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The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse

The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse (1933)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1



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Movie Info

Fritz Lang directed this sequel to his nearly four-hour Dr. Mabuse silent of 1922 (often shown in two parts, Dr. Mabuse: Der Spieler/The Gambler and Dr. Mabuse: King of Crime). The film opens with Detective Hofmeister (Karl Meixner) spying on the activities of a criminal syndicate. Not realizing he has been seen, Hofmeister is attacked by the thugs and later turns up out of his mind. He is placed in the institution of Professor Baum (Oscar Beregi), who becomes increasingly obsessed with another

May 18, 2004

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (2) | DVD (11)

The story is very long-winded and even an ingenious director like Fritz Lang could not prevent its being rather slow-moving in places.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
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By 1932, the character had become rather more than just king villain of the serials: Testament finds him mouthing undisguised Nazi slogans from his asylum prison.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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It is a hallucinating and horrifying story, depicted with great power and the extraordinary beauty of photography that Lang has led his admirers to expect.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie captures an air of dread, despair, and individual impotence -- a political atmosphere that meshed perfectly with Lang's raging paranoia.

April 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fritz Lang's suspense masterpiece starts with a kick and then piles on the subterfuge, suspense and terror.

August 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

[Lang's] ambitious command of the medium...keeps us rooted to our seats from start to finish.

September 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Richly inventive crime thriller

August 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

So while lauded by the wine-swirling art-house set, Lang was a German master whose films -- and there are a lot of them -- also appeal to those of us who rarely use the phrase 'mise en scène' in conversation.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source:

Testament is still a great film that provides a perfect summation of Lang's German career.

January 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema

This absolutely riveting crime film by Fritz Lang demonstrates the height of taut, suspenseful filmmaking.

July 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Vivid images and tight storytelling.

June 6, 2004 Full Review Source:

The most notorious of the [Dr. Mabuse movies], simply because it was the film that helped trigger Lang's flight from Nazi Germany.

May 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Too bad it's not much fun to watch

May 18, 2004 Full Review Source:

Not only the most modern-looking film of 1932, it still looks modern today.

June 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

This important, controversial work from one of cinema's great early masters is more than a mere museum piece -- it's also spellbinding entertainment.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Lang used Mabuse as a symbol for corruption and decadence in Germany's Weimar Republic.

April 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A haunting, suspenseful sequel to the great Fritz Lang's 1922 silent Dr. Mabuse the Gambler.

April 24, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse

In spite of the efforts of men like Johannes Schultz and Gustave Le Bon, hypnosis was often viewed as something supernatural or other-worldly well into the mid-twentieth century. This was not lost on German director Fritz Lang who made full use of public misconception here in this spin off of M. Though it's science is flawed, the rest of the film is well ahead of it's time.

Lang's use of sound to tie scenes together (i.e. a ticking time-bomb becomes a man tapping on his breakfast egg) worked so well that similar effects are still being used today. The specter of Dr. Mabuse and his hypnotic mind control manifests itself in ghostly apparitions which Lang presents in transparent fashion, complete with makeup that is almost as effective and frightening today as it was in 1933.

Don't expect this to be in the same league as Lang's landmark crime drama M, to compare the two would be unfair. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is much more of a ghost story, a horror film, than it's predecessor but it is very much a classic in it's own right. Anchored in realism but delving far further into the macabre and the surreal.
May 20, 2010
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Fritz Lang always makes such an interesting study, and despite having not seen the rest of the series, I really enjoyed this film. Lang's oeuvre is a forerunner to many of the films - and genres themselves - that we've come to take for granted. This installment in the series is a gangster film, effectively, except for the gang is more hell-bent on terrorist objectives than good old-fashioned cash-grabbing. Now add a haunting on top of the standard gangster fare, and make it all look like the first noir film you can imagine... you're basically there. Not the easiest to watch (as it's over 70 years old and the editing jumps around due simply to the restoration efforts made), but well worth it, once you're into it Lang's film proves exciting. And of particular note, there's one scene where an evil directive to the gang of terrorists is found to be coming from a recording... still quite topical, surprisingly...
March 8, 2009

Super Reviewer

"the testament of dr. mabuse" is fritz lang's perverse thriller upon mental hypnotization as manipulative apparatus of evil saboteurs.

dr. mabuse is a deranged assylum patient who scrabbles abstract manuscripts to puzzle his patriachist who descends as his surrogate puppet headleader of underground destructive activities. eventually evil is infectious in its ceaseless delivering.

the scene of patriachist being possessed by dr. mabuse's evil spirit is macabrely spooky. mabuse with piercing sight and slanted sharp nose penetrates into the doctor's soul, and the envirnoment is hauntingly surrounded with the disfigured skulls of abnormal sinister men upon the shelf as specimen. one evil passes forward another as the vicious circle that is a metaphor of nazi's brain-rinsing control over the germany.

lang transcends the patriachist/inmate reversion into a mythical analogy of social criticism, and the case pf dr. mabuse would be one of early cinematic human-beast who pestles the world in his absolute demonology that is satan conquers all in the end, far more sinister than the anthony hopkins' "cannibal lecter".
March 25, 2008
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

Great psychological crime drama from the master Fritz Lang
January 20, 2008

Super Reviewer

    1. Commissioner Karl Lohmann: Ma - Bu - Se...Mabuse.
    – Submitted by John H (24 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (DE)
  • The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) (UK)
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