The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hohum Score



Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

IMDB: 8.1
Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt
Length: 67 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 30 out of 233 found boring (12.87%)

One-line Reviews (107)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920): Dir: Robert Wiene / Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski: Intriguing silent film with cabinet symbolizing power or secret.

It follows a series of murders and growing madness, keeping you in constant suspense and confusion until the very last scene.

The script in itself packs an interesting plot with thrilling set of events and characters are wonderfully sketched too.

Despite my praises of historical importance, I found the pacing of this film a bit slow.

If you are expecting the movie cliché's of our time (romance, story book ending, attractive people wall to wall, over the top soundtrack/score, forced emotion, too many 'special effects') you will be disappointed.

A visually stunning work of early psychological horror .

Remembered mainly for its stunning sets, which featured crooked buildings and twisted landscapes, "Cabinet" also boasts one of the first attempts at a twist ending, something quite new and shocking for its time.

The film is certainly artistic and unusual, but also bland, and lacking in characterization and dialog; too often the film rambles on without bothering to clue the audience in on what, exactly, is happening.

89 years ago it was breath-taking, compelling and overly dramatic.

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is breathtaking, and you will not miss the presence of sound when you see what a visual feast this movie offers.

Cabinet can be a little slow for modern moviegoers.

It's Expressionistic cinematography is wonderful and suspenseful; it's no wonder that this film has influenced many subsequent directors and producers many years later.

The most intriguing elements are Cesare and the murderer.

One of the biggest reasons why I feel this movie is worth watching was the interestingly made plot and the journey that this story takes you on.

i see more fantastic surreal details every time i view it,i am an artist with a long history in stage and window display work and this 1920's masterpiece is still very intense after 80 years, one wonders how it was viewed at the time ?.

It's all thespian and it must be looked at as a theater in production value; the isolated colour on Caligari (when it's all black and it isolates him in one part) is exciting and binding, keeping your attention on this very weird and disturbed individual.

The hour and ten minutes isn't a long time in relation to the average duration of the movies, but it is way too long in relation to the story this movie tells.

Its not that i don't like silent movies, its just that well they can be very hard to follow.

Through this device of inner/outer reciprocal reflection, the controlling visual device of director Robert Wiene's suspenseful frame story (written by Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz, art directed by Herman Warm, Walter Reiman, and Walter Rohrig), architecture is an exterior expression of interior cogitation, a counterpoint to the ordinary take on architecture as "form follows function.

I really enjoyed it.

While I praise the story, cinematography, and the twist; the development was a bit slow at times.

This ancient film remains mysterious, evocative and bold.

I honestly could not understand this movie, it seemed slow-paced and boring to me.

The striking visuals and unsettling soundtrack create a feeling of great paranoia and mysteriousness, but I feel that the story is just as important in making the film as compelling as it is.

Being familiar with silent movies, I was prepared for a bit of slowness.

Watching it, we know it's not real, the doors are all shaped wrong and the walls look like they're about to fall into each other, but we're completely immersed in more and more whacked-out imagery and storytelling until reality itself is incidental.

Few directors and cinema-makers actually dared to take the second step, and make both an entertaining 'movie picture' as well as one that could be thoroughly analyzed and interpreted by audiences.

Though this film is confusing, that's the point-you have to mull this one over in your head and draw your own conclusions.

The skewed shapes of ordinary objects like windows and doors and the use of paint to represent light and shadows is stunning.

Visually Stunning .

I'm not a huge fan of silent movies, but this one was pretty boring.

The overall story was boring to me, even 86 years ago I find it hard to believe this was considered creepy.

If you can't speed it up, prepare for a snore fest, a predictable plot and a twist that wasn't worth waiting for.

Even if the cinematography may seem slow or even archaic to today's audiences "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" is as influential as its gets.

It is a slow waste of time.

This, and the fact that the silent movie intertitles are often hard to follow make it quite complex.

It's also entertaining.

