in about 100 words or less
Germany 71m, silent (B&W)
Director: Robert Wiene; Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Frederich Ferer and Lil Dagover
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a truly original psychological horror film which utilizes mental illness as a vehicle for telling a story of mind control, madness and murder. The expressionist set design and the art direction provide the perfect twisted atmosphere befitting the narrator of this story – a patient of an insane asylum. Wiene cleverly employs flashbacks within flashbacks and a twist ending which surely must have bewildered many early movie goers. While this work defined the horror genre and has served as inspiration for directors such as James Whale, Alfred Hitchcock and Tim Burton, Das Kabinett Des Doktor Caligari remains a one-of-a-kind film (Klaus Ming November 2008).