5.1/10
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7 user 2 critic

The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez (1991)

Featuring music instead of any dialogue and set in a near Kafkaesque future, this loose remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari follows a bureaucrat whom mysterious Dr. Ramirez and his hideous sidekick want as their latest victim.

Director:

Peter Sellars
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mikhail Baryshnikov ... Cesar
Joan Cusack ... Cathy
Peter Gallagher ... Matt
Ron Vawter ... Dr. Ramirez
Kate Valk Kate Valk ... Sue
Gregory Wallace Gregory Wallace ... Bruce
Werner Klemperer ... Fat Man Looking for a Tax Break
Humbert Astredo Humbert Astredo ... Man with Red Dodge
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Narc
Jim Clayburgh Jim Clayburgh ... Cop No. 2
Herb Downer Herb Downer ... Morgue Attendant
Herbert Duarte Herbert Duarte ... Cop No. 1's Son
Paul Eckstein ... Janitor
Henderson Forsythe Henderson Forsythe ... Senior Member
Mateo Gómez ... Disciple
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Storyline

Featuring music instead of any dialogue and set in a near Kafkaesque future, this loose remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari follows a bureaucrat whom mysterious Dr. Ramirez and his hideous sidekick want as their latest victim.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

UK | France | Germany | USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

4 December 1991 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Kabinett des Dr. Ramirez See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on the 1920 German surreal horror film classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) See more »

Connections

Remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Harmonielehre
Composed by John Adams
Performed by San Francisco Symphony (as The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra)
Conducted by Edo de Waart
See more »

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User Reviews

Obscureplotsi
22 July 2004 | by FieCrierSee all my reviews

This is an unusual movie. I'd recently watched Thief, The (1952), another movie without any spoken dialogue or intertitles. That movie had a clear story that could be followed easily. This one is not so clear. To some extent Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, The (1991) borrows from Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (1920), but it's hardly a remake; no more so than Dr. Caligari (1989) I think.

There's no spoken dialogue or diegetic sound. The only audio is the musical score, one that reminded me very much of Philip Glass and in particular his three -qatsi scores. Perhaps in consequence, occasionally the picture reminded me of Godfrey Reggio's -qatsi films too; for example, sometimes there were montages of shots of buildings (this movie has more of a story, though). Occasionally the film is completely silent.

Sometimes there are words on the screen; some newspapers are glimpsed, a whole page of a book is seen (the page deals with the "disappeared" and the "Mad Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" in Argentina), and three business-sized cards with fortunes printed on them are seen. One character in the movie is seen mouthing words directly into the camera, but unfortunately I can't even guess what he might have been saying (if anything).

At the moment, this movie is labeled as a "Comedy" on IMDb. Perhaps it was meant as one, but no comedy was particularly evident to me. "Drama" seems more accurate. "Horror" wouldn't particularly fit; despite the roots in Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (1920) and several deaths, it's not really a horror movie.

Peter Gallagher's character works in an office, seated next to his roommate. He has a relationship with Joan Cusack's character. Their apartments are curiously bare, and they sleep on mattresses on the floor. Their boss is taken away by two people with badges. The city they work in has several peculiar homeless people, who are treated poorly by the police. For the rest, I guess you'll just have to try to see it.


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