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The Last Will of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Le testament du Dr. Mabuse (original title)
French version of the German movie Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933). Both movies were directed simultaneously by Fritz Lang in Germany.

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(scenario), (French adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

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During the 1960s Germany, criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse is using hypnotized victims and the surveillance equipment of a Nazi-era bugged hotel to steal nuclear technology from a visiting American industrialist.

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A German architect runs away with the maharajah of Eschnapur's fiancee but is caught and thrown in the dungeon, while his relatives arrive from Europe looking for him and the maharajah's brother is scheming to usurp the throne.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Thomy Bourdelle ...
Professeur Baum
Karl Meixner ...
Hofmeister
Jim Gérald ...
Commissaire Lohmann
Monique Rolland ...
Lilli
Maurice Maillot ...
Thomas Kent
Ginette Gaubert ...
Anna
...
Hardy
...
Koretsky
...
Bredow
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jacques Ehrem
Georges Koudria
Marcel Merminod
Georges Paulais
Sylvie de Pedrillo
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Storyline

French version of the German movie Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933). Both movies were directed simultaneously by Fritz Lang in Germany.

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Release Date:

19 March 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Will of Dr. Mabuse  »

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Trivia

This movie was banned by the Nazi Regime in 1933. According to Fritz Lang, Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, invited him for a meeting. Goebbels said himself and Hitler counted Lang's earlier movies as their favourites, notably Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924), Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (1924) and Metropolis (1927). However, they did not like his latest movies that much. The reasons are simple: M (1931) and Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933) could be interpreted as metaphors of the rising Nazi ideology. The former depicts an underground evil organisation replacing the police and the latter shows an insane leader of organised crime using Nazi slogans. Despite this, because of his reputation and skills, Goebbels offered Lang to be an official movie director of the Nazi regime. Lang said he would think about it. Lang later stated that he fled that same evening for Paris without being able to withdraw his money from the bank. Actually, he did leave, but later on after organising his trip. And as we know he eventually left France for the USA. One anecdote was mentioned by Lang, but it is impossible to know if it is true or not. After Goebbels made his proposal, Lang replied: "But you must know my mother was Jewish", to which Goebbels replied: "We decide who is Jewish or not!" See more »

Quotes

Docteur Mabuse: When humanity, subjugated by the terror of crime, has been driven insane by fear and horror and when chaos has become supreme law, then the time will have come for the empire of crime.
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Connections

Followed by The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

French version of celebrated crime movie.
5 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

Fritz Lang's Das TESTAMENT des Dr.MABUSE is a mesmerising, master-crafted entertainment which no serious movie freak will have missed. The largely forgotten, parallel French version, filmed simultaneously with a French speaking cast, is like most of these foreign versions, a poor relation. I'm glad I saw the German one first - twice in a week as it happens. Shorter than the German film, it truncates the lovers subplot and plays it with colourless juveniles, omits the giant eye make up shots of Klein Rogge, which re-call Dr. Baum's art collection and, worse, attempts to up the pace by chopping off the fade out scene transitions - giving correctly, the impression that there is something missing. The German cast is uniformly superior, with the possible exception of the jolly, frankfurter-cooking henchman, who does manage to make an impression. Jim Gerald was a comedian - effectively so in CHAPEAU de PAILEE d'ITALIE and FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS - and he lacks the monolith menace that Wernike provides. Thommy Bordelle is normally an unimposing performer and, giving it his best shot, he's still no fair swap for the the great Oscar Beregei, in the one circulating film where we get to hear Beregei's voice. The French Dr. Kramm (who is he?), in particular, is out classed by Theodore Loos (the secretary from METROPOLIS among other stand-out performances). Well it's still Lang's Mabuse film and remains intermittently effective - Hoffmeister's vision of Lohman's entry into his see through cell is still a grabber - and it is another piece of the jig saw and another, if minor, Lang movie. So nice to get to see it after all these years.


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