Wednesday, September 23, 2009
13. Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler/Dr. Mabuse Parts 1 and 2 (1922)
Running Time: 229 minutes
Directed By: Fritz Lang
Written By: Norbert Jacques, Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
Main Cast: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Alfred Abel. Bernhard Goetzke, Gertrude Welcker, Aud Egede-Nissen
Note: Again we run across the issue of running time with this film, as basically everywhere you look there's a different running time listed for this picture, with the basic consensus being between 270-280 minutes. The version listed on Netflix has a running time of 229 minutes, which was the version that I'm set to review for you here. With a little bit of research, I find out that the only place the entire, 280 minute version of the film was released is in Region 2 DVD countries, thus excluding me from that area, and leaving me to settle with this version.
DOCTOR, DOCTOR...GIMME' THE NEWS...
When I arrived at Dr. Mabuse I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was directed by Fritz Lang. I have previously seen "M" and loved it, so was all set and ready to see my second Lang film, Dr. Mabuse. I won't compare it to "M" at this time, because that particular film will be coming up in our journey, down the road. However, I will say that "Dr. Mabuse, Parts 1 and 2, was an absolutely boring and in my opinion, terrible film, that quickly turned my excitement to disappointment.
We kick off with the nefarious title character, and quickly realize that he is a master of disguise, who is bound and determined to cause as much trouble and swindle as much money as he possibly can. The film starts out with an ice breaker crime, to let the viewer know exactly the lengths that Mabuse will go to, to pull off his plans. Mabuse and his men, plot out a grand scheme where they steal a very important trade agreement that will have a huge impact on the stock market. They don't plan to use the information provided in the document, just cause a ruckus, long enough for them to make a few bucks in the stocks.
From there we meet Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler, as Mabuse dresses in different costumes and worms his way into any gambling parlor he can find, so that he can, basically mind fuck the other players and cleanup at the table. You see, he has some sort of hold over them, that really isn't fully explained to us, as the viewer, until nearly the end of the entire film. The players, when controlled by Mabuse, hold their heads and seem to be in La La Land, as he cleans up, takes off and they're left trying to piece the puzzle together of why their wallet is now empty.
Then, our hero is introduced, Norbert Von Weck, State Attorney, who has heard complaints of poker players saying that they've been playing with a particular man, and without even realizing what has happened they're broke. He's determined to investigate, so he goes undercover into the gambling parlors. When Mabuse tries to control Von Weck's head, it doesn't work, however Mabuse escapes and leaves Von Weck with definite evidence that someone is fucking over poker players.
The second part, kicks off with a lot of Von Weck trying to track down Mabuse and figure out who he is. I'll leave it at that for now and let you judge by what I've written, whether or not this flick is something for you or not.
To me, there is very little happening in this film and we're left until nearly the end of the movie, asking ourselves how Mabuse is controlling these people's minds. We see shot after shot of Mabuse, in different disguises playing cards and winning all the loot, but we're never told how he's doing it, which leaves each scene, in my opinion, pointless. Also, at nearly four hours, that makes the torture even worse and it is a definite chore to get through this very slow paced film.
RATING: 1/10 Gotta' go to tbe bottom of the barrel for this one, as I really didn't enjoy anything about it, and would welcome another view at the Birth of A Nation over this any day of the week. Hopefully my next Frtiz Lang flick will be better.
NEXT UP: Nanook of the North...The first documentary on our journey.
September 22, 2009 9:21pm
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