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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Movie Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Genre: Horror
Year: 1920
Rated: Unrated
My Opinion: heart
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Talk about a golden oldie :) This is one of the first horror movies ever created and is also one of my favorites. It was made in Germany 1920, and is a black and white silent film.

A young man named Francis tells the story about when a stranger named Dr. Caligari came to Holstenwall during a carnival, bringing with him is somnambulist (aka 'sleepwalker') as a sideshow act. The story only gets stranger, making you question the sanity of the storyteller.

This movie is very visually appealing, making up for its lack of dialog and audio. The only word I can think of using to describe it is "surreal". The story itself is 'Frankenstein'-like, mainly about the doctor and his "monster".

The best part is that because it is public domain, it can be freely downloaded or watched on YouTube. There are two versions that I've seen: the black and white version, and the lightly colored version. The "color" isn't like most colorized versions of movies, the coloring reflects the overall mood of the movie rather than just making it look like real-life color.

There was a remake created in 2005, with English audio and modern actors superimposed in some of the original footage. I haven't seen it but I don't think I'd want to. There's something about adding dialog it a silent movie that takes away from the integrity of it. If you are going to superimpose actors and add an language audio track to a silent film, you might as well do a full blown remake rather than this patch-up version.

Have you seen this movie? What's your opinion? Comment about it.

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