The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse

A Study of the Twelve Films and Five Novels


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About the Book

The Mabuse phenomenon is recognized as an icon of horror in Germany as Frankenstein and Dracula are in the United States. A study of the 12 motion pictures and five books (and some secondary films) that make up the eight decades of adventures of master criminal Mabuse, created by author Norbert Jacques in the best-selling 1922 German novel and brought to the screen by master filmmaker Fritz Lang in the same year.
Both on screen and off, the story of Dr. Mabuse is a story of love triangles and revenge, of murder, suicides, and suspicious deaths, of betrayals and paranoia, of fascism and tyranny, deceptions and conspiracies, mistaken identities, and transformation. This work, featuring much information never before published in English, provides an understanding of a modern mythology whose influence has pervaded popular culture even while the name Mabuse remains relatively unknown in the United States.

About the Author(s)

David Kalat is a film historian and a forensic technologist. He has contributed audio commentaries to the home video editions of numerous classic movies, written extensively for Turner Classic Movies and other publications. He lives in La Grange Park, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

David Kalat
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 315
Bibliographic Info: 109 photos, bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [2001]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2337-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0107-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

A Note on the Text      1

Introduction      3

1. The Man Behind the Man Behind the Curtain      9

2. The Eyes of Fritz Lang      20

3. Dr. Mabuse, the Great Gambler: A Picture of the Time      36

4. Dr. Mabuse, Inferno: A Play About the People of Our Time      49

5. Premonition      61

6. A Brief History of Nazi Germany      62

7. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse      68

8. The Little Dictator: Fritz Lang in America      92

9. The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse      112

10. German Trash Cinema: The Story of Artur Brauner      131

11. The Return of Dr. Mabuse      143

12. The Invisible Dr. Mabuse      163

13. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse      173

14. Dr. Mabuse vs. Scotland Yard      188

15. The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse      203

16. Scream and Scream Again      213

17. The Life and Times of Jess Franco      227

18. The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse      239

19. The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow Press      245

20. The Story of Chabrol      257

21. Club Extinction      267

22. The Legacy of Dr. Mabuse      281

Bibliography      293

Filmography      297

Index      301

Book Reviews & Awards

“entertaining and enlightening…thorough…highly recommend[ed]”—Science Fiction Studies; “can’t ask for a better study of the films and the novels…Kalat has delved deep…definitive…the first in-depth English-language examination of this fascinating subject”—Film Review; “a full and fascinating account…recommended”—Interzone; “essential…exhaustive…will turn the casual reader into an overnight expert”—Rue Morgue; “fascinating…important…excellent”—Scarlet Street; “comprehensive…critical analysis…thorough…a significant contribution to film scholarship…well worth investigation”—Video Watchdog.