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THE THOUSAND EYES OF DR. MABUSE

Director: FRITZ LANG

103 minutes| Germany| 1960| Subtitled| Black and White| DVD


As the traffic lights change, every car moves forward, save one: its driver has been shot. With this personal homage to a famous moment in The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Lang launched his last film, about a series of murders at a luxury hotel that bear the mark of the supposedly deceased Dr. Mabuse. Has he come back from the grave? For what purpose? Peter van Eyck plays the wealthy purchaser of an atomic plant who becomes the target of a criminal mastermind’s sinister plot; Dawn Addams is the ambiguous heroine he saves from suicide; Wolfgang Preiss gives a subtly shaded performance as a doctor who might be more than he seems. Lacking the edgy demonism of the original Mabuse works, the film’s observations on a modern world of voyeurism, omnipresent surveillance (by both police and criminals) and deadly technology can still chill the blood. Lang’s visually eloquent, quintessential pessimism never lifted.

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