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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

DVD - 2002
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
In the film The cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a somnambulist commits murders under a hypnotist's influence. Also featured is a lengthy excerpt of Genuine. Both films are examples of the German Expressionist movement.

Publisher: New York, NY : Kino on Video, c2002
Edition: Restored authorized ed
Branch Call Number: PN1995.75 .C335 2002
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (74 min.) :,si., col. tinted with b&w segments ;,4 3/4 in
Alternate Title: Genuine


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Aug 11, 2014
  • Bazooka_Joe rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Because this somewhat weird, German-Expressionist film (with its original colour tinting) is now 94 years old, I really did try to be lenient and cut it some slack with my overall rating of it.

But, with that said, I'm sorry to have to tell you ('cause I'm not going to lie), the best that I could ever possibly give as a score for this silent-era freakshow would only be a measly 1.5 stars, and that's all. Regardless of its old age, it just doesn't deserve more than that.

For one thing, at 75 minutes, this picture was about 20 minutes too long. And, when it came to its rather bizarre and deliberately distorted set designs, I found them, before long, to be quite boring, and literally under-whelming.

You can be sure, had this fantasy film been made in the USA (circa. 1920), I highly doubt that all the snobs-of-early-cinema would still be falling all over themselves with absolute, undying praise for it, right to this very day.

From my point of view, this vintage film's story was so simple that it came across as being downright simple-minded in nature. And, as far as the Dr. Caligari character goes, he was far from being convincingly sinister and treacherous. On the contrary, this dumpy, old creep struck me as being nothing but a stupid, senile, windbag who couldn't even scare a child.

Apr 15, 2013
  • pronto1961 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

the classic horror silent film.

Aug 29, 2011
  • AtomicFez rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Holy CRAP is this cool! It's purported to be the first horror film (it being from 1920, and "Nosferatu" didn't appear until 1922), and yet there's so much in place here that it's stunning that no-one had done one before. The story form has been around for a long time, but to present one visually and not simply present a stage play on film is another matter entirely. The look of the film is fantastic (and see if you can locate a copy of the Kino-release with the film tinting), with all sorts of nifty imagery. There's not a straight line anywhere, due to the "German Expressionist Style" making everything quite anarchic. The wrap-around telling of the story either adds an extra level of vagueness to the story — is it madness, is it a dream fantasy, or is it reality — or simply makes you wonder "why did they bother to complicate the thing?" I've not made up my mind which camp I'm in.


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app13 Version ofelia Last updated 2015/03/23 12:01