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(Review originally written at 3 January 2008)

Of course this isn't the most classic or best Fritz Lang movie but it nevertheless is a more than worthy last one by him. It's not that he died shortly afterward (he lived till 1976) but he lost his eye sight and by 1964 he was already nearly blind. It feels right that he ended his directing career with a Dr. Mabuse movie. His previous 2 directed Dr. Mabuse movies, "Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit" and "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse" are among his best and also best known works. He obviously had some real passion and respect for the character of Dr. Mabuse. Why else would he had made 3 movies involving the character, over the course of 4 decades. The character is of course also a real intriguing ones. He was one of the first real movie villain in the 1922 movie "Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit". A character that manipulates, influences peoples will, all for his own benefits, with the help of hypnotic and supernatural powers.

Just like 7 of the 8 Dr. Mabuse movies made, this movie is shot in atmospheric black & white. Fritz Lang made a few color movies late in his career but for this movie he went back to his beloved black & white. No doubt he did this on intentions to let this movie connect more and better to the previous 2 Dr. Mabuse movie, made before this one. After all, the last Dr. Mabuse made before this one dates back from 1933.

Even though this movie is made 27 years later, it's still a direct sequel to to "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse". It makes lots of references to the events which occurred in that movie. However if you haven't seen the previous 2 movies, I think you'll also still have a good time watching this movie and understand the events in it.

The visual style and style of film-making is also mostly the same when compared to the 1933 movie. A style Fritz Lang was of course very experienced in, being one of the best directors of the '20's and '30's. Nevertheless the movie is still set in its 'present' day 1960. It makes this a '60's movie in '30's style, which also provides the movie with a few clumsiness's and at times makes this movie feel, sound and look way more outdated. It therefor can be argued if this was the right approach. No doubt it is also part of the reason why this movie isn't as well known and appreciated as the previous two Dr. Mabuse movies from 1933 and 1922.

The cinematography within this movie is especially great and helps to give the movie its own unique atmosphere and old fashioned feeling style.

Gert Fröbe was really excellent in this movie. He proofs himself once more to be one of the best German actors that ever lived. Ir's fun that many actor appearing in this movie also appeared in the later Dr. Mabuse sequels, often in completely different roles, including Gert Fröbe.

It's sort of too bad that the whole movie doesn't have the pace and excitement of the movie its first halve. There is more talking than real thriller or suspense moments in the second part. Still the whole mysterious atmosphere and question; 'Who is Dr. Mabuse?', remains present throughout the entire movie. The movie also ends with a real blast and gets surprisingly action filled toward its ending.

Yet another real recommendable Dr. Mabuse movie!

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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