Shortly after a traveling showman, Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss), arrives in the town of Holstenwall with his cadaverous somnambulist, Cesare (Conrad Veidt)—who, the doctor claims, is able to predict the future—a number of persons are murdered. Following the first of these killings, two locals, Francis (Friedrich Feher) and his friend Alan, attend a performance given by Caligari and Cesare, at which the latter prophesies that Alan will die before the next dawn. When his friend is killed that same night, Francis begins to suspect that Caligari and his strange companion may be responsible for the murders. The young hero’s subsequent efforts to protect both his town and Jane (Lil Dagover), the woman he loves, reveal, however, that there is far more to this story than is at first apparent. –movierapture.com
Robert Wiene, born April 27, 1873, in Breslau, studied law in Berlin and Vienna from 1894 to 1896 before he changed his subject and became a Doctor of Philosophy. In spring of 1908 he became the head of Kleines Schauspielhaus in Vienna for a short period of time and was a leaseholder in the foundation of Neue Wiener Bühne, after Kleines Schauspielhaus was closed in August. But in May 1909 he already left the management of Neue Wiener Bühne.
From 1912 on, Wiene worked in Germany and Austria as a writer and director in the film business. From 1915 on, he worked as a dramaturg and writer for Messter-Film GmbH, wrote screen plays for comedies of errors, melodramas, and other light entertainment movies. Until 1919, Wiene participated in altogether 18 Henny Porten films, and even directed three of them. Furthermore, he wrote screen plays for Deutsche Bioscop and Graf Kolowrat’s Sascha-Filmindustrie in Vienna where he also worked as a director in 1919.
In 1919/20, he directed… read more
There are few more important or more influential horror films in cinematic history than Robert Wiene's German Expressionist masterpiece, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. The film that started the Expressionist movement, CALIGARI is a frenzied, stylish nightmare about a mad psychiatrist and his murderous somnambulist, Cesar. From the dynamic, dreamlike design to the oft-copied twist, CALIGARI has never been equaled.
Was slightly underwhelmed given the film's reputation but I still rather enjoyed it. Perhaps a second viewing will increase my appreciation but right now I can say I thought it was good not great. Absolutely loved the production design but the story seemed rather overly convoluted (but maybe that was just the era). It is definitely worth checking out, as it is an extremely important, groundbreaking film.
An intrepid reporter pursues a mad killer through scenarios culled from Poe and RL Stevenson in this German horror romp.
As influential as Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is, the first thing one notices about the movie is its surreal backdrop, making it a prime example of German Expressionism. With its jagged… read review
The sets are crazy. That’s German expressionism for you. The movie moves a little slow at times. The story has influenced many later works, but this original does not always keep you on the edge of… read review