The plot is so overly simplistic that I found much of the goings on dull.

One can easily perceive why it became a classic: not only for the superb visual style, with those surreal, curved decorates that give the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare, but also for its dark, engaging and suspenseful plot (highlight scenes are the kidnapping of one of the main characters, and the last 20 minutes).

Confusing, hasn't aged too well .

Well, I was right, CABINET is not as good as any of those, but is still a very well-made film and is as stunning as it was in 1920.

What makes it stand out is the outstanding acting by all those involved and the very engaging story that takes many shocking twists and turns.

Another rousing technique is the use of kite-shaped vignettes to show the tumultuous feelings hidden inside the subject, whereas circular vignettes are used to show them as lonely or secretive.

Personally, I wasn't always kept too engaged in the film and found it to be, sometimes, a little slow, it is usually a marvel to look at and I found some scenes to be oddly haunting, and the age of the film really helped the mysterious tone it creates.

Ultimately this film still provides very absorbing viewing, although some deterioration must have affected the available master copies and is still evident on modern VHS or DVD copies.

Viewers may find the story a tad slow.

This movie is right on the edge, and it seems any more added to it would have made it topple over.

As a result story is sometimes hard to follow, and probably subtleties in the story were lost on viewers like me.

Only watch this one if you really want to; the ending makes it worth viewing for horror buffs, but be prepared for a slow ride towards it.

It's always a disappointment to watch a fairly good horror film only to have it resolved in a clichéd, boring, predictable way.

He was quite a compelling and graceful performer as well as being a beautiful young man.

if i'd known nothing about it and you'd presented it to me as early Tim Burton, whose stylised settings and character designs bear strong resemblance to German Expressionist cinema of the 1920s, i'd have believed you and credited it as by far his best work inspired by the screenwriters' experiences during World War I and subsequent mistrust of authority, with Dr. Caligari representing, in the words of Hans Janowitz, 'the authoritative power of an inhuman state gone mad', the story is compelling even without the political subtext: a psychiatrist obsessed with an 18th century Italian mystic (Caligari) tries to emulate him by using a pathological sleepwalker to terrorise a German town i highly recommend the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung's 4K restoration with hypnotic musical accompaniment by composer John Zorn that's sure to leave a lasting impression pairs well with Gorilla Glue #4

It is a thrilling film that plays on the mind in more ways than one.

I found the plot very predictable, especially the fact that Cesare is the murderer, because the shadow in the wall during the murder scene is clearly him.

At the risk of sounding cliché: two thumbs up!

The imagery is absolutely stunning.

Most of the people who defend this unwatchable film are trying to explain we have to reconsider it was made a long time ago.

The psychotic dreamscapes of this movie are so intense it has lost none of it's original power over the years.

Yes you are all correct, it only misses a few frames but still, nowadays we can see it restored and even on Blu Ray it looked stunning.

The titles seem too slow.

Well, apart from the "archeological" interest of this movie, "Caligari" is a so thrilling visual experience, so sickly disturbing.

Lastly, I think this movie is worth watching because of the original idea it has for its time.

This film also incorporates very intense and emotive "mise en scene" or its elements of visual style.

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is easy to watch mostly because of it's astonishing expressionist style and on the edge of your seat story.

Much respect to it, but it is very boring .

They determined to write a script together combining these two things, but had no plot for it until they visited a fair together.

Through the years it has gained a somewhat legendary reputation, somewhat thanks to Bauhaus and other arty bands and their heavy use of imagery from this movie to design single-sleeves, T-shirts etc. But of course the main reason that this and a handful of other early expressionist works from Germany continues to hold a tight grip over cineasts worldwide is that it's distinct style makes for a fascinating watch.

I just found the film immensely boring.

The only negative about the film at all is that it is a bit plodding here and there and the emotion is a little over-the-top even for the silent era.

The story is uninteresting & dull, not to mention dated.

A supposed asylum director who himself is an asylum inmate was confusing beyond belief.

