Fritz Lang's silent masterpiece is split into two parts and lasts about four hours. But, like a lot of Lang's films, it sets off at a whirlwind pace with an attack and robbery of a secret, commercial treaty on a moving express train. Dr. Mabuse, a man who amuses himself though gambling with human lives and destinies, uses the stolen information to corner the stock exchange. This is just the beginning of a epic struggle between moral individualism and the seemingly invincible powers of an evil mastermind.
The print is crisp, the soundtrack is great,( a jazzy, Kurt Weil-sh, Mack the Knife-like piano score). The intertitles are in the original German with an English translation; and here there is a minor annoyance with some titles being an almost literal translation along the lines of, ' since two days I am waiting now." but that is a small irritation in an otherwise excellent package.
Sometimes the image presented reminds us how long ago it is; the First World war had been over for less than five years. It seems other wordly in some aspects, (such as the policemen all carrying swords ): but very modern in others, (malevolent terrorism for no logical purpose).
Dr Mabuse is the prototype of every James Bond villain you have ever seen.
Well worth the purchase: an excellent introduction to silent films.