Dr.Mabuse-Der Spieler sets up the atmosphere of a post-WWI Germany better than any other German movie of the period. Fritz Lang was inspired by local newspapers and period articles into creating this masterpiece of the European cinema. Not an easy person to work with, Fritz Lang was very demanding of his staff and actors, pushing them beyond their limits to reach his vision. Produced by Decla-Bioscop, the leading company of the ’20s-’30s Germany, this epic runs 4 hours and a half in its restored version without even creating the slightest impression of monotony.
The character of Dr. Mabuse, played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge, is a landmark for the cinematic eye. A master of disguise, a deceitful man and a criminal, he plans everything in detail to reach his target. With his occult knowledge and power, Mabuse even hypnotises his opponents, bringing them to the state of little children. Through Dr. Mabuse, Lang describes best the decline of the German society after the war, which has brought a higher criminal rate. An absolute influence on film noir, thriller and gangster pictures.