Monday, February 20, 2012

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a sequel to Dr Mabuse: The Gambler (1922). Both are directed by the same director: Fritz Lang. In the end of Dr Mabuse: The Gambler, Dr Mabuse lost his mind and has been sent to a mental hospital. In this sequel, the original Dr Mabuse is still played by the same actor, Rudolf Klein-Rogge. Dr Mabuse is treated by Dr Baum, who thinks the patient is not a mad criminal, but a genius. After years of treatment, Dr Mabuse can write again, although his mind is elsewhere. Dr Baum reads his notes and finds that they are details for clever crimes. It is clear that Dr Baum is obssessed with his patient and executes what are in the notes. He hires thugs to do the crimes for him, while the thugs never see him because he hides behind a screen. They know him by the name of Mabuse; and this causes confusion with the police who check the facts.

As his nemesis, we have Commissaire Lohmann. Hearing his name only will make the criminals tremble.

For a sequel, I think the story is very well written. The original Dr Mabuse was a hit, a classic; so I am glad they didn't change direction for this sequel. The doctor stays mad and another person follows his path by taking his legacy. Same like Dr Mabuse, Dr Baum do his crimes to terrorize the world. He likes to spread fear, he doesn't want money. It's scary, really, when we cannot negotiate with the bad guy because he doesn't want anything but our fear.

Dr Baum doesn't really hide behind the screen. When one of his thugs - Kent- rebels, he finds that behind the screen there is only a microphone/radio, a desk, and a carton silhouette. I think somewhere in the movie, a thug dies for trying to find out who is behind the screen, so why Kent gets lucky?

No comments: