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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

This sequel to the silent picture and the novel, which both had enormous successes more than 12 years earlier, certainly shows the influence of American mystery pictures. The story is very long-winded and even an ingenious director like Fritz Lang could not prevent its being rather slow-moving in places.

Cast:
Rudolf Klein-Rogge Otto Wernicke Oscar Beregi Gustav Diessl Vera Liessem Karl Meixner

This sequel to the silent picture and the novel, which both had enormous successes more than 12 years earlier, certainly shows the influence of American mystery pictures. The story is very long-winded and even an ingenious director like Fritz Lang could not prevent its being rather slow-moving in places.

Dr. Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), great scientist and greater criminal, is confined in a lunatic asylum when the tale begins. Yet the mysterious crimes committed in his own style continue and their perpetrators cannot be traced. Mabuse’s gang receive their instructions from a mysterious source against which they are unable to put up any resistance. Detective Chief Lohmann (Otto Wernicke) is trying to get at the bottom of the mystery.

The crimes continue after the death of Mabuse. A doctor at the asylum finds the testament of Mabuse, with plans of crimes committed since his death, on the table of Dr. Baum (Oscar Beregi), the alienist who treated Mabuse and made a special study of his case. This doctor dies before he can speak of his discovery, the detective on the track of the mystery goes crazy, and other mysterious tragedies appear.

Baum’s difficult double part, that of the alienist and of a maniac hypnotically obsessed, is played admirably by Beregi. Klein-Rogge, in the figure of Mabuse, is very suggestive.

[As the pic was banned by the Nazi authorities, its first showing was in Paris in 1933 (in the French version). World preem of the German version was in Budapest the same year. Above review is of that showing.]

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

Germany

Production: Nero. Director Fritz Lang; Producer Seymour Nebenzal; Screenplay Thea von Harbou, [Fritz Lang]; Camera Fritz Arno Wagner, Karl Vash; Art Director Karl Vollbrecht, Emil Hasler

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1933. Running time: 118 MIN.

With: Rudolf Klein-Rogge Otto Wernicke Oscar Beregi Gustav Diessl Vera Liessem Karl Meixner

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