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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)

Starring Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel, Bernhard Goetzke
Directed by Fritz Lang
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A criminal mastermind amasses great wealth by manipulating the stock market and using his hypnotic abilities to dominate his victims.

Klein-Rogge gives an excellent performance in a well-regarded silent film from acclaimed director Lang, most famous for Metropolis, but who had a long career in both Germany and the United States, including helming a couple of Mabuse sequels.  Filmed in two parts, this is a lengthy work to digest, running over four and a half hours in total, and I definitely found it a bit too drawn out at times, but there's much to admire, from the opulent sets to the well-rendered characters to some excitingly staged bits of action.  Armed with a near-perpetual scowl and plethora of disguises, Klein-Rogge brings intensity to each of his personas, and creates a memorable villain that must have been highly influential.

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