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

Werner Krauss , Conrad Veidt , Robert Wiene    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 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
10 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An "Expressive" Horror Classic Dec 4 2003
A young man, Francis, relates to others this bizarre and amazing tale: Francis and his friend, Alan, visit a fair that happens to be in a small German town where some brutal murders have taken place. Dr. Caligari is the proprietor of an exhibit that features a chronic sleepwalker named Cesare who supposedly can make accurate prognostications. Francis and Alan are amused by this particular spectacle, but when they ask for a demonstration, they are a bit unnerved when Cesare predicts that Alan will be dead by morning.
When Alan is, in fact, murdered during the night, Francis suspects that Caligari and Cesare were involved in making Cesare's "prediction" come true, and he goes to the police with his suspicions. Unfortunately, the police have arrested another man for Alan's murder, and they give Francis the brush-off. Undeterred, Francis follows Caligari in hopes of obtaining proof of his suspicions. When they ultimately wind up at an insane asylum, Francis is shocked to learn that Caligari is the director of the institution. But with the help of Francis, it is soon revealed that Caligari has himself gone mad, and the good Doctor is subsequently hospitalized in his own institution. Or is he?...
THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920; 1921 for the U.S. version) is one of the masterpieces of the silent era and, along with Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS (1927), is one of the best examples of German Expressionist cinema. Though the story is entertaining, the real genius lies not so much in the narrative as in the bizarre and surrealistic mise-en-scène.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gothic omen June 20 2004
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 of Dr. Caligary was a clear methapor about what's going on in that dark times. After watching this film , please get the famous Edward Munch's painting titled The scream and establish the underground roads.
The hopeless and the horror are depicted in this movie with a clear message behind the score. Beware about the hidden demons in your mind .
Twelve years before the rise of Hitler, Caligari means obviously the word hypnotist who changes to Cesare in a murder; the anlogy is more than obvious. Don't you?
The world evidently was in another mood , but this warning call from a bizarre film concerned to a few people. Today we are capable after eighty five years , of feel the message.
Robert Wiene established a real pattern around the new possibilities of expression for the movies. He made The hands of Orlac also with Conrad Viet a legendary actor , and won too with that.
But Caligari shocked the destiny of a whole generation of directors (Howard Hawks in Scarface , for instance , Freaks of Tod Browning , Edgar Ullmer, Andre de Toth , James Whale's Frankenstein , and more recently Werner Herzog , Roger Corman or Lars von Triers ) to name just a few , but specially to a young english film maker called Alfred Hitchcock and another giant Orson Welles . If you remember the chase sequence in The third man under the streets of Vienna , or countless sequences employed as dramatic visuals resources and narrative devices of the English master , remember that Caligari was the sparking light.
A cul movie and one of the pioneers jewels of the german expressionism!
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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. 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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Most recent customer reviews
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 12 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream a little dream of me
Two men are sitting on a cement bench by the garden wall. One casually says there are evil spirits all around. Read more
Published on July 1 2007 by bernie
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Caligari still rules!
I don't know why this film is criticised for its storyline. Maybe it is because of the persistent (but only possibly true) rumours that the "twist" at the end is the... Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by H. Lim
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