Germany | 99 min.
1.66:1 OAR anamorphic
black & white
• New, officially licenced anamorphic transfer from restored materials
• New and improved optional English subtitles with original soundtrack
• Newly recorded feature-length audio commentary by film-scholar and Lang expert David Kalat
• 2002 video interview with actor Wolfgang Preiss
• An alternate ending taken from the French print of the film
• Optional English-language dub track, approved by Fritz Lang
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring vintage reprints of writing by Lang, new writing by David Cairns, notes by Lotte Eisner on Lang’s final, unrealised projects, and more
Fritz Lang, 1960
After enjoying fantastic success with Fritz Lang’s two-part “Indian Epic” in 1959, the German producer Artur Brauner signed the great director to direct one more film. The result would be the picture that, in closing the saga he began nearly forty years earlier, brought Lang’s career full-circle, and would come to represent his final celluloid testament — by extension: his final film masterpiece.
Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse [The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse] finds that diabolical Weimar name resurfacing in the Cold War era, linked now to the actions of a criminal gang whose methodology — executed by, among others, the bug-eyed “No. 12” (portrayed by Howard Vernon, of Melville’s Le Silence de la mer and Godard’s Alphaville) — resembles that of the same villainous mastermind who gripped Berlin with his menace in the years preceding Hitler. Séances, assassinations, and Nazi-engineered surveillance-tech — all abound in Lang’s paranoid, and ultimate, filmic labyrinth.
One of the great and cherished “last films” in the history of cinema, Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse provides a stylistic glimpse into the ’60s works on such subjects as sex-crime, youth-culture, and LSD that Lang would unfortunately never come to realise. Nonetheless: deemed “masterly … lively, spontaneous, thrilling” by Lotte Eisner, and described by Roger Greenspun as asking from its audience “both greater innocence and infinitely greater sophistication than most of us bring to the movies nowadays,” Lang’s final film remains an explosive, and definitive, closing statement. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Fritz Lang’s Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse in its fully-restored version for the first time in the UK.