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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari [VHS]

Werner Krauss , Conrad Veidt , Robert Wiene    Suitable for 12 years and over   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
  • Directors: Robert Wiene
  • Writers: Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz
  • Producers: Erich Pommer, Rudolf Meinert
  • Language: German
  • Classification: 12
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RSHI

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

A milestone of the silent film era and one of the first "art films" to gain international acclaim, this eerie German classic from 1919 remains the most prominent example of German expressionism in the emerging art of the cinema. Stylistically, the look of the film's painted sets--distorted perspectives, sharp angles, twisted architecture--was designed to reflect (or express) the splintered psychology of its title character, a sinister figure who uses a lanky somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) as a circus attraction. But when Caligari and his sleepwalker are suspected of murder, their novelty act is surrounded by more supernatural implications. With its mad-doctor scenario, striking visuals, and a haunting, zombie-like character at its centre, Caligari was one of the first horror films to reach an international audience, sending shock waves through artistic circles and serving as a strong influence on the classic horror films of the 1920s, 30s, and beyond. It's a museum piece today, of interest more for its historical importance, but The Cabinet of Dr Caligari still casts a considerable spell. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com


"This venerable silent classic changed the way movies were made and appreciated. --Adrian Turner, Radio Times

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and inspired horror movies ever made. --Time Out Film Guide

"The sheer audacity of the film's physical and psychological conceit will haunt you forever. --Empire

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and inspired horror movies ever made. --Time Out Film Guide

"The sheer audacity of the film's physical and psychological conceit will haunt you forever. --Empire

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Although "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" is one of the best known and important silent films of our time, let me point out right away that this is no guarantee that it will appeal to everyone. For many, it is a particularly heavy, depressing and even dreadful film, but this only proves that it is successful in its Horror genre, as well as its experiment to blend commercial movie narrative with the modern art style of German Expressionism. By all accounts it was very successful, giving inspiration to other directors and actors in later years and still holding its own as a landmark in cinema history.

The first thing that strikes the viewer is that most of the sets are entirely artificial, sculpted or painted in extreme Expressionist style with angular shapes which convey a sense of distress, turmoil and dread - all the qualities one would find in the mentally ill, which is the underlying theme of this story. Just like gestures, make-up and acting styles like pantomime were often used in the silent film medium to express moods, feelings and concepts, so do the Expressionist sets in this film convey a great deal about the characters and story. The famous leading stars, namely Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover and Werner Krauss wear extreme make-up in line with the use of strong light and dark contrasts often used in other German Expressionist films of the 1920s, and their acting style is perfectly suited to the theme and overall atmosphere of the film. It contains all the elements of a disturbing horror film with a mad scientist who has control over a somnambulist - a sleepwalker - to the point of apparently getting him to commit murders for him.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLU-RAY? YOU BETCHA! A EUREKA MOC FINEST! 20 Jun 2014
Oh dear, don't think Jaffa has done any homework.
Just look at the (hd) comparison sequences currently online (easily found via usual search engines), and marvel at the astonishing quality of this major restoration by the FW Murnau Foundation. Mainly restored from an original camera negative, it is almost akin to watching the original takes - the image is rock-steady, the detail is incredible and missing frames have been reinserted with all the skill of a professional invisible mender. In short, this is one of the finest early film restorations ever completed, and is an absolute must for fans (and would-be fans) of Caligari, no matter how many other copies you may have.

