Fritz Lang • Germany • 1922
Dr. Mabuse is a gambler, hypnotist, and all-around criminal mastermind. This legendary silent film contains many crime genre elements from the time, including characters who slip in and out of disguise, mind control, gambling clubs, exotic women, brutal henchmen and unexpected plot twists. Masterfully coalescing pulp material with social critique of the decadence characterizing 1920s Germany, Fritz Lang affirms his status as one of the true greats of the silent era.
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler had a major impact on the development of the crime thriller, building upon the work of the pioneering French film serialist Louis Feuillade (Les Vampires). This epic two-part tale was originally released as two separate films, respectively subtitled The Great Gambler and Inferno, and that format is reproduced here.
This authorized version of the 1922 film was mastered from a 2000 restoration conducted by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, using existing camera negatives from the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin, and the Filmmuseum in Stadtmuseum, Munich. Featuring extra footage (which reveals more plot information, close-ups, and a decidedly more provocative and lurid atmosphere), Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler shows not only the longest available version of the film, but the one which most closely represents Lang's original vision.