Dr. Mabuse vs Scotland Yard (1963)

DR. MABUSE VS SCOTLAND YARD (1963)
aka Scotland Yard jagt Dr. Mabuse
Article 2534 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-5-2007
Posting Date: 1-22-2008
Directed by Paul May
Featuring Peter van Eyck, Sabine Bethmann, Dieter Borsche

Someone has stolen an invention that gives him the ability to control men’s minds. Could this be the work of that master criminal, Dr. Mabuse? But Dr. Mabuse is dead! Or is he…?

This is the first chance I’ve had to see one of the Dr. Mabuse movies made during the character’s revival in the sixties. I really didn’t know what to expect; I like the Dr. Mabuse character, but given the usual quality of the German krimi films, I expected it would largely be just another one of those; some good scenes buried in a muddled and confusing plot, possibly worth exploring further but more of a chore than a joy to watch the first time out. I was quite delighted to find that this wasn’t the case. the plot was surprisingly coherent, and the story is clever and interesting. Even the comic relief works quite well, the detective’s mother proves to be more capable of second-guessing the criminals than the detective himself. The mystery about how Dr. Mabuse can pull off these crimes when he’s dead is fairly easy to figure out, especially if you’ve seen the original THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE , and it adds a touch of horror to the mainly science-fiction oriented fantastic content of the movie. No, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Lang films of the twenties and thirties, but it works well enough in its own right, and it’s also nice to see a detective (Peter van Eyck’s character) who is a good intellectual match for Mabuse himself. Klaus Kinski has a fairly prominent role this time as an inspector who comes under the control of Mabuse. All in all, I found this one quite enjoyable, and I look forward to the other movies in this series.

 

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