In this one film, Fritz Lang lays the groundwork for much of film noir (Lang practically created the genre) AND provides the mold for what would come to be known in the future as supervillains. Comic book supervillains, such as the nemeses of Superman and Batman, had yet to be created in 1922, not to mention the bad guys with private armies who beset James Bond. Dr. Mabuse is a psychoanalyst, controller of minds, master of disguises, seemingly invincible. His final comeuppance after 4 hours of villainy seems tacked on by censors who would not allow an evil protagonist to prevail. The “Restored Authorized Edition” from Kino Video is a wonder to behold, with crisp images, new pristine intertitles, and a fresh score. It couldn’t have looked and sounded better in 1922.
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March 4, 2018
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- 1922. Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler. Directed by Fritz Lang.
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- 1921. “The Kid.” Directed by Charlie Chaplin.