Saturday, April 12, 2008

13. Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, Parts 1 and 2) - 1922

Director: Fritz Lang

Synopsis: Dr. Mabuse is a criminal mastermind, psychoanalyst, master of disguise and gambler. He uses all of these to cheat at cards in the local underground gambling clubs. American millionaire Hull teams up with inspector von Wenk to take down Mabuse after being cheated out of 200,000 marks. After arresting Mabuse's aquaintance Carozza, they unsuccessfully try to get information out of her. Hull gets killed in an attempt to kill von Wenk at some point. Von Wenk assumes using a woman, Countess Told, will get Carozza to talk. The countess refuses because Carozza and Mabuse are in love except Mabuse convinces Carozza to kill herself instead of condemn him.

Mabuse uses, through hypnotism, Countess Told's husband to cheat at cards. Count Told, since he doesn't gamble, goes to Mabuse for help. Mabuse, because he is now in love with Countess Told, convinces Count Told to hide himself from everyone. Countess Told demands to see her husband which causes Mabuse to force Count told to go death.

Von Wenk has been bothering Mabuse's crime family this whole time even though von Wenk doesn't know Mabuse is the criminal because of his disguises. Mabuse host a hypnotism show in another disguise and convinces von Wenk to go. The plan is that he will convince, through hypnotism, von Wenk to kill himself by way of an "accident." It doesn't work and von Wenk has figured out Mabuse is behind all of the crimes.

The police and military surround Mabuse's place. Instead of going quietly, Mabuse chooses to fight. The rest of his does the fighting while Mabuse escapes to his counterfeiting hideout. At this point, the ghosts of his victims haunt him and he goes crazy.

Review: I've seen various running times listed for this. The version I saw was four and one half hours.

I watched this a while ago. I guess I forgot to write anything about it other than the synopsis. I didn't realize until I found this was only a draft. Take my word for it that it is worth watching. Do not be intimidated by the lengthy run time. The movie could have been shorter but I appreciated the throw in everything but the kitchen sink approach because it all worked.

Score: 9/10

No comments: