The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


1h 11m 1919
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Brief Synopsis

A carnival performer uses a hypnotized sleepwalker to murder his enemies.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cabinet du docteur Caligari, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Doktor Caligaris kabinett, Kabinett des Dr. Caligari, Le Cabinet du docteur Caligari
Genre
Horror
Thriller
Foreign
Silent
Release Date
1919
Production Company
Decla-Bioskop
Distribution Company
Rothafel, S L
Location
Germany

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White (tinted)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1

Synopsis

A carnival performer uses a hypnotized sleepwalker to murder his enemies.

Photo Collections

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from the 1921 American release by Goldwyn of the German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), starring Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cabinet du docteur Caligari, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Doktor Caligaris kabinett, Kabinett des Dr. Caligari, Le Cabinet du docteur Caligari
Genre
Horror
Thriller
Foreign
Silent
Release Date
1919
Production Company
Decla-Bioskop
Distribution Company
Rothafel, S L
Location
Germany

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White (tinted)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1

Articles

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)


One of the most influential films of all time, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) is generally acknowledged as the first German Expressionist film. It was inspired by an art movement that reached its peak in Germany during the period 1918-1933 and was filmed entirely in Berlin's Decla Studio, with the exception of the prologue and epilogue which take place in a garden.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari recounts the story of the mysterious mesmerist, Dr. Caligari, and his somnambulist, Cesare (the pale complexion and dark circles under his eyes would set the standard look for movie zombies). After their arrival in town, mysterious murders begin to occur and Francis, a local villager, suspects Cesare. When Francis's girlfriend is kidnapped by Cesare, it becomes obvious that Dr. Caligari is programming the somnambulist to carry out his murderous commands. Francis pursues Caligari to a mental asylum where Caligari is arrested and put into a straitjacket. But the conclusion provides a twist ending that forces audiences to reconsider everything they have just witnessed.

Based on the premise alone, the film would be intriguing, but The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari uses elements of foreshadowing, irony, suspense, shock, symbolism, and imagery to create an unnatural world where reality becomes a warped excursion through shadows and abstract designs. This disorienting effect is achieved through the remarkable art direction of three artists - Herman Warm, Walter Reimann, and Walter Rehrig - and includes twisted streets, over-hanging buildings, crazily squeezed rooms and contorted scenery. Because Decla Studio was severely restricted in its use of electricity and lighting, the designers also painted light beams and shadows on the sets to great effect.

Caligari producer Erich Pommer originally offered the film to director Fritz Lang who turned it down since he was already engaged in the making of Die Spinnen (1919). Although there are differing accounts of this, it has also been reported that Lang made two important suggestions to Pommer; he recommended that Robert Weine direct the film and that a framing device be used to make the film more accessible to German audiences. The latter suggestion angered the screenwriters since it undermined their anti-authoritarian theme and achieved the opposite result - the idea that individual freedom leads to rampant chaos. Despite their protests, prologue and epilogue were added by Weine and the result was an unsettling, nightmarish experience which was labeled "degenerate art" by the Nazis. Most importantly, while many movies during this time tended toward documentary-like objectivism, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari showed that a film could portray the subjective as well, opening up new realms of psychological exploration.

Director: Robert Weine
Producer: Erich Pommer
Screenplay: Carl Meyer, Hans Janowitz
Cinematography: Willy Hameister
Art Direction: Walter Reimann, Herman Warm, Walter Rohrig
Cast: Werner Krauss (Dr. Caligari), Cesare (Conrad Veidt), Jane (Lil Dagover), Francis (Friedrich Feher), Alan (Hans von Twardowski), Dr. Olsen (Rudolf Lettinger).
BW-72m.

By Michael Toole
The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1919)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)

One of the most influential films of all time, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) is generally acknowledged as the first German Expressionist film. It was inspired by an art movement that reached its peak in Germany during the period 1918-1933 and was filmed entirely in Berlin's Decla Studio, with the exception of the prologue and epilogue which take place in a garden. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari recounts the story of the mysterious mesmerist, Dr. Caligari, and his somnambulist, Cesare (the pale complexion and dark circles under his eyes would set the standard look for movie zombies). After their arrival in town, mysterious murders begin to occur and Francis, a local villager, suspects Cesare. When Francis's girlfriend is kidnapped by Cesare, it becomes obvious that Dr. Caligari is programming the somnambulist to carry out his murderous commands. Francis pursues Caligari to a mental asylum where Caligari is arrested and put into a straitjacket. But the conclusion provides a twist ending that forces audiences to reconsider everything they have just witnessed. Based on the premise alone, the film would be intriguing, but The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari uses elements of foreshadowing, irony, suspense, shock, symbolism, and imagery to create an unnatural world where reality becomes a warped excursion through shadows and abstract designs. This disorienting effect is achieved through the remarkable art direction of three artists - Herman Warm, Walter Reimann, and Walter Rehrig - and includes twisted streets, over-hanging buildings, crazily squeezed rooms and contorted scenery. Because Decla Studio was severely restricted in its use of electricity and lighting, the designers also painted light beams and shadows on the sets to great effect. Caligari producer Erich Pommer originally offered the film to director Fritz Lang who turned it down since he was already engaged in the making of Die Spinnen (1919). Although there are differing accounts of this, it has also been reported that Lang made two important suggestions to Pommer; he recommended that Robert Weine direct the film and that a framing device be used to make the film more accessible to German audiences. The latter suggestion angered the screenwriters since it undermined their anti-authoritarian theme and achieved the opposite result - the idea that individual freedom leads to rampant chaos. Despite their protests, prologue and epilogue were added by Weine and the result was an unsettling, nightmarish experience which was labeled "degenerate art" by the Nazis. Most importantly, while many movies during this time tended toward documentary-like objectivism, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari showed that a film could portray the subjective as well, opening up new realms of psychological exploration. Director: Robert Weine Producer: Erich Pommer Screenplay: Carl Meyer, Hans Janowitz Cinematography: Willy Hameister Art Direction: Walter Reimann, Herman Warm, Walter Rohrig Cast: Werner Krauss (Dr. Caligari), Cesare (Conrad Veidt), Jane (Lil Dagover), Francis (Friedrich Feher), Alan (Hans von Twardowski), Dr. Olsen (Rudolf Lettinger). BW-72m. By Michael Toole

Press - German Silent Horrors


KINO RELEASES ARCHIVAL PRESERVATIONS OF FOUR GERMAN CLASSIC HORROR FILMS

Kino on Video is proud to announce that on September 24th, 2002, it will present on VHS and DVD, a groundbreaking series with high-quality versions of four of the most influential works in the history of horror cinema. The GERMAN HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET brings for the first time to DVD and VHS, the landmark 1920 film THE GOLEM, based on a medieval Jewish legend of a Rabbi who infuses life into a statue made of clay, and Paul Leni's 1923 triptych of horror WAXWORKS. Both films were recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and each DVD features exclusive short films and special features.

Completing the deluxe box set, Kino on Video also presents on DVD and VHS, brand-new versions of the two greatest German horror classics: NOSFERATU (1922, F.W. Murnau) and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARY (1919, Robert Wiene). By going back directly to the original German source material owned by the Murnau Foundations - trustee of all German classic films - Kino on Video is confident that these new restorations can at last offer American enthusiasts the definitive versions of these two seminal films.

Both of these titles also come on DVD with a wide variety of exclusive special features, like photo and art work galleries, different choices of music scores, short films and scene comparisons. Most notably, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI DVD brings a 43-minute excerpt of Robert Wiene's expressionist film GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920). The entire DVD box set will be priced at $89.95 and each title can be bought separately on DVD and VHS for $24.95.

WAXWORKS (1923)-
Never before released on DVD or VHS, WAXWORKS was finally restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. In this rarely seen masterwork of the German Expressionist movement, three different horror stories, focusing on Jack the Ripper (Werner Krauss), Ivan the Terrible (Conrad Veidt) and Haroun Al-Raschid (Emil Jannings), are interconnected by wax figures of a carnival sideshow.
One of the most innovative stylists of the German silent cinema, director Paul Leni (THE CAT AND THE CANARY and THE MAN WHO LAUGHS) applied a wide variety of visual techniques and elements especially designed to suit the emotional turmoil of each story.
SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
Paul Leni's 1926 short REBUS FILM I
Excerpt from Douglas Fairbanks's THE THIEF OF BAGDAD

THE GOLEM (1920)-
Also restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, THE GOLEM: HOW HE CAME INTO THIS WORLD is finally available on DVD and VHS. Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the plot for one of the most influential films in the history of silent cinema.
Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolph II in 16th-century Prague, a Talmudic rabbi (Albert Steinruck) creates a giant warrior (Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. Sculpted of clay and animated by the secrets of the Kabbalah, The Golem is a seemingly indestructible juggernaut with paradoxical morale, capable of great heroism and dreadful violence. This film was one of the greatest achievements of the legendary UFA Studios, and a landmark in the evolution of horror film.
SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
Excerpt of Julien Duviver's 1936 film: LE GOLEM
Gallery of Photographs and artwork
SCENE COMPARISON: featuring excerpts of F.W. Murnau's FAUST (1926) and Chayim Bloch's book THE GOLEM (1925).
New and Improved English intertitles

NOSFERATU (1922)-
Slightly based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, NOSFERATU is the quintessential silent vampire film, crafted by legendary German director F.W. Murnau (SUNRISE). Rather than depicting Dracula as a shape-shifting monster or a charming gentleman, Murnau's Graf Orlok is depicted as a nightmarish, spidery creature of bulbous head and long claws. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and licensed by Transit Films / Murnau Foundation, NOSFERATU was an atypical expressionist film in that much of it was shot on location in the Carpathian Mountains. Murnau was thus able to infuse the story with the violence and mystery usually associated with nature. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
Lengthy excerpts from other Murnau films: J0URNEY INTO THE NIGHT (1920), THE HANTED CASTLE (1921), PHANTOM (1922), THE LAST LAUGH (1924), FAUST (1926) and TABU (1931).
Two musical scores to choose from;
Photo Gallery;
Scene Comparison: Novel, Screenplay & Film

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919) -
The most well known and audacious example of German Expressionism on film, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a groundbreaking hallucinatory plunge into the mind of a demented doctor and his carnival sleepwalker while they perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.
Director Robert Wiene crafted a nightmare world in which light, shadow and set design work with unprecedented integration in order to reflect its disturbing characters. This Kino on Video release has been mastered from a 35MM print restored by the Murnau Foundation (Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS), and it brings for the first time, the film's original color tinting and toning.
SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
A 43-minute condensation of Robert Wiene's GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920) Behind-the-scene footage of Robert Wiene on the set of I.N.R.I.
Gallery of more than 40 photos, posters and production sketches
Two musical scores to choose from:
Music composed and performed by Donald Sosin
Contemporary orchestral score by Rainer Viertblock

For more information or purchase the boxed set, visit Kino International.

Press - German Silent Horrors

KINO RELEASES ARCHIVAL PRESERVATIONS OF FOUR GERMAN CLASSIC HORROR FILMS Kino on Video is proud to announce that on September 24th, 2002, it will present on VHS and DVD, a groundbreaking series with high-quality versions of four of the most influential works in the history of horror cinema. The GERMAN HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET brings for the first time to DVD and VHS, the landmark 1920 film THE GOLEM, based on a medieval Jewish legend of a Rabbi who infuses life into a statue made of clay, and Paul Leni's 1923 triptych of horror WAXWORKS. Both films were recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and each DVD features exclusive short films and special features. Completing the deluxe box set, Kino on Video also presents on DVD and VHS, brand-new versions of the two greatest German horror classics: NOSFERATU (1922, F.W. Murnau) and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARY (1919, Robert Wiene). By going back directly to the original German source material owned by the Murnau Foundations - trustee of all German classic films - Kino on Video is confident that these new restorations can at last offer American enthusiasts the definitive versions of these two seminal films. Both of these titles also come on DVD with a wide variety of exclusive special features, like photo and art work galleries, different choices of music scores, short films and scene comparisons. Most notably, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI DVD brings a 43-minute excerpt of Robert Wiene's expressionist film GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920). The entire DVD box set will be priced at $89.95 and each title can be bought separately on DVD and VHS for $24.95. WAXWORKS (1923)- Never before released on DVD or VHS, WAXWORKS was finally restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. In this rarely seen masterwork of the German Expressionist movement, three different horror stories, focusing on Jack the Ripper (Werner Krauss), Ivan the Terrible (Conrad Veidt) and Haroun Al-Raschid (Emil Jannings), are interconnected by wax figures of a carnival sideshow. One of the most innovative stylists of the German silent cinema, director Paul Leni (THE CAT AND THE CANARY and THE MAN WHO LAUGHS) applied a wide variety of visual techniques and elements especially designed to suit the emotional turmoil of each story. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): Paul Leni's 1926 short REBUS FILM I Excerpt from Douglas Fairbanks's THE THIEF OF BAGDAD THE GOLEM (1920)- Also restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, THE GOLEM: HOW HE CAME INTO THIS WORLD is finally available on DVD and VHS. Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the plot for one of the most influential films in the history of silent cinema. Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolph II in 16th-century Prague, a Talmudic rabbi (Albert Steinruck) creates a giant warrior (Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. Sculpted of clay and animated by the secrets of the Kabbalah, The Golem is a seemingly indestructible juggernaut with paradoxical morale, capable of great heroism and dreadful violence. This film was one of the greatest achievements of the legendary UFA Studios, and a landmark in the evolution of horror film. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): Excerpt of Julien Duviver's 1936 film: LE GOLEM Gallery of Photographs and artwork SCENE COMPARISON: featuring excerpts of F.W. Murnau's FAUST (1926) and Chayim Bloch's book THE GOLEM (1925). New and Improved English intertitles NOSFERATU (1922)- Slightly based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, NOSFERATU is the quintessential silent vampire film, crafted by legendary German director F.W. Murnau (SUNRISE). Rather than depicting Dracula as a shape-shifting monster or a charming gentleman, Murnau's Graf Orlok is depicted as a nightmarish, spidery creature of bulbous head and long claws. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and licensed by Transit Films / Murnau Foundation, NOSFERATU was an atypical expressionist film in that much of it was shot on location in the Carpathian Mountains. Murnau was thus able to infuse the story with the violence and mystery usually associated with nature. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): Lengthy excerpts from other Murnau films: J0URNEY INTO THE NIGHT (1920), THE HANTED CASTLE (1921), PHANTOM (1922), THE LAST LAUGH (1924), FAUST (1926) and TABU (1931). Two musical scores to choose from; Photo Gallery; Scene Comparison: Novel, Screenplay & Film THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919) - The most well known and audacious example of German Expressionism on film, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a groundbreaking hallucinatory plunge into the mind of a demented doctor and his carnival sleepwalker while they perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community. Director Robert Wiene crafted a nightmare world in which light, shadow and set design work with unprecedented integration in order to reflect its disturbing characters. This Kino on Video release has been mastered from a 35MM print restored by the Murnau Foundation (Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS), and it brings for the first time, the film's original color tinting and toning. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): A 43-minute condensation of Robert Wiene's GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920) Behind-the-scene footage of Robert Wiene on the set of I.N.R.I. Gallery of more than 40 photos, posters and production sketches Two musical scores to choose from: Music composed and performed by Donald Sosin Contemporary orchestral score by Rainer Viertblock For more information or purchase the boxed set, visit Kino International.

GERMAN HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET


Kino on Video is proud to announce on VHS and DVD, a groundbreaking series with high-quality versions of four of the most influential works in the history of horror cinema. The GERMAN HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET brings for the first time to DVD and VHS, the landmark 1920 film THE GOLEM, based on a medieval Jewish legend of a Rabbi who infuses life into a statue made of clay, and Paul Leni's 1923 triptych of horror WAXWORKS. Both films were recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and each DVD features exclusive short films and special features.

Completing the deluxe box set, Kino on Video also presents on DVD and VHS, brand-new versions of the two greatest German horror classics: NOSFERATU (1922, F.W. Murnau) and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARY (1919, Robert Wiene). By going back directly to the original German source material owned by the Murnau Foundations - trustee of all German classic film - Kino on Video is confident that these new restorations can at last offer American enthusiasts the definitive versions of these two seminal films.

Both of these titles also come on DVD with a wide variety of exclusive special features, like photo and art work galleries, different choices of music scores, short films and scene comparisons. Most notably, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI DVD brings a 43-minute excerpt of Robert Wiene's expressionist film GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920). The entire DVD box set will be priced at $89.95 and each title can be bought separately on DVD and VHS for $24.95.