Overall this is, in my opinion, without a doubt one one of the best films from the 20's and, so far, the most entertaining I've seen.

The unconventional way Caligari presents his circus act was really the way the movie was drawn out - You can tell that with all the animation that feels in the background, this was a blueprint for the character.

While the visuals are often the first thing that one notices in "Caligari", the screenplay is as influential (maybe even more) as the design, as the way the story is built (as a flashback), the thrilling climax and the even more surprising conclusion of the tale are now often imitated classics plot devices in suspense films.

The story traces a murder mystery that treads down contemporarily familiar paths, but the sheer audacity of the sets, costuming, music, and acting makes every moment unpredictable and confusing.

The score is unbearable and some of the acting is ludicrous.

It's perfectly done for its time, but it's so slow that I started to freak out after ten minutes.

The visuals (again) were stunning, the story was breathtaking, and the originality of everyone involved far surpasses that of which is released today.

It is undoubtedly the stunning sets designed by Herman Warm that capture both the viewer's attention and imagination, with their claustrophobically tilting angles and distorted perspectives encapsulating the skewed perceptions of the madman who relates the tale of the sinister doctor.

Unbearably slow .

Concerning the plot, yet it's true that it isn't really the great thing and that many people now a days find it boring, I got to enjoy it, further than its aesthetical function (I even got to laugh in a couple of scenes), and I highly recommend it, as a good old piece of art from which many of today's film makers may take some good lessons on how to approach movies.

a masterpiece but is very very boring now this is a classic and i am glad i own it and it should be seen by any movie fan but i found it hard to pay attention cause it is dull still this is a must own if you can find it buy it it is very unique ***** out of 5

The sets are absolutely fascinating looking to say the least.

It's a must see and a truly entertaining piece of art and cinematic history.

This is a character that remains very compelling to this day.

Prod design and costumes are super drab and shabby, reflecting the extreme poverty of the era.

I still bet than when it was made some people thought it was incredibly silly, ugly and pretentious.

How can a film from 1919 still be as exciting, surprising, and incredibly inventive even as we approach a new millennium?

The colour tinting is terrible, the title cards are far too disjointed and slow to make any sense, and i don't know what happened to the soundtrack, but I almost walked out of the theatre.

One of the slowest things I've ever seen in my life.

Anyway, it got way too confusing at this point to understand, so I won't even elaborate further.

The final act presents a completely unnecessary, confusing plot twist.

those that I could have done without, so - to wrap this review up - here are two breathtaking, and innovative, scenes from this film that will go down in cinematic infamy.

It was exciting, thrilling, twisted and conveyed on the screen what remembered nightmares are like.

This is a modern composition for the film by Dave Clarke, featuring synthesizers, a breathtaking vocal aria by Onalea Gilbertson, and a Theremin, which is an electronic musical instrument producing eerie warping tones, perfect for this setting.

`The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' may not be the kind of film that would shock today's audience, but its fascinating and horrific use of surrealistic atmosphere clearly had an influence on modern filmmakers such as David Cronenberg and David Lynch.

This is an enjoyable film and for those that would like to see how movies were made in the 20's as to how they are today, this movie could enlighten us a bit.

However, whilst it surely wouldn't have seemed like this back in 1920, it is rather boring through contemporary eyes.

And, when it came to its rather bizarre and deliberately distorted set designs, I found them, before long, to be quite boring, and literally under-whelming.

a great psychological thriller from the past in a time when this kind of stuff was amazing and awe inspiring.

The film's scenery and story are one of the most fascinating parts of the movie.

Stunning achievement in expressionist filmmaking .

It's truly fascinating.

It is that fork in the road that the viewer takes along with the film that leads to an unexpected finale.

The plot was compelling and the acting was entertaining.

If your like action and a bit of entertaining scenes when you watch a movie, then avoid this at all cost because its god awful boring.

People who may watch this film will come across elements that are now cliché.