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Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler [Import]

Rudolf Klein-Rogge , Aud Egede-Nissen , Fritz Lang    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great works of silent cinema Dec 28 2001
Format:DVD
Dr. Mabuse the Gambler is a must-have for any film scholar. It is one of Lang's best works, and it's hard to understand why this film is so little-known while the flashy but leaden Metropolis is considered a classic.
Sergei Eisenstein was an admirer of Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, and supposedly he obtained a copy and studied its construction. I can only assume that the picture had a influence on other filmmakers around the world; it has a much more modern feel than any film I've seen from the early 20s. The pace is quick (at least in the first part), the cross-cutting between scenes is sophisticated, there is great attention to detail in the sets, and it rarely has the "stagy" feel that many silent films suffer from. If one had to point to one element that puts it ahead of its time, it would be its overall construction--the way the various shots and scenes are put together to create the story. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler creates a sense of both time and space; many things happen simultaneously in the movie-world, and the locales we see are not two-dimensional stage sets but rather three-dimensional spaces where we peer around corners and follow the characters from one room to the next. The only silent filmmaker I can think of who lavished so much attention on creating a credible world is Erich von Stroheim, though one could argue that that filmmaker should have taken a lesson from the economy of Lang's storytelling.
In addition to its status as a landmark film, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler is also truly entertaining, particularly the first part. There are car and train chases, riotous gambling dens, memorable bit characters, and some great special effects. The basic story of good versus evil is compelling. Dr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb film, some reservations about the DVD Sept. 1 2001
Format:DVD
There is no need to repeat that this is a superb film. It is, for me, the best silent film currently available on DVD. And the quality of the picture is very good. It is not, however, perfect, and I will admit to being a bit disappointed. No doubt there are no longer any 'perfect' prints of Dr Mabuse in existence, but I was disappointed that the print quality was not a little better. It is nowhere near as good as 1000 Eyes of Dr Mabuse as far as print quality goes (of course, its an older film, but it is also more important and did receive a theatrical release in the 60s). Moreover, although the package promises that it is shown at the 'correct speed' I think it was too fast. It definitely has that speeded up 'silent movie' look that you get when you project a silent film at sound film speeds. I would have slowed it down by a couple more frames per second. Nonetheless, do not hesitate to buy this DVD -- perhaps one day there will be a better one but this is WELL worth the cost.
The commentary is terrific.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the definitive edit of Mabuse Nov. 9 2006
Format:DVD
This KINO release is certainly the best version of Mabuse available right now, surpassing the 215 minute Image Entertainment version, if only because at 270 minutes, it is the most complete I have ever seen.

All the famous scenes or shots that are missing from other editions appear to be there: the cabaret sequence is complete with all the naughty (for the time) bits that were censored in many prints; Mabuse's lecture to other scholars, often omitted, is present and brief as it is, it establishes his credentials as a real psychoanalyst turned criminal ; we have the opening overhead shot of the seance, apparently missing from the Image Entertainment edition; the exchange between Mabuse and the Count regarding expressionism has been preserved; in fact, all the set pieces and memorable images I remember from the various edits I have seen over the years are also present.

The only missing sequence would be the original opening which, if we are to believe Lang's description, was a montage of robberies and other deeds, with the repeated question "Who is responsible?" and Mabuse answering triumphantly "Me!". Too bad this could not be restored, although we do not really miss it considering the thrilling pace of the opening robbery, even if the synchronization of some events is rather improbable. There are those who believe however that Lang's memory played tricks with him and that the was recalling instead the opening montage of "Spies", which is indeed very similar to what he described.

As far as extras, we do not have any commentary track. Those harking for the David Kalat comments will either need to also own the Image Entertainment DVD or be content with the shorter content in Kalat's book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For And Against June 18 2004
Format:DVD
As of June 2004 you need to wait and think before you buy this DVD. In it's favour it has a fantastic commentary by David Kalat. Against it, it's not a complete version. It WAS the most complete available, but now a region 2 release by Eureka contains the whole film, complete and restored.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic Oct. 19 2003
Format:DVD
I am became interested in this film largely because of its director Fritz Lang. I had always enjoyed Metropolis (I now own the Kino release which is nothing short of breath taking in the quality). I began to read about the evil doctor and I was hooked by the concept of the narrative. So dark and given its timing so right in the context of a Weimar Germany.
I must admit that slient films require the viewer to see the film from a different context as compared to modern cinema. However, if one makes that adjustment the rewards are worth it.
Many of the other reviews do an excellent job of discussing the plot and the like so in the context I will not go into any detail other than to say it may well in total be a 4 hour experience but it DOES NOT feel like it. This is one of my favourite pieces of cinema. I think much of garbage coming out of Hollywood could learn much from a thriller such as this.
David Kalat's narration is fantastic, and so are the other Mabuse films he has reviewed. Like all great teachers you never feel as if you are being educated but being entertained.
Bravo on the DVD and Bravo to David.
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