WAXWORKS (1923)-
Never before released on DVD or VHS, WAXWORKS was finally restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. In this rarely seen masterwork of the German Expressionist movement, three different horror stories, focusing on Jack the Ripper (Werner Krauss), Ivan the Terrible (Conrad Veidt) and Haroun Al-Raschid (Emil Jannings), are interconnected by wax figures of a carnival sideshow.
One of the most innovative stylists of the German silent cinema, director Paul Leni (THE CAT AND THE CANARY and THE MAN WHO LAUGHS) applied a wide variety of visual techniques and elements especially designed to suit the emotional turmoil of each story.
SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
Paul Leni's 1926 short REBUS FILM I
Excerpt from Douglas Fairbanks's THE THIEF OF BAGDAD

THE GOLEM (1920)-
Also restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, THE GOLEM: HOW HE CAME INTO THIS WORLD is finally available on DVD and VHS. Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the plot for one of the most influential films in the history of silent cinema.
Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolph II in 16th-century Prague, a Talmudic rabbi (Albert Steinruck) creates a giant warrior (Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. Sculpted of clay and animated by the secrets of the Kabbalah, The Golem is a seemingly indestructible juggernaut with paradoxical morale, capable of great heroism and dreadful violence. This film was one of the greatest achievements of the legendary UFA Studios, and a landmark in the evolution of horror film.
SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
Excerpt of Julien Duviver's 1936 film: LE GOLEM
Gallery of Photographs and artwork
SCENE COMPARISON: featuring excerpts of F.W. Murnau's FAUST (1926) and Chayim Bloch's book THE GOLEM (1925).
New and Improved English intertitles

NOSFERATU (1922)-
Slightly based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, NOSFERATU is the quintessential silent vampire film, crafted by legendary German director F.W. Murnau (SUNRISE). Rather than depicting Dracula as a shape-shifting monster or a charming gentleman, Murnau's Graf Orlok is depicted as a nightmarish, spidery creature of bulbous head and long claws. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and licensed by Transit Films / Murnau Foundation, NOSFERATU was an atypical expressionist film in that much of it was shot on location in the Carpathian Mountains. Murnau was thus able to infuse the story with the violence and mystery usually associated with nature. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
Lengthy excerpts from other Murnau films: J0URNEY INTO THE NIGHT (1920), THE HANTED CASTLE (1921), PHANTOM (1922), THE LAST LAUGH (1924), FAUST (1926) and TABU (1931).
Two musical scores to choose from;
Photo Gallery;
Scene Comparison: Novel, Screenplay & Film

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919) -
The most well known and audacious example of German Expressionism on film, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a groundbreaking hallucinatory plunge into the mind of a demented doctor and his carnival sleepwalker while they perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.
Director Robert Wiene crafted a nightmare world in which light, shadow and set design work with unprecedented integration in order to reflect its disturbing characters. This Kino on Video release has been mastered from a 35MM print restored by the Murnau Foundation (Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS), and it brings for the first time, the film's original color tinting and toning.
SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
A 43-minute condensation of Robert Wiene's GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920) Behind-the-scene footage of Robert Wiene on the set of I.N.R.I.
Gallery of more than 40 photos, posters and production sketches
Two musical scores to choose from:
Music composed and performed by Donald Sosin
Contemporary orchestral score by Rainer Viertblock

For more information or purchase the boxed set, visit Kino International.

