One of the legendary epics of the silent cinema — and the first part of a trilogy that Fritz Lang developed up to the very end of his career — Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler. [Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler.] is a masterpiece of conspiracy that, even as it precedes the mind-blowing Spione from the close of Lang’s silent cycle, constructs its own dark labyrinth from the base materials of human fear and paranoia.
Rudolf Klein-Rogge plays Dr. Mabuse, the criminal mastermind whose nefarious machinations provide the cover for — or describe the result of — the economic upheaval and social bacchanalia at the heart of Weimar-era Berlin. Initiated with the arch-villain’s diabolical manipulation of the stock-market, and passing through a series of dramatic events based around hypnotism, charlatanism, hallucinations, Chinese incantations, cold-blooded murder, opiate narcosis and cocaine anxiety, Lang’s film maintains an unrelenting power all the way to the final act… which culminates in the terrifying question: “WHERE IS MABUSE?!”
A bridge between Feuillade’s somnambulistic serial-films and modern media-narratives of elusive robber-barons, Lang’s two-part classic set the template for the director’s greatest works: social commentary as superpsychology, poised at the brink of combustion. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Lang’s early masterpiece in its fully-restored version on Blu-ray in 1080p for the first time ever.