by guest writer
Das Testament des Dr Mabuse (1933) marks the end of the German era for Fritz Lang and what a way to go! The story line follows in the footsteps of Dr. Mabuse der Spieler – Ein Bild der Zeit (Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, 1922), the greatest European psychological thriller of all times, if I am permitted to say so. With this second movie, the director uses sound in an experimental way to emphasize the struggle of the characters that come to be under the control of Dr. Mabuse. First of all, you need to know that the character the movie is built upon is a multivalent one: he is a skillful doctor with a private practice, interested in the occult, a mastermind eager to create disorder and, finally, he is a talented artist able to disguise himself into anything and anyone he wishes to.
Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse is in a way a testament left by Fritz Lang to decaying and degrading Germany of the 1930s. He subtlely portrays a society in which paranoia grows, people have their liberties forbidden and, not at last, “organizations” tend to subdue the will of the free, transforming it into powerful and dangerous weapons against the others. A compelling and complex psychological film, it is a visual delight full of expressionistic setting, lighting, inventive camera angles and special effects. Simply one of the best pieces of cinema ever created.
photo: still from the film | Nero-Film AG