Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse (The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse)(Diabolical Dr. Mabuse) Reviews
After being utterly amazed by the 4.5 hour Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, I decided to check out the other parts of the "series" (at least the ones that Lang directed). Coincidentally, the Viennale film festival features a Fritz Lang tribute this year and so I could watch them both on the big screen. Because of scheduling issues I had to watch the last entry - Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse - before 1933's Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse.
Anyways, this is an entertaining little flick with strong American influence (Lang did this after his time in Hollywood - it's his last ever directing job btw) and surprisingly little finesse and artfulness. Not that it's not a good film or way better than most other similar movies but this is purely entertainment cinema for the masses.
With the tricks he learned in his Hollywood Noirs, Lang made the last Dr. Mabuse a combination of film noir, his own distinctive style, typical Dr. Mabuse themes (surveillance, bogus supernaturalism,...) and a certain flair reminiscent of the upcoming spy films of the 60s.
More than once I was reminded of the early Bond films - the silly shootings, the quirky gadgets and the dated über-technology features (and of course the presence of Gert Fröbe). Only the strong male hero was missing and there wasn't a menacing villain either but at least a poor female whose only purpose is to fall in love with a man she actually should fight.
I liked it, and it's fairly good entertainment but way more superficial than I expected.
Criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse was believed to be long dead, but apparently has resurfaced. His sights are on the vast fortune of young industrialist Henry Travers. A mysterious shooter, presumably one of Mabuse's goons, is killing people using not bullets but steel needles (skillfully fired into the brain). Inspector Kras (Gert Frobe, best known for playing "Goldfinger") is on the case -- suspicions center on the elegant Luxor hotel -- but Mabuse remains an elusive, wily villain. An old, blind psychic named Cornelius provides clues, but his wisdom may not be reliable. Meanwhile, a cautious love blooms between Travers and distraught Marion Menil. Too bad she already has a husband.
The film's glaring problem is simply that it's so creaky and low-budget. It was released in 1960 but, at a glance, one easily might guess the film was made in the '30s or '40s.
Still, Gert Fröbe is a solid lead, but one can see why he has been seldomly cast as hero because he is way too bulky in his acting and should play characters who are either evil or ambigious. The rest of the cast is okay, nothing worth the mention really.
Al in all, recommended to fans of the genre and people looking for something slightly different than your average American thriller, but nothing spectacular and can be missed. Better check out the silent classic versions of Mabuse by Fritz Lang