Reviews

The Testament Of Dr Mabuse

4

Get this for a premise. Insane criminal genius Dr Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) slumps catatonic in an asylum. Then his hand stutters to life. When his doctor (Oscar Beregi) places a pen in his fingers, Mabuse begins scrawling a manual for world domination. Captivated, the shrink forms a criminal empire...

Made in 1933, the second in Fritz Lang's murky Dr Mabuse trilogy is an irresistible meld of noir and expressionism. Lang maxes the style and suspense, chopping between Mabuse's gang's chaos-weaving and the efforts of Inspector Lohmann (Otto Wernicke) to unravel the enigma.

It runs out of puff during the second half, until an explosive factory demolition and a helter-skelter car chase bring it home with a bang. And Mabuse remains a chilling creation, masterminding the end of civilisation from beyond the grave.

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