And if you want to fully appreciate just what an amazing job the Murnau team has done, blu-ray will show it to you - the closest we can currently get in our living rooms to the original nitrate experience. My order is already in. Note: no connection with FWMF or Eureka, though I will confess to an undying love of the achievements of Anke Wilkening at Murnau.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous film making 18 April 2002
By A Customer
Robert Wiene's 1919 classic "Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari" is, in every way, a courageous piece of film making.
The Expressionistic set design, as the backdrop to the story of a mad doctor and his manipulation of a somnambulist, is brilliantly conceived, especially when considering the twist at the end of the film. The sets give the film a definite and appropriate dreamlike quality.
The importance of the film cannot be overstated since it undoubtedly influenced the later Universal monster movies that proliferated in the 30's and 40's as well as later horror films.
It seems certain James Whale was inspired by German Expressionism, if not "The cabinet of Dr Caligari", for the set design on his version of "Frankenstein".
The DVD has been designed to emulate the Expressionism of the film. Good production values and attention to detail with an in-depth audio overview of the film.
This film is essential viewing for anyone interested in early German cinema or the history of horror films but, it is equally valid as an important piece of German Expressionist art.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic silent gothic film 7 April 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is an amazing silent movie & a classic in the gothic horror genre. It seems like many horror films since it have taken many themes from it.
The plot about a madman who controls a sleepwalker for his misdemenors turns at the end in what at the time must have been an intersting way. Although whilst watching the film now, we can see what turns the plot may take, it is still a materpiece which is well worth buying.
Unlike many silent moveis the acting is not too hammy & the scene and effects are fairly effective.
A masterwork.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
This is a film that time nearly forgot, but that truly is the shadowy seed out of which both the horror film and film noir genres have developed over the last 75 years. (Woo-hoo!) But even if you aren't into all that German Expressionist, history of cinema stuff, you should know that this film is HUGELY entertaining in itself, if not even a good bit creepy (in a silent, 1919 sort of a way)! How could a dark story about a murderous sleepwalker, controlled by a demented madman, terrorizing the inhabitants of an old-world European village, centered around an insane asylum not be interesting?!? Not to mention that the film has a real twist/suprise ending... And then there are the visuals! Creepy, dark, jagged images that you could very well end up dreaming about later... For the film buff, this is essential viewing. And for the every-day man, the unknowing post-modern viewer, this is a film that will be a real suprise and treat... including the amazing sight of a german Edward Scissorhands gliding like a spectre across the screen, nearly 40 years before Tim Burton was even born. Not to be missed!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars BLU-RAY?.... REALLY?
A masterpiece this may very well be, but do we really need it on blu-ray?

Take any release of this movie and its effect is overwhelming when you consider just when it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jaffa
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film with a wonderful twist
Obviously a classic, but still entertaining. Far more interesting than the insipid Hollywood industry that held back European cinema for decades. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Prof Colin
5.0 out of 5 stars The quality was not poor!
This film is an utter gem and I really do not see what was so bad with the quality. Yes, there was the occasional WORD that was hard to read, but come on!
Published on 29 Sep 2011 by MJ
5.0 out of 5 stars A Suprise
This film tends to grow on you as you watch it. At first i thought it would be another nonsensical black and white, or sepia and white film, and I had no idea of its history or... Read more
Published on 9 July 2011 by Mr. P. Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rosetta Stone of Horror
When discussing the greatest horror films of all times, most modern audiences will discuss names such as the Exorcist, the Shining, Ring, Nightmare on Elm Street and many other... Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2010 by Mr. A. E. Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Expressionist heaven
Dr Caligari is one of the landmarks of early German film. It has stood the test of time. Best seen on the big screen its vertigo inducing sets, creepy characters and marvellous use... Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2010 by Thomas N. Orchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari - 2000 Eureka release - Influential...
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari us a stunning visual masterpiece, with (for the time) an innovative narrative. Many modern film makers owe this film a debt. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2010 by Victor
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 year-old film still years ahead of its time.
THE masterpiece of German Expressionist cinema,combining fine art,theatre and contemporary psychology to provide an immensely powerful experience both deeply disturbing,but deeply... Read more
Published on 3 April 2010 by norwich
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic movie ruined by a cheap DVD
Do not buy this copy of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, buy this one instead:
Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari [1919] [DVD]
This version is not remastered or cleaned in anyway,... Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2010 by Eoghan Nevin
2.0 out of 5 stars Horror film, really horrible
It may be a classical; it may convey all the horror of old horror films, but I don't know if it is the film or the poor version that makes it not only boring, but extremely... Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2009 by Graciela Syversen
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