GERMAN HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET

Kino on Video is proud to announce on VHS and DVD, a groundbreaking series with high-quality versions of four of the most influential works in the history of horror cinema. The GERMAN HORROR CLASSICS BOX SET brings for the first time to DVD and VHS, the landmark 1920 film THE GOLEM, based on a medieval Jewish legend of a Rabbi who infuses life into a statue made of clay, and Paul Leni's 1923 triptych of horror WAXWORKS. Both films were recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and each DVD features exclusive short films and special features. Completing the deluxe box set, Kino on Video also presents on DVD and VHS, brand-new versions of the two greatest German horror classics: NOSFERATU (1922, F.W. Murnau) and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARY (1919, Robert Wiene). By going back directly to the original German source material owned by the Murnau Foundations - trustee of all German classic film - Kino on Video is confident that these new restorations can at last offer American enthusiasts the definitive versions of these two seminal films. Both of these titles also come on DVD with a wide variety of exclusive special features, like photo and art work galleries, different choices of music scores, short films and scene comparisons. Most notably, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI DVD brings a 43-minute excerpt of Robert Wiene's expressionist film GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920). The entire DVD box set will be priced at $89.95 and each title can be bought separately on DVD and VHS for $24.95. WAXWORKS (1923)- Never before released on DVD or VHS, WAXWORKS was finally restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. In this rarely seen masterwork of the German Expressionist movement, three different horror stories, focusing on Jack the Ripper (Werner Krauss), Ivan the Terrible (Conrad Veidt) and Haroun Al-Raschid (Emil Jannings), are interconnected by wax figures of a carnival sideshow. One of the most innovative stylists of the German silent cinema, director Paul Leni (THE CAT AND THE CANARY and THE MAN WHO LAUGHS) applied a wide variety of visual techniques and elements especially designed to suit the emotional turmoil of each story. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): Paul Leni's 1926 short REBUS FILM I Excerpt from Douglas Fairbanks's THE THIEF OF BAGDAD THE GOLEM (1920)- Also restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna, THE GOLEM: HOW HE CAME INTO THIS WORLD is finally available on DVD and VHS. Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the plot for one of the most influential films in the history of silent cinema. Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolph II in 16th-century Prague, a Talmudic rabbi (Albert Steinruck) creates a giant warrior (Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. Sculpted of clay and animated by the secrets of the Kabbalah, The Golem is a seemingly indestructible juggernaut with paradoxical morale, capable of great heroism and dreadful violence. This film was one of the greatest achievements of the legendary UFA Studios, and a landmark in the evolution of horror film. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): Excerpt of Julien Duviver's 1936 film: LE GOLEM Gallery of Photographs and artwork SCENE COMPARISON: featuring excerpts of F.W. Murnau's FAUST (1926) and Chayim Bloch's book THE GOLEM (1925). New and Improved English intertitles NOSFERATU (1922)- Slightly based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, NOSFERATU is the quintessential silent vampire film, crafted by legendary German director F.W. Murnau (SUNRISE). Rather than depicting Dracula as a shape-shifting monster or a charming gentleman, Murnau's Graf Orlok is depicted as a nightmarish, spidery creature of bulbous head and long claws. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and licensed by Transit Films / Murnau Foundation, NOSFERATU was an atypical expressionist film in that much of it was shot on location in the Carpathian Mountains. Murnau was thus able to infuse the story with the violence and mystery usually associated with nature. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): Lengthy excerpts from other Murnau films: J0URNEY INTO THE NIGHT (1920), THE HANTED CASTLE (1921), PHANTOM (1922), THE LAST LAUGH (1924), FAUST (1926) and TABU (1931). Two musical scores to choose from; Photo Gallery; Scene Comparison: Novel, Screenplay & Film THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919) - The most well known and audacious example of German Expressionism on film, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a groundbreaking hallucinatory plunge into the mind of a demented doctor and his carnival sleepwalker while they perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community. Director Robert Wiene crafted a nightmare world in which light, shadow and set design work with unprecedented integration in order to reflect its disturbing characters. This Kino on Video release has been mastered from a 35MM print restored by the Murnau Foundation (Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS), and it brings for the first time, the film's original color tinting and toning. SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD): A 43-minute condensation of Robert Wiene's GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920) Behind-the-scene footage of Robert Wiene on the set of I.N.R.I. Gallery of more than 40 photos, posters and production sketches Two musical scores to choose from: Music composed and performed by Donald Sosin Contemporary orchestral score by Rainer Viertblock For more information or purchase the boxed set, visit Kino International.

Quotes

I must know everything. I must penetrate the heart of his secret! I must become Caligari!
- Dr. Caligari

Trivia

Producer Erich Pommer wanted to have 'Fritz Lang' as the director for this film. Lang was interested, but then decided to work on another film.

Writer Hans Janowitz wrote the female lead character for his girlfriend Gilda Langer, an actress at the "Residenz-Theater" in Berlin. Unfortunately she died shortly before filming began, and so Lil Dagover got the role.

The first and last scenes were added after political pressure was applied to ensure that "authority" was not questioned or represented as insane.

The sets were made out of paper, with the shadows painted on the walls.

Widely considered to be the first true horror film ever made.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States October 1998

Released in United States September 26, 1990

Released in United States Spring April 3, 1921

Shown at Pacific Film Archive (Surrealism and Cinema) September 26, 1990.

Considered to be the first example of Expressionism in the cinema. The film's prologue and epilogue were attached at the insistence of producer Erich Pommer.

German intertitles

Released in United States Spring April 3, 1921

Released in United States September 26, 1990 (Shown at Pacific Film Archive (Surrealism and Cinema) September 26, 1990.)

Released in United States October 1998 (Shown at American Film Institute (AFI) Los Angeles International Film Festival (Special Presentation) October 22-31, 1998.)