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The Return of Dr. Mabuse (1961)

Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 1966 (USA)
Evil mastermind Dr. Mabuse is using brainwashed prison inmates to commit crimes but the German police aided by an FBI agent is on his trail.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Ladislaus Fodor)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kommissar Lohmann
... Joe Como alias 'Nick Scappio' alias 'Bob Arco'
... Maria Sabrehm
... Warden Wolf
... Böhmler
... Dr. Mabuse
... Professor Julius Sabrehm
Rudolf Fernau ... Pfarrer Briefenstein
Joachim Mock ... Detective Voss
... Mrs. Pizarro
... Alberto Sandro
Henry Coubet ... Blinder
... Küster
Albert Bessler ... Trödler
Lou Seitz ... Mrs. Lohmann


Commissioner Lohmann is already planning his holidays. An unexpected phone call calls him back to work. A member of Interpol was murdered. The head of an organisation wants to come into contact with the gangster organisation of chicago. But who is this? Mysterious murders happen and all trails lead to a penitentiary. But there is Joe Como, FBI agent, who is helping commissioner Lohmann. But soon Lohmann doubts Comos' identity. When Lohmann sees the name of Dr. Mabuse mentioned in a book found by a victim he believes that Dr. Mabuse is the mind behind the crimes... Written by Matthias Luehr <mluehr@htwm.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He kills and kills without excuse, the evil and fiendish Dr. Mabuse ! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Phantom Fiend  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original German title referred to the successful TV series Stahlnetz (1958), which is based on the US police series Dragnet (1951) (it even used the famous "Dragnet" theme song). The German theatrical trailer showed the actual title "Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse", whereas the voiceover of the trailer announces "Das Stahnetz des Dr. Mabuse" (which means "The steel net..." instead of "In the steel net..."). See more »


Kommissar Lohmann: It's not the web I want, it's the spider.
See more »


Follows Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

A film for Mabuse-afficionados and a good presentation of the capabilities of west-german cinema in the early 60-ies
27 November 2000 | by See all my reviews

One of the better Mabuse-films of post-war West-Germany. Of course, none of these films came even close to the famous Mabuse original from the 20-ies. Dr. Mabuse is a mad scientist who uses his power to control and manipulate other minds. He is difficult to track and has the unpleasant feature of killing someone or lancing a coup in the most unexpected places and times. Usually, he uses devices as electronic mind-manipulators or hypnosis and has a gang of criminals at his disposal who carry out his orders and usually don't even know that their leader is the feared Mabuse. In the Dr.-Mabuse-sequels he was killed or hunted down several times but only to escape with mad genius and to appear another time. What makes this film interesting is the style and the scenic decoration with which the dark emotion and the mysteriousness are displayed that Dr. Mabuse implies. Supporting the mysterious atmosphere is that the film is made in black-and-white and the use of light has more effect on the atmosphere, although it is sometimes to theatralic. Some creepy details are remarkable for example masks or busts standing in a psychiatrist's office that contribute to the morbide background. Mabuse should be perceived like an unstoppable ghost - a task that has been very well accomplished. It has some kind of psycho-atmosphere - you can trust no one (maybe Mabuse has just manipulated your girlfriend's mind or a bling beggar is killing you on the street). The actors of this film are fairly unimpressive especially the unbearable Lex Barker who doesn't fit in this movie at all. The sole exception is the grummy Gert Froebe who plays the commissar once again and (for native-germans) can work with his saxonian dialect as well as putting his large body in police-like behaviour that is fun for anyone to watch as he is the only serious actor in this movie. Measured with international standards this film is a mediocre and unimpressive work and certainly not remarkable. But for german cinema it has a traditional connection with the Edgar-Wallace-movies that appeared at the same time. The Doktor-Mabuse-films use the same methods to create mystery, crime and psychological fear. Almost all of them are made in black-and-white and share the same pool of german actors that emerged in the 50-ies and 60-ies. This film is more interesting for someone who likes these pseudo-thrillers (as me) as for someone who wants to watch a serious movie. This film distinguishes itself as it is one of the more serious of the Mabuse-series with the plot being more conclusive and the solution of the case being more believable. And Gert Froebe's acting is noteworthy as it enriches this more or less pale movie.

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