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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Restored Authorized Edition)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
  • Directors: Robert Wiene
  • Writers: Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz
  • Producers: Erich Pommer, Rudolf Meinert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: German
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JMQG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Restored Authorized Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The most brilliant example of that dark and twisted film movement known as German Expressionism, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted, a world a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.

Customer Reviews

For one thing, this movie is way ahead of its time.
William Dorfer
It's a horror film, to be sure, but this truly ranks as one of the best movies I've ever watched.
Veronica Stroud
The plot of the film is no less amazing than the distorted sets for which it is famous.
H. Lim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

196 of 206 people found the following review helpful By J. Porter on January 12, 2006
Format: DVD
I'm not going to spend time raving about the movie, because I'm going to assume that if you've got this far you already know how wonderful it is. What I think could be far more useful (as this is an area where I have been burned) is some comparison between the two DVD editions I know of.

I have copies of both the Kino Video edition and the Image Entertainment edition. My preference is for Image Entertainment for the following reasons:

(1) The print seems slightly cleaner (and most helpfully, the DVD packaging warns you about the horizontal line across the top of some scenes which is a defect on the original film)

(2) The intertitles on Image use the correct expressionistic style as per the 1920 release. from what I recall, Kino's are the 'normalised' printed intertitles from 1923.

(3) The Kino version has possibly the most insensitive layer transition location I have ever come across. For reasons of their own Kino put an intertitle before the final sequence in the asylum, and it would have been a natural place for a layer transition. Instead they put it a few seconds into the final sequence (and only a couple of minutes before the end of the film!). Image has no layer transition.

(4) Both scores on the Kino version are dreadful. One consists of strange electronic noises, while the 'orchestral' one is pretty inappropriate. Instead Image chose a very nice specially composed score by Timothy Brock which is a remarkably effective pastiche in the style of Alban Berg (very appropriate for an expressionist film).

(5) Image has a commentary track; it's not clear that Kino does (I can't remember, but certainly it isn't mentioned in the blurb on the back).
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216 of 229 people found the following review helpful By Dirk De Bruyne on January 23, 2005
Format: DVD
Amazon does NOT differentiate its reviews of titles (be it book/DVD's/vhs etc) by this or that edition by any of the many companies that release them....so your review of the cheapy public domain Alpha dvd(to name just one of the several CRAP distributors of old movies)and the words you write about the restored fine print Kino International(to name one of the very excellent distributors of old movies)will be all on the same page, WHATEVER version you have selected!!

Having said that , my review is of the KINO dvd release , a very fine one as this company does not distribute anything less(you pay more, but if you know anything about silent and classic movies it will be no secret to you that if you pay peanuts that is exactly what you will get....)...it is however disconserting to see that even the best available dvd release still hasn't been cleaned up to the degree that other classic silent masterpieces have..surely with todays technology a digital "hoovering" of this film is not too much to ask.

Wonderful film of course, but you know that otherwise you wouldn't even be reading these reviews, and the KINO version is , so far, the best you can get for your money.
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115 of 120 people found the following review helpful By keviny01 on August 11, 2000
Format: DVD
****************************
REVIEW REVISED NOV-18-2014
****************************

I'm lumping several editions of this film in a single review so it would appear on all Amazon product pages of this film. The editions I'm reviewing are:

2014 Kino Region-A Blu-ray (ASIN: B00N5ND6PU) and Region-1 DVD (ASIN: B00N5ND88U)
2014 Eureka Region-B Blu-ray/DVD combo (Amazon UK ASIN: B00KT67Q0W)
2002 Kino all-region NTSC DVD (ASIN: B00006JMQG)
1997 Image all-region NTSC DVD (ASIN: 6305075492)

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a visually stunning German silent film that tells the story of a mad doctor who trains a sleepwalker to commit evil deeds. It was a groundbreaking film in many ways, such as its use of an unreliable narrator as a framing device, and its expressionistic images resembling one's nightmare (or the mind state of a mentally-ill person) -- distorted views, deformed spaces, bizarre lights and shadows. This film, in 1920, ushered in a new era of German Expressionism on film, a period that produced such classics as The Last Laugh, Nosferatu, Metropolis, and others.

There have been many public domain copies of "Caligari" sold in stores and online, or available free to view online. Many of them use plain, static intertitles and have running times as short as 51 minutes. The only versions worth seeing are the four I'm reviewing here due to their completeness of footage used (with running time over 70 minutes), the use of stylized intertitles, and, of course, improved picture quality.

Currently, the best edition for North America is the 2014 Region-A Blu-ray from Kino (ASIN: B00N5ND6PU). A corresponding Region-B Blu-ray is also available from Eureka for European customers (Amazon UK ASIN: B00KT67Q0W).
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86 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Mike Conrado on September 14, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite films of all time, and if must own it (yes, you must own it), DON'T get this edition -- get the Image Entertainment one (the other, more expensive edition). It's worth the extra 10 or so dollars. And let me tell you why:
1. The Image edition has the original film-stock color tinting, an important creative device and a big part of what makes this such a beautiful film (especially for its time), this version does not.
2. The Image edition is beautifully transfered from a very nice print of the film, you can see everything as it was intended to be seen. I'm sure this is how the film looked when it was originally released. This edition is a terrible transfer from an already terrible print.
3. The Image edition has better music.
4. The Image edition has better intertitles.
5. The Image edition has an aditional audio commentary.
To sum it up, the Image edition isn't a piece of garbage, and it does this masterpiece justice. Don't waste your time with this edition. Sell your shoes if you can't afford the extra scratch, watching this DVD is painful. Trust me.
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