German Horror Classics (Nosferatu (1922) / The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari / Waxworks / The Golem)
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The film divided both critical and popular response, but once pure expressionism reached the screen it touched off a series of German films that dabbled in the style to at least some degree. This memorable Kino Video box set collects four of the most famous: the aforementioned CALIGARI, the 1920 THE GOLEM, the 1922 NOSFERATU, and the rarely seen 1924 WAXWORKS. Both individually and collectively, these films and others like them have cast an extremely long shadow, influencing directors as diverse as James Whale, Frederico Fellini, and Bob Fosse.
CALIGARI, THE GOLEM, and NOSFERATU are widely available in various "budget" releases, but it has been my hard-won experience that in such situations you get what you pay for: most are unwatchable. The Kino editions, however, are very much "best case" prints, contrast balanced and with original tints restored. Short of full digital restoration, this is as good as it gets, and while they may seem pricey in comparison they are well worth every cent.
Sadly, none of the DVDs offer significant bonus material.Read more ›
Most prints of Robert Weine's DR. CALIGARI only run 52 minutes, in B&W. This collection has it color-tinted at 75 minutes from a 35mm German film archive print and with two music score options-modern jazz or soft orchestra. This is the first great horror film, about a traveling circus with a madman and his murderous assistant. Also included on the disk is a 48 minute condensation of another Weine film, GENUINE: THE TALE OF A VAMPIRE (1920). A CALIGARI photo gallery is included.
THE GOLEM, from star/director Paul Wegener, is set in a medieval German town. A giant clay man helps save a village from an evil dictator. This was the forerunner of all the FRANKENSTEIN movies. It runs 86 minutes, from the Munich Film Archive, with a new music score.
Paul Leni's WAXWORKS was made in Germany only a couple of years before he did THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1927). Jon Marsalis provides a lush new music score. The movie has the original roadshow color tinting and runs 85 minutes.Read more ›
All of the discs seem to have very clean transfers. I do not have the luxury or experience to do a first-hand comparison of the various releases and transfers, but watching these DVDs the image is as clean as one could expect from films from the 1920's. It seems evident to me that care and not insignificant research was put into each DVD. I have very much enjoyed viewing all of the movies in the set. (Now, onto Murnau's Faust! And the soon-to-be-re-released Metropolis, also from Kino.)
This collection contains Kino Authorized Restored versions of Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Waxworks, and The Golem.
The Nosferatu edition, containing an overly experimental "period" soundtrack (that even uses voice in some places), inaccurate tinting, and some questionably translated title cards, has already been made obsolete by an even newer Ultimate Edition. Four years after this version's release, even Kino knew it had to be redone. But don't expect Kino's newer, better version in this box set.
The Dr. Caligari edition, while containing the original color tinting, is a terrible cut, containing frequent blurs, dark spots, and an excessive amount of scratching and contrast problems. As I said in a review for that edition, even the cheap Alpha Video edition has a clearer picture. Add to that another ultra-modernized soundtrack that doesn't feel authentic for the film, and you have yourself one poor Restored Edition. Count on Kino to release a fixed, Ultimate Edition of this film soon.
The Golem is perhaps the best deal of this boxed set, though it can easily be bought on its own. The film still suffers from a lot of scratching, but it's leaps and bounds beyond the quality of any other edition I've ever seen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great set with well-done restorations. It's still mind boggling how avant garde these works were, and how psychologically insightful even today. Read morePublished 17 months ago by JS
This is the one that I meant to refer to. The Golem music has been replaced! This is the worst possible thing to do to kill that great 1920 classic.Published 19 months ago by Max Epstein
Excellent product. Glad to see the horror classics available again!Published 19 months ago by Dean A. Doerrfeld
This Kino DVD collection contains 4 German Horror Classics (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Waxworks and The Golem). Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by MacheteJason
I recently fell in love with silent movies, and the German Expressionist movies are simply the best. Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Read morePublished on July 20, 2013 by Dylan G. Bank
This is the perfect gift for any film fan. These are essential films for a fan's collection and enjoyable to boot. It's difficult to not enjoy them over and over again. Read morePublished on October 22, 2008 by Lynn Ellingwood
OK, if you have any other versions of these films, these are the transfers to get. I won't waste time doing a synopsis of each film. Read morePublished on July 23, 2008 by R. Rosener
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