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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Restored Authorized Edition) [Import]

Werner Krauss , Conrad Veidt , Robert Wiene    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
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A milestone of the silent film era and one of the first "art films" to gain international acclaim, this eerie German classic from 1919 remains the most prominent example of German expressionism in the emerging art of the cinema. Stylistically, the look of the film's painted sets--distorted perspectives, sharp angles, twisted architecture--was designed to reflect (or express) the splintered psychology of its title character, a sinister figure who uses a lanky somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) as a circus attraction. But when Caligari and his sleepwalker are suspected of murder, their novelty act is surrounded by more supernatural implications. With its mad-doctor scenario, striking visuals, and a haunting, zombie-like character at its center, Caligari was one of the first horror films to reach an international audience, sending shock waves through artistic circles and serving as a strong influence on the classic horror films of the 1920s, '30s, and beyond. It's a museum piece today, of interest more for its historical importance, but Caligari still casts a considerable spell. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Feb. 20 2003
There have been a number of versions of this film. My original copy was an 8mm one. The is clearly the best. It is not significantly different from other recent releases except it is cleaner, the tints are more interesting and what is especially good is the recreation of the original style of the text for the english titles. The choice of two music tracks is fun and after listening to the contemporary one, I switched to the more traditional version. The condensed version of the film Genuine was also of interest.
For those who, like myself, love this classic example of early German silent film I cannot recommend this new release highly enough.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars KEEP AWAY!! Sept. 14 2002
This is one of my favorite films of all time, and if must own it (yes, you must own it), DON'T get this edition -- get the Image Entertainment one (the other, more expensive edition). It's worth the extra 10 or so dollars. And let me tell you why:
1. The Image edition has the original film-stock color tinting, an important creative device and a big part of what makes this such a beautiful film (especially for its time), this version does not.
2. The Image edition is beautifully transfered from a very nice print of the film, you can see everything as it was intended to be seen. I'm sure this is how the film looked when it was originally released. This edition is a terrible transfer from an already terrible print.
3. The Image edition has better music.
4. The Image edition has better intertitles.
5. The Image edition has an aditional audio commentary.
To sum it up, the Image edition isn't a piece of garbage, and it does this masterpiece justice. Don't waste your time with this edition. Sell your shoes if you can't afford the extra scratch, watching this DVD is painful. Trust me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Feb. 16 2003
The Image Entertainment edition of this great movie is astonishing. Don't take my word for it, just get it and enjoy this classic like you never have before. The new music adds suspense where it's needed. Turn up the volume, turn down the lights, grab your popcorn and commit yourself to this 1919 gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine-Quality DVD Feb. 22 2002
This DVD is a good quality transfer. The picture is good considering it is from 1920. It is in full-screen, with color-tinting (blue for night scenes, yellow for interior scenes, etc.)
The soundtrack on this version (Image) is great! It is an eerily, serialism-esque score written just for this film. Some silent films have been given a "modern treatment" with contemporary scores, but this DVD is judiciouly been given an appropriately "period-feel" in relation to the time and place that this movie was made. The score fits the film extremely well and is a well crafted work.
The DVD also comes with a commentary soundtrack that teaches the viewer about the film and the time in which it was shot in Germany. There is plenty of explanation about Expressionism as an art form in film, literature, and art of that time. A must for any film student!
I highly reccomend this DVD. It was well worth the price! It's literally amazing that an eighty year old film can still entertain and surprise a completely foreign audience, but some things about human beings are just universal and this film encompasses much that is universal in mankind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie May 8 2001
I've never been a huge fan of the silent film era. In fact I never watched silent films until a class a took. This was one of the 12 or so silent films we saw in the class and 1 of only 2 that I really liked.
The set design really sets the mood for the film. The scenery and acting were great. Conrad Veidt as Cesare was great as well as Werner Krauss as Dr. Caligari. I like the end of the film as well. The actual ending was not going to be that way it is. It's better this way. If you're not a fan of the silent era, start with this film. It's a good one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dream a little dream of me July 1 2007
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Two men are sitting on a cement bench by the garden wall. One casually says there are evil spirits all around. As a woman in white glides by the second man Francis (Friedrich Fehér) says that is my fiancée Jane (Lil Dagover) and let me tell you what happened to us.

As his story begins we are subjected to a weird world of light and twisted shadows. A string Dr. (Caligari played by Werner Krauss) brings a somnambulist (sleeping man played by Conrad Veidt) to a local fair. The somnambulist knows all things and can predict the future; he prophesizes correctly Allan's (friend of Francis and rival for Jane's hand) murder and pilfers Jane from her bed chamber. But how can this be; as Francis has been keeping an eye on the doc and the snoozer all night and they have not moved?

I leave you with this thought "Du mußt Caligari warden"

Metropolis (1927)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic German Expressionism! May 6 2001
"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a visual feast, and a definite inspiration for many horror films to follow. This film simply grasps your attention from beginning to end. From the beginning even we know this is no ordinary film as two asylum inmates are seen, one of them narrating his experience with meeting Dr. Caligari at a local carnival, who awakens a somnambulistic maniac who commits acts of murder commanded by his master. It seems we are watching a nightmare dreamt by the minds of madness. I won't spoil too much, but rest assured you will not regret adding this one to your collection. It is brilliant in every way.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this version. The whole print was awful.
Horrible print. The sequences were largely unwatchable by any standard. I believe the title cards were okay. I would not recommend this version.
Published 2 months ago by Barry Dylan Morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do...
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Read more
Published 15 months ago by F. Marra
3.0 out of 5 stars It was interesting...
The silent film is one of horror's classics. I really enjoyed the atmosphere but prefer Nosferatu as the best one. Read more
Published on June 2 2011 by freemind12
4.0 out of 5 stars A mad doctor in pursuit of knowledge ?
"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919), directed by Robert Wiene, is one of the best examples of German Expressionism. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2007 by M. B. Alcat
1.0 out of 5 stars The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
The story is told in a very simplistic manner and the pace is sluggish. The hammy, melodramatic acting really dates the film and causes what was once a horror film to seem... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2004 by Jonathon Allsopp
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film but an explanation for all!
It has been rumored for years that when the producers set out to make The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari they intended to end the film with Caligari getting captured and no framing story. Read more
Published on July 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A gothic omen
The cabinet was one of the most remarkable films of the german expressionism.
The bitter gaze about a hollow-eyed sleepwalker (Cesare) who commits murders underthe influence... Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
1.0 out of 5 stars "special" edition? - how so?
I am a very ticked off customer... This is an excellent movie indeed, and I'll let the other reviews speak for themselves in that respect. My question is... Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by California Marmot
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Art
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is very original. Then again, it was in 1919; it has to be original. From what I read in reviews of other versions, this one is slightly different. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by [inactive user]
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!
I just saw Caligari. I thoroughly recommend it!
Timothy Brock's score is the best score for a silent movie i've heard so far! Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by Ben Parker
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