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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


Robert Wiene

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About the Movie

In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a visionary team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted, a world in which a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community. This authoritative edition of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 4K restoration scanned from the (mostly) preserved camera negative at the German Federal Film Archive.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 49
  • Fresh: 49
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 9.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Robert Wiene has made perfect use of settings designed by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Roehrig, settings that squeeze and turn and adjust the eye and through the eye the mentality. – Variety Staff, Variety, Oct 7, 2011

Fresh: A case can be made that Caligari was the first true horror film. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct 7, 2011

Fresh: This is more than just a textbook classic; the narrative frame creates ambiguities that hold certain elements of the story in disturbing suspension. A one-of-a-kind masterpiece. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: [That Wiene], this outsider, with no knowledge of studio customs, no reverence for studio traditions, should have turned out The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari seems a thing almost too strange for belief. – CA Lejeune, Guardian, Oct 30, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


art fart.

A silent gem

This piece is one of the few silent films that maintained its relevance and effect through the years. It's one of my favorite classics.

As twisted today as ever

The visuals in this film hold up surprisingly well for its age. Practical sets and make up at its best make the film's Art Deco look like a moving painting rather than a moving photograph (a different interpretation of motion picture). The story itself is complex and a twisted psychological joy ride, with an ending that will leave your jaw on the floor. As someone who finds silent movies a chore to sit through, I found this one surprisingly enjoyable and well worth the watch. A unique mind ending movie experience comparable to modern films like inception and the matrix with one distinct difference: while those movie's worlds were created with the help of cgi this film created a new world by building and painting everything by hand. Crazy to think about.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Classics
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings