"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" It's Goldfinger vs. Mabuse in Lang's last movie. It was a long journey from 'Dr. Mabuse the Gambler' which I consider to be a very good film to 'The Testament of Dr. Mabuse', which I consider to be a great film. Somehow translation of the story to 1960 doesn't really do it any favors. But Mabuse is a great villain, and so they kept making movies with him.
His final cinematic testament, the Master Himself, Fritz Lang, returns to the unheimlich figure of Dr. Mabuse, primordial archetype & subject of his finest two earlier German films. 1000 AUGEN, its honed sophistication pumped w/ renewed vigour, looks forward to later films as diverse as ALPHAVILLE and Tony Scott's ENEMY OF THE STATE...but also Adam Curtis's HYPERNORMALIZATION and the 21st century technics of chaos.
It was fitting that Fritz Lang would return to Dr. Mabuse and finish the trilogy at the end of his career. While the 2 first ones were pure pulp fiction fun, the third one was the building stone for the more serious German crime movies of the 1960s - well as serious as a film with hypnotism, seances and a blind clairvoyant can be. Lacks the visual extravaganza of early Lang but the Nazi hotel would make any spy envy.
Es ist nicht das großartige Meisterwerk, das einige (vor allem englisch- und französischsprachige) Kritiker darin sehen wollen. Es ist aber auch nicht das traurige letzte Werk, das in Deutschland daraus gemacht wird. Im Kontext der deutschen Krimi-Produktionen der Zeit ragen die "1000 Augen" schon sehr heraus. Die vielfachen Täuschungen, falschen Identitäten und Verwicklungen haben durchaus eine politische Dimension.
Just as fast paced as his previous Mabuse epic (a desert island pick for yours truly), and maybe with its pulse even more firmly on the zeitgeist (one line that hits hard today: "I only watched the news for him"). If the budgets were lower, Lang's scope was just as epic as ever, as his huge cast of characters waltz around a spellbinding plot where seeing is everything. Plus a "Heat" level gunfight!
The bad dub job kind of took away from this picture but there are some good elements here that would set the tone for espionage and thrillers that followed. Fritz Lang was a true director of the cinema, he could weave anything together and get you something out of it.
(Vu sur Arte) J'avais adoré le "Testament du Dr Mabuse" (1933), mais également détesté le kitchissime diptyque "hindou" de Lang, réalisé quelques années plus tôt. Or, pour son dernier film, Lang revient à son "coeur de métier" et nous offre un feu d'artifice qui ne dépareille pas par rapport à son prédécesseur! Une belle galerie de personnages, un scénario bien retors, et une poursuite finale très bien maîtrisée. :-)
The last feature of the master is a impressive compilation of his knowledge and favorites themes. The high-tempo rhythm, the transitions (cuts on sound, a trademark at this point), and a De Palmesque script offered the fans a delightful goodbye. And a few years before Argento's breakthrouh, a great whodunit? about the act of seeing.
Le dernier film de Fritz Lang n'est pas sous-estimé du tout, c'est un naufrage qui ressemble à un interminable Derrick. Les plans creux succèdent aux palabres et inversement, l'invraisemblance au néant. Le Fritz Lang des années 30 avait depuis longtemps disparu, et ce piètre objet ne fera même pas office de cadavre.
Lang's trilogy is interesting for the way in which it increasingly moved away from its subject and instead studied the dissemination of the ideas of one of Germany's master manipulators. The effect is a study in pervasive surveillance and paranoia, conveniently tied into the idea that so many fates can be easily swayed. Unfortunately I found this third outing a little less compelling.
Lang continues his partnership with Artur Brauner, revisiting the criminal mastermind that played such a big role in his German career, comes out with a sometimes confusing, stilted, but typically Langian spy thriller worthy enough to stand as the last gasp of an aging, blinding, master.
Lang's final film is one of his most underrated. Stylistically, it's some of his best work, even if it sadly lacks the strong resonance and political implications of the two previous Mabuse films. But what comes across most strongly is a vindicated sense of nostalgia for an old-school brand of thrills. Here's a swan song built for pure enjoyment. What can I say? The man went out on a high note.