The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse Reviews

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April 29, 2012
One of the first crime movies, and still one of the best--Herr Lang's German SwanSong!!
February 27, 2012
This is the sequel to Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler and a brilliant one it is. Even though this is a talkie, you still get the expressions of the actors and you still get the incredible lighting and camera work to tell the story visually. What we get extra is the brilliant dialogue and the story of the psychiatrist treating Dr. Mabuse. I will leave it at that except to say that if you want to get into silent movies or early talkies, then Fritz Lang is the way to go, there is a lot of action and and suspense.
February 12, 2012
A German crime/horror film by Fritz Lang whose style was based on the pulp comics of the time, There are some anti-Nazi sentiments in it, which lead to its being banned in its home country even before its release. Being the third in the series, this was the first Mabuse film with sound. The title charachter lives in an insane asylum, but is able to get his instructions for comitting crimes out to his minions. He controls them frequently with hypnosis or other mind-control. Really confusing, but a lot of good scenes. A fantasical story, but filmed to appear as though its rooted in reality despite a few elements of Expressionism.
January 5, 2012
Gangsters, crime sprees, romance, insane asylums, ghosts. This movie has it all.
August 17, 2011
I assume the locked room sequence at the end of the film is the spiritual ancestor of Saw. That's how I see it. And I'm always right. I blame you, Fritz Lang.
½ April 23, 2011
A fanciful conspiracy theory and criminal organization. Compare with Fight Club, or The Dark Knight (or indeed anything by David Fincher, or Christopher Nolan, or David Cronenberg, among others, Lang here unconsciously providing a(nother) template for petty bourgeois ideology, or moral psychology as substitute for political economy), or, conversely, with Gomorrah.
April 18, 2011
The film has so many twists it can be hard to understand where its going until it gets there. Part cop drama (it's the unofficial sequel to "M"), part psychological thriller/horror, part romance, part expressionist, the films successfully, and surprisingly, melds all of these together into a fantastic piece of art.
½ April 3, 2011
Fritz Lang's masterfully directed 1930s psychological crime thriller was banned before release in it's native Germany because the nazis thought its story of a madman seizing power was a critique of Hitler's rise to power (which it probably was). While the evil genius Dr. Mabuse sits in an insane asylum writing his manifesto, what he writes is happening out in the world. The writing and pacing made this film very engaging. The cinematography was fantastic, offering shots that are still quite powerful and affecting nearly 80 years later.
March 7, 2008
As important to film grammar as any of Fritz Lang's other early works, this film is a virtually endless display of the extraordinary language of film editing. Working with a crime thriller with psychological tendencies that border on supernatural, Lang recognizes the importance of interweaving the scenes of the film not only for thematic connection but to give the story an exhilarating speed. There's a lot going on here, and instead of dropping us into random situations and conversations he finds likenesses to string them all together. Good or evil, all the characters have motivations and intentions that revolve around the same thing- the legendary Dr. Mabuse himself. Lang had worked with Mabuse before and would work with him afterward, but he is careful to avoid making this a standard sequel. Instead, it's about the anarchic danger of crime, especially when it is glamorized and given a mascot like Mabuse- a character who isn't really a part of the film in flesh and blood but more an ideal, a symbol. Powerful performances with senses of humor and larger-than-life expressionistic settings help round out this atypical nightmare, an experience as enjoyable as it is educational.
½ February 8, 2008
A weird but riveting picture, the kind that could've influenced a generation of "Detective Comics" stories. The wordless opening sequence is masterful filmmaking, as is the murder committed in traffic, but the most inspired bits are the expressionistic touches that drench this picture with nightmarish paranoia. Granted, the pacing's uneven, and the drippy romantic subplot doesn't help, but this is still an impressive work.
½ November 23, 2010
I really enjoyed this movie. Impressive effects for 1933. Good crime thriller story.
½ November 12, 2010
It isn't perfect, but it's certainly interesting/different.
½ September 25, 2010
I liked this a lot better than "M". It's an assiduously well-made crime thriller that isn't quite like any other film I've seen. Its occasional offshoots into surreal/supernatural territory are quite extraordinary and for their scary efficacy, they do work quite well with the whole film. Lang knew exactly what he was doing when he made this picture; it's beautifully filmed and smartly employs sound in metaphoric and suspenseful ways.
½ August 25, 2010
This film has sometimes been compared the Lang's more famous "M", and there are some definite similarities. In fact, this is even more of a psychological thriller I would argue, because it tries to explore the true depths of madness a person can fall into. The premise itself is fascinating, and the first two acts are very suspenseful foreboding...but in the 3rd one, it all falls rather flat. The movie suddenly turns into an action/chase roller-coaster, and for me at least, it just took me out of it. I would have preferred if the plot stuck by the doctor himself, and we found out more about how he is doing all this.

Still, it wasn't enough to ruin the movie, though I think with a better resolution it would have been a real masterpiece.
½ August 13, 2010
Fritz Lang's sequel to Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a brilliant fusion of hard boiled detectives and criminals with elements of science fiction. Through the notes scribbled by the catatonic Mabuse, criminals begin to attempt to enact the perfect crimes only to discover that Mabuse's scheme is not to pull off heists but to incite chaos through random acts of violence and other crimes. Beautifully and creepily filmed by Lang with impressive special effects for its day, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse cannot easily be describe--it must be experienced in all its quirky brilliance.
½ July 17, 2010
Saw this movie on Netflix on demand. I was really surprised at how good it was. The story was really well put together. Turns your mind around what we think of as classic movies. Please watch this if you life your mystery with a little sci-fi, amazing!
½ June 25, 2010
A riveting psychological thriller from the 1930's-----spellbinding scenes and special effects for its time.
June 3, 2010
"The purpose of all crime is to establish a limitless empire of drive all mad with terror and fear..."
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2009
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.
½ May 19, 2010
Lovely film. Dr Mabuse has been incarcerated in an asylum for many years, but a Police Commissioner finds that a series of crimes points towards Mabuse and the asylum. I particularly enjoyed the performance of Otto Wernicke, who played the Commissioner Lohmann. Sequel to Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit (1922
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