It's been eleven years since the downfall of arch-criminal and master-of-disguise Dr. Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), now sequestered in an asylum under the watchful eye of one Professor Baum (Oskar Beregi). Mabuse exists in a state of "catatonic graphomania", his only action the irrepressible scribbling of blueprints that would realise a seemingly theoretical "Empire of Crime". But when a series of violent events courses through the city, police and populace alike start asking themselves with increasing panic: "Who is behind all this?!" The answer borders on the realm of the impossible...
Ghost of the Manipulator
- The Testament of Dr. Mabuse review by NW
Technically impressive, lively ... effective ... but rationally and logically preposterous: impact and effect have been given precedence over coherence and sense of plot ... supernatural events allow the cutting of rational corners! There are also ambiguities and discontinuities ... poorly matched disparate plot lines? ... which are carried through on the vigour of the action but also reflect Fritz Lang’s own ambiguities of intent (political? anti-nazi or not?) and his dubious accounts of dealings with Doctor Goebbels and the regime. The accompanying “documentary essay” is as interesting as the film itself!
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Goodbye to Berlin.
- The Testament of Dr. Mabuse review by Steve Mason
A high point of early German cinema. Mabuse controls staff/inmates of an asylum using telepathic mind control, with orders taken from real Nazi speeches! Lang's final German film before the war is a wonderfully feverish stream of distressed imagination.