he and some servants follow the fleeing Cesare. When Cesare cannot outrun his pursuers anymore, he gently places Jane down on the ground, and runs away. Francis and the police investigate the caravan of Dr. Caligari, but the ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dr. Caligari and his mysterious slave - the black and white phantom who lives in a cabinet and goes forth in his sleep to do his master's bidding. the weirdest characters ever seen on the screen and the most daringly different picture ever seen. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Hans Janowitz claims to have gotten the idea for the film when he was at a carnival one day. He saw a strange man lurking in the shadows. The next day he heard that a girl was brutally murdered there. He went to the funeral and saw the same man lurking around. He had no proof that the strange man was the murderer, but he fleshed the whole idea out into his film. See more »

Goofs

In the wide shot, the sign at the asylum reads "Insane Asylum," in English. In the close-up, the sign is written in German (Kino Blu-ray Disc version, may not be present in all editions of the film). See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

In 1993 Jeff Forrester / USA Networks produced NEW copyrighted versions of mainstream silent films w/ EXCLUSIVE scores & NEW inter-titles. All but one were in black & white. There were 7 in total. They were aired on the SYFY (SCI-FI) Channel during the Christmas holiday in 1993 as part of SCI-FI Channel's Silent Cinema Marathon. It was hosted by renowned film critic Jeffrey Lyons & was taped @ the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE in Astoria, NY. These particular versions have NEVER been available in ANY home video format. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They were distributed by JORDEXX TELEVISION, INC. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

User Reviews

 
Masterpiece of German Expressionism !
22 October 2002 | by mistern2@zipmail.comSee all my reviews

This picture is a masterpiece ! How could someone think in something like this at that time ? The film has really good casting ! Werner Krauss is excellent playing Doctor Caligari and Conrad Veidt (Cesare) too !

This movie has an obscure and bizarre mood makes the film looks really scary sometimes ... The painted scenario gave the film the touch that it needed ! It puts you in a nightmarish world , gives you the sensation of claustrofobia , depression and madness ! The objects have a strange shape and an irregular geometry that collaborate for the maintenance of the dark mood !

But the most important thing in this motion picture is the open ended story ! You´re never sure about the end ! It has so many ways of interpretation... It´s useless to try to define "one end" to this movie. You´ll be always asking yourself about the legitimacy of the man´s vision of the story.

It´s not scary , just sometimes , as I said. But it´s dark and it uses the shadows and lights effects so well that I was amazed the first time I saw and I still amazed ! German Films of that time were really good !

Congratulations to Robert Wienne and his cast ! It´s a masterpiece of madness and paranoia!

Rating : *****/******


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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

27 February 1920 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,811

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,811
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Decla-Bioscop AG See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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