The Cabinet of Caligari - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cabinet of Caligari Reviews

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October 30, 2014
Nothing works, from the dialogue that never comes close to duplicating the way real people talk, to a surreal mental breakdown climax complete with distorted sets.
October 29, 2014
The differences between this movie and its silent film inspiration are significant. Here Caligari is a controlling Freudian madman, keeping Jane against her will and taunting her with scarcely glimpsed perversities. Kay and Bloch do away with the somnambulist Cesar and the carnival setting, focusing instead on the implications of the earlier film's ending. But while the majority of the action seems much more "real world"than in Weine's film, the climax in which Jane descends fully into madness is a real stunner. One particular sequence in which Jane sees a baker pulling loaves of bread shaped like infants out of a blazing oven even seems to prefigure David Lynch's Eraserhead in both theme and imagery--in fact, I would not be surprised to learn this film was a direct influence on that one.
½ September 21, 2014
A strange tale that is a long wind up to a final twist ending of the Twilight Zone sort. Impressive acting by an ensemble cast but with a script filled with quite pretentious and stilted dialog. Horror is something of an overstatement in describing this movie. If you are expecting a remake of the 1920 silent classic, this is definitely not it. What it really is the viewer only learns at the end, at which point a lot of pretentious dialog makes more sense than it seemed to when you initially heard it.
July 10, 2014
The Cabinet of Caligari is a psychological thriller inspired by the famous German silent film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Aside from the names the two main characters, Jane and Caligari, and the final plot twist, this film has little resemblance with the early predecessor. The writer, Robert Bloch, a prolific author of short stories, novels and screenplays is best known for Psycho, the novel on which the Hitchcock film is based. Unlike the silent film, this is not a horror, but a psychological story akin to an episode of Twilight Zone -one of the better episodes. The acting and directing are first rate and Bloch's story intrigues and surprises even if the ultimate plot twist becomes clear before the final sequence. The opening image, light at the end of a tunnel, and disturbing music are the only clue that things may not be what they appear. An attractive blond, Jane, exits the tunnel and drives freely in her sports car, sans shoes, until she suffers a flat and finds herself, Rocky Horror Picture style, seeking refuge within the estate of the eccentric Caligari. The estate is not a creepy old mansion, but a tasteful, modern home with comfortable accommodations. After a night's rest, Jane meets Caligari's numerous unsettling guests. Unsettling, only because they accept without question or concern that Jane is being kept in the estate against her will. A large locked gate, guards and dogs prevent Jane from leaving. Most of the guests are kind and understanding. A few, including a handsome young love interest, offer to help Jane escape as long as she opens her mind to their cooperation. An elderly woman named Ruth befriends Jane and offers to help her leave, until Jane later discovers Ruth being tortured by the cruel Caligari and his staff. Jane too suffers humiliation and pain at the hand of the sadistic Caligari. She must rely on her own resolve to escape the nightmare, discovering that most things are not what they appear. While not as ground-breaking as the early film with a similar title, The Cabinet of Caligari is an enjoyable psychological thriller.
February 23, 2014
remake of the 1919 silent horror classic that bears little resemblence to the original
½ March 17, 2012
A little slow (and by that I mean talky) but what 60's psycho movie isn't? The finales are unfailingly worth sitting through sometimes draggy first and second acts for. Head's up: if you've seen the original Caligari the ending may be slightly telegraphed... but the rest of the movie is so successful at messing with your head, you'll definitely be doubting those assumptions.
June 1, 2011
Pretty boring film with a lot of dialog that seems to get in the way of this story, but the twist at the end 'kind of' works -- yet is not to difficult to figure it out before the ending. This movie is a real test of your ability to not hit the 'fast forward' button.
½ June 1, 2011
[QUOTE=IMDB][b]Tagline:[/b] No one permitted out or in during the last thirteen nerve-shattering minutes![/QUOTE]
Wow, the end to this movie is so terrible and the wait to get there is even worse. I could only keep half any eye on this movie, it was just so boring. Just to continue to watch it I had to do other things to keep my interest as it played. I wanted to what this movie in one sitting, cause it was playing on the Fox movie channel and I didn't think it would be on again for awhile.

This movie has nothing to do with the original Cabinet of Dr. Caligari silent movie, expect for maybe the ending. Oh no! I kinda ruined this movie for anyone willing enough to actually see the greatness of the original The Cabinat of Dr. Caligari.

Anyone who wants to check this out do so, but I just can't bare to watch it ever again.
June 1, 2011
[font=Courier New]While glancing over some television listings the past couple of days, I noticed Fox Movie Channel was showing [i]The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari[/i]. But for some reason they kept omitting the ?Dr.? part of the title. When I watched it, I realized this wasn?t the silent classic I thought it was, but a psychological thriller written by the man who brought us the classic [i]Psycho[/i].

I figured the combination of one of my favorite movies with the writer of another one of my favorite movies would be a good deal. Man was I wrong. Not only does this movie have nothing to do with the original, it shows that writer Robert Bloch has had some bumps in his career.

The movie is about a beautiful woman named Jane Lindstrom (Glynis Johns? Mrs. Winifred Banks from [i]Mary Poppins[/i], another movie I like). Jane is driving one day, and gets a flat tire. She walks for what seems like a million miles and ends up at the door of Caligari (Dan O?Herlihy).

While he seems like a gentleman at first, he turns into one dickhead of a host. He keeps Jane locked within his property. He peeks in at her, talks dirty to her and pokes her with numerous mental questions. All adding up to pretty much nothing but a lot of overacting, and poor scriptwriting.

It is amazing at how bad this movie gets. At first, I was mildly into it. But once Caligari?s dark side turns up, the movies interest dims down. And we have to sit through frustrating moments over and over and over and over? until out minds are fried. Much like Caligari seems to be doing to Jane. But I doubt that was the film-makers intention.

I will give the movie some points for dealing with a somewhat sexual story during that time period of film-making. While it isn't played out all that well, it still is a nice aspect of the movie.

The overly talking resolution to the film just about kills the whole movie. And just when you think it can?t get any worst, there is yet another pointless twist for the hell of it. I haven?t been this frustrated with a movie in a long time. Seeing this movie however makes me appreciate the original [i]The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari[/i].[/font]
½ October 25, 2010
I was actually interested in seeing this movie for awhile. I had seen the original silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and wanted to see how it played in a modernized setting. The dialogue and delivery were so bad that it was funny. I would have expected more from Robert Bloch who wrote the script. The content of the characters monologues were very pretentious and sounded like it was trying hard to come off as artsy, but it fell flat because the acting jumped from emotion to emotion so quickly not to mention the long moments of expository narrative. Better to watch the original silent film if you want to see something truly surreal.
September 12, 2009
Woman is held captive at a country house. Inspired by the German expressionist movie, this film uses the story within the story madness, and even a few visual homages to silent films. The interviews sound more like the interrogations from the Prisoner.
April 22, 2008
Remake in name only to the classic Silent film. This is pretty boring and Glynis Johns is just awful.
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