7.9/10
7,654
44 user 81 critic

Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (original title)
Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Norbert Jacques (novel), Thea von Harbou (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Dr. Mabuse (as Rudolf Klein Rogge)
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 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 Julius E. Herrmann ... Emil Schramm (as Julius Herrmann)
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Storyline

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 Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edgar Hull's gambling losses (170,000 marks) would be worth widely varying amounts in dollars depending on what time of year the game was played, thanks to very high rates of inflation of the mark against the dollar in 1922. In January, marks were approximately 200:1, making his loss about $850, or more than $12,000 today. In December, however, with marks worth only 8000:1, his loss would have been a mere $20, or about $300 today (2019). See more »

Goofs

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

Prosecutor von Wenk: [On the phone] This is Prosecutor von Wenk! Dr. Mabuse, I ask you to offer no resistance against the state authorities and turn yourself in.
Dr. Mabuse: I feel like a state within a state with which I have always been at war! If you want me, come and get me!
Prosecutor von Wenk: We are prepared to move against you using the harshest measures. Give up your senseless resistance!
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Alternate Versions

The U.S. release through Janus Films divides this into two separate films: "Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler" (at 120 minutes) and "Dr. Mabuse, King of Crime" (at 93 minutes). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Simple Men (1992) See more »

User Reviews

 
The manipulative Dr. Mabuse.
10 March 2007 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

This is the movie that features one of fist arch-criminals, Dr. Mabuse. A manipulative character, who by hypnosis manipulates people and set them up against each other and steal their money, by letting him play card games against him, while he lets his opponents deliberately loose, even when they have the better cards. He manipulates for more money and the love from respectable woman but also most definitely purely for his own pleasure. It doesn't need to be explained why Dr. Mabuse is evil, he just simply IS. That is what makes a great and memorable movie villain.

Definitely true that the second halve of the movie is better than the first. In the second halve the movie really starts to take pace and form. Does it make the first part obsolete? I think not. It perfectly shows how manipulative Dr. Mabuse and the characters also get strongly developed in it. But yes, it's definitely true that the movie is a long sit. Almost 4 hours is of course a long time (and there even is a longer version). It does not ever make the movie bad or boring but it does make it a bit tiresome at times. The movie also isn't easy to follow but that often is the curse of early narrative full-length movies from the '10's and '20's of the previous century.

For 60% of the movie, the movie concentrates on card games. Some of the sequence involving the games are made to look more exciting and and tense than in any James Bond movie ever had been the case.

The movie uses some good early cinematic ticks and also some interesting storytelling techniques such as some interesting fast flashbacks, to help to remind to the viewer of what happened earlier in the story.

The movie also shows some early film-noir tendencies and other thriller and mystery elements. Not just with its story, psychological thriller elements or style of film-making but also with its characters. The main villain Dr. Mabuse is of course the best example of this. He plays an early full-blooded big movie villain, who is also being accompanied by a couple of typical crook-like looking henchmen. All elements that later would become defining for the genre. The movie is about good versus evil, in good early cinematic form.

Some of the tricks make sure that the movie is filled with a couple of memorable and effective sequences, mainly regarding the manipulative hypnosis sequences, by Dr. Mabuse. It makes the movie highly imaginative and original, though it all obviously is not as revolutionary as the other Fritz Lang classics; "Metropolis" and "M".

Of course by todays standards the acting in the movie is definitely over-the-top. Fritz Lang never casted actors just because of their acting skills but also because of their powerful looks. It all helps to make the early acting in Lang movies still fascinating and powerful to watch. Bernhard Goetzke as the state attorney von Welk is a great 'main-hero' for the movie. Of course Rudolf Klein-Rogge is also great as Dr. Mabuse and so is Alfred Abel, though I liked him in "Metropolis" even better.

Definitely worth seeing, if you can handle its long running time.

9/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

None | German | English | French | Latin | Swedish

Release Date:

30 September 1922 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler part one: The Great Gamble See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Uco-Film GmbH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (part 2) | (part 1) | (part 2) | (part 1) | (video) | (Murnau Foundation restoration)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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