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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | 19 March 1943 (USA)
A criminal mastermind uses hypnosis to rule the rackets after death.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Norbert Jacques (characters), Fritz Lang (scenario) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Docteur Mabuse
Thomy Bourdelle ... Professeur Baum
Gustav Diessl ... Thomas Kent
Rudolf Schündler ... Hardy
Jim Gérald Jim Gérald ... Commissaire Lohmann
Oskar Höcker Oskar Höcker ... Bredow
Theo Lingen ... Karetzky
Monique Rolland ... Lilli
Maurice Maillot Maurice Maillot ... Thomas Kent
Camilla Spira ... Juwelen-Anna
Ginette Gaubert Ginette Gaubert ... Anna
Paul Henckels ... Lithograph / Litographer
René Ferté ... Hardy
Otto Wernicke ... Inspector Karl Lohmann
Raymond Cordy ... Koretsky
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Storyline

Berlin police inspector Lohmann investigates a case, in which all clues lead to a man, who's in a hospital for mental illnesses for since many years - Dr. Mabuse. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fritz Lang's Meisterwerk. Der Gewaltigste Film der Gegenwart. (Fritz Lang's masterpiece. The most tremendous film of the present.) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was banned by the Nazi Regime in 1933. According to Fritz Lang, Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, invited him for a meeting. Goebbels said himself and Hitler counted Lang's earlier movies as their favourites, notably Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924), Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (1924) and Metropolis (1927). However, they did not like his latest movies that much. The reasons are simple: M (1931) and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) could be interpreted as metaphors of the rising Nazi ideology. The former depicts an underground evil organisation replacing the police and the latter shows an insane leader of organised crime using Nazi slogans. Despite this, because of his reputation and skills, Goebbels offered Lang to be an official movie director of the Nazi regime. Lang said he would think about it. Lang later stated that he fled that same evening for Paris without being able to withdraw his money from the bank. Actually, he did leave, but later on after organising his trip. And as we know he eventually left France for the USA. One anecdote was mentioned by Lang, but it is impossible to know if it is true or not. After Goebbels made his proposal, Lang replied: "But you must know my mother was Jewish", to which Goebbels replied: "We decide who is Jewish or not!" See more »

Goofs

Hofmeister supposedly scratches Mabuse's name in a window pane of his apartment with a ring, but Hofmeister is not wearing any rings when Division 2-B enter his apartment. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Inspector Lohmann: "Magic Fire Music," old man.
[whistles]
Inspector Lohmann: You know that one, Müller? That's from "Die Walküre". Those are the girls who carry dead police inspectors directly up to heaven from the Alexanderplatz with a "Hey ho." On horseback.
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Alternate Versions

During the early years of sound films before dubbing and subtitling, one way to present a film to a foreign audience was to record the film with a translated screenplay with foreign-language cast. As this was a time consuming and expensive procedure, most filmmakers who did this tended to only make one alternative language feature. Producer Seymour Nebenzal felt that creating this alternative version would enhance international sales for The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. The French-language screenplay was adapted by René Sti. Lang was fluent in French and directed The Testament of Dr. Mabuse in both French and German. Actor Karl Meixner played Hofmeister in both versions of the film as he was bilingual. Rudolf Klein-Rogge also features as Mabuse in the French version with his lines being dubbed. The French version, titled Le Testament du Dr. Mabuse, was edited by Lothar Wolff in France while the film was still in production. See more »


Soundtracks

Die Walküre (The Valkyries)
(1856) (uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
Portion hummed by Klaus Pohl
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User Reviews

French version of celebrated crime movie.
5 November 2009 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

Fritz Lang's Das TESTAMENT des Dr.MABUSE is a mesmerising, master-crafted entertainment which no serious movie freak will have missed. The largely forgotten, parallel French version, filmed simultaneously with a French speaking cast, is like most of these foreign versions, a poor relation. I'm glad I saw the German one first - twice in a week as it happens.

Shorter than the German film, it truncates the lovers subplot and plays it with colourless juveniles, omits the giant eye make up shots of Klein Rogge, which re-call Dr. Baum's art collection and, worse, attempts to up the pace by chopping off the fade out scene transitions - giving correctly, the impression that there is something missing.

The German cast is uniformly superior, with the possible exception of the jolly, frankfurter-cooking henchman, who does manage to make an impression. Jim Gerald was a comedian - effectively so in CHAPEAU de PAILEE d'ITALIE and FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS - and he lacks the monolith menace that Wernike provides. Thommy Bordelle is normally an unimposing performer and, giving it his best shot, he's still no fair swap for the the great Oscar Beregei, in the one circulating film where we get to hear Beregei's voice. The French Dr. Kramm (who is he?), in particular, is out classed by Theodore Loos (the secretary from METROPOLIS among other stand-out performances).

Well it's still Lang's Mabuse film and remains intermittently effective - Hoffmeister's vision of Lohman's entry into his see through cell is still a grabber - and it is another piece of the jig saw and another, if minor, Lang movie. So nice to get to see it after all these years.


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Details

Country:

Germany | France

Language:

German | French

Release Date:

19 March 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crimes of Dr. Mabuse See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,690
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nero-Film AG, Nero Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)| Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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