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The Testament of Dr. Mebuse


roverrocks
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Greatly enjoyed watching "The Testament of Dr. Mebuse" last night. The first time I had seen this fine German movie. Thanks TCM for showing it. Much appreciated. Really enjoyed Otto Wernicke as investigator Lohmann. He stole the movie I thought. Were Liessem as Lilli was gorgeous and adorable. I fall in love with a different starlet every week. Once again, thanks TCM for showing old foreign language classics such as this one. Windows on bygone days.

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This is a weird movie. I still don't understand it, although I've seen it 3 or 4 times.

 

However, it fascinates me how much some of these characters sound and act like pre-Nazis, the way they act, the way they talk, and the way they set out to completely destroy their country and the rest of Europe.

 

Also, every time I see it, I feel like I'm watching a pre-noir, because of the great photography, lighting, and acting, and all the shadows and weird dangerous characters.

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preNazis = hundreds of years of Prussian history, militaristic society and paranoia culminating in the utterly devastating (to Germany) defeat in WW1, subsequent to WW1 civil war between the German Reds and right-wing Freikorps, and then the Great Depression. I'm so glad I wasn't a German living thru the 1920's and 1930's. A frightening place and existence caught between the violent Communists/Bolsheviks on one extreme and the violent far-right Nationalists/preNazis on the other.

I sure agree that it is hard to understand and noir-like.

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A very entertaining movie with a little bit of everything--a criminal genius,

a clever police inspector on his trail, a love story, shoot outs, car

chases, a perils of Pauline watery escape, etc., and some wonderful

direction and visuals. I agree that Lohman does steal the show, at least

in part because Rudolf Klein-Rogge really doesn't have much to do

in his brief time on screen. According to Wiki, Lang later thought that

he would have left the supernatural elements out. To me it's kind of confusing

exactly where Dr. Mabuse's spirit is and who he is inhabiting at certain

times.

 

The ironic thing is that Goebbels didn't like the film because it showed

that a criminal enterprise has the potential of overthrowing the power of

the state. While Lang may have seen the Nazis as a criminal band,

the Nazis saw themselves as the state that was threatened by criminals.

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