Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; Review

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Written by Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz, Directed by Robert Wiene is a German Horror Story Told in the form of a Stage Play and Stars Dr Caligori (Werner Krauss) alongside Cesare (Conrad Veidt) the Somnambulist. Since the movie came out in the 1920's it wouldn't really be a film designed for people of the later generation with the Black and white Images as well as the Word Cards shown throughout the movie.

The Story starts of with Francis (Friedrich Feher) Retelling His and His Fiancee Janes (Lil Dagover) Unfortunate Experience, which turn out to be the whole movie Rarely going back to Francis until the End of the movie, The Story goes when Francis and his friend Alan (Hans Heinrich) take a trip down to the local fair, The place where Dr Caligari so happens to be setting up shop. When the Two men go in to see the exhibit along with a group of other people they get shown the Dr Caligari's Cabinet which houses the Infamous Somnambulist Cesare. When Cesare is awoken from his dream state by Caligari, Alan Willingly asks the time of his death to Cesare who can apparently foretell Future events, when Alan Coincidentally Dies that very night, Francis takes it apon himself to solve the case and avenge his friend. This takes Francis down a road of Uncertainty and Mystery and by the end of it leaves us with a Unforeseen twist.

This Movie is considered the one Horror Film that starts the trend of other future Horror Films, with what this movie contains the rumors would be true. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is one of those films that is predictable, that you can tell what's going to happen before it does and that is the one thing that most horror movies nowadays still keep.

Despite these flaws the movie is quite good to watch and the Stage design is something to see. it really gives the feeling of a place where stuff like Murder and other crimes happen all the time. The jagged landscape of sharp angles and weird looking walls and windows, trees with spiky leaves, grass that looks like knives. So you can kinda see how this can be portrayed as a Horror film.

Screen Shots of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.

Quotes from the Movie;

Jane: We who are of noble blood may not follow the wishes of our hearts.

Dr. Caligari: I must know everything. I must penetrate the heart of his secret! I must become Caligari!

Francis: You all think I'm insane-! it isn't true - it's the director who's insane! - He is Caligari... Caligari... Caligari!


  1. For some reason the words are not showing properly for me not sure about everyone else. If someone knows how to fix this it would be greatly appreciated.

    First Time there will always be something wrong. Seems that has happened to me.

  2. Hey Ben - try re-opening this post, selecting all the text and then getting rid of all the formatting (the button with the T and the little 'x'). I suspect you've mistakenly selected the text and used the highlighter option, or, if this has been copied in from another doc, maybe the formatting has come with it - either way, the 'xT' button should reset your formatting and allow you to figure it out.

  3. Hi Ben,

    Ok, so here are a few pointers to help you with you next film review :)

    Be careful where you use capital letters - they should only be used for proper names (ie Francis, Jane, Caligari etc), at the beginning of a sentence and for titles of films, books etc (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, for example).

    Avoid 'chatty' language - '...where stuff like Murder...happens' and 'kinda', for example. You want your writing to sound academic - see Phil's guide to writing essays here -

    Be careful of statements like this -
    'Since the movie came out in the 1920's it wouldn't really be a film designed for people of the later generation with the Black and white Images as well as the Word Cards shown throughout the movie.'
    You are making an assumption there, that people today wouldn't be interested in the film, whereas it could be argued that the film was of major interest to contemporary film-makers such as Tim Burton, for example.

    The brief askes you to use 3 quotes to support your discussion - these should not be quotes from the film, but should be from some other published sources, such as film critic reviews, books etc. So for example, if you are discussing the use of the twisted set design, you might find a quote by a critic that has also discussed this point. The quotes then need to be referenced in a bibliography, using the Harvard method - see here

    Likewise, the images should be labelled 'Fig. 1 Francis, Alan and Jane in the twisted street' for example. These are then referenced in an Illustrations List at the end, after the bibliography.
    Have a look at these examples so that you can see how the images and quotes are used effectively -

    Looking forward to reading your next review!