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Classics of German Expressionist Cinema

Thursday, February 22, 1979
7:30 p.m. Dr. Mabuse
Fritz Lang (Germany,1922)

Admission: $2.50

Part One: The Great Gambler, A Portrait Of Our Time
Part Two: Inferno, A Play Of People In Our Time

“Dr. Mabuse, the master criminal, is described by one character: ‘Who he is nobody knows. He is there. He lives. He stands over the city - huge like a tower - he is damnation and eternal bliss. He is the greatest man that ever lived.’ Mabuse is an archetypal Lang figure - attempting to control his own fate, and that of others (‘I am going to be a giant, a Titan, who throws into turmoil gods and laws’), yet also a victim, by virtue simply of being human. These films (both viewable separately) are at once thrillers and social portraits. Mabuse capitalises specifically on the malaise of postwar Germany in the building of his criminal empire. An extraordinarily bleak picture results, with police and criminals equated to give an impression, as Luc Moullet has described it, of two rival gangs, battling it out in a hostile world.”

—National Film Theatre, London

• Directed by Fritz Lang. Screenplay by Lang and Thea von Harbou, after the novel by Norbert Jacques. Photographed by Carl Hoffmann. With Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede Nissen, Bernhard Goetzke. (1922, Part One:149 mins, Part Two:119 mins, silent with English intertitles, Print Courtesy of Goethe Institute)