The Terror of Dr. Mabuse (1962)

THE TERROR OF DR. MABUSE (1962)
aka Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse
Article 2364 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-15-2007
Posting Date: 2-1-2008
Directed by Werner Klingler
Featuring Gert Frobe, Senta Berger, Helmut Schmid

A series of crimes are being committed, and they point to the brilliant criminal mind of Dr. Mabuse. But Dr. Mabuse is committed to an insane asylum and has not been allowed to leave it. Could it be that he has developed a form of mind control…?

This was the fourth movie of the sixties revival of the Dr. Mabuse character, and also a remake of the 1933 Fritz Lang movie, THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE . Its lowly 5.4 rating on IMDB indicates that these movies aren’t highly regarded, and if you judge them in comparison with the Lang movies, I can understand that. I tend to look at them in comparison with the krimis, those semi-horrific German crime movies of the early sixties that are often based on works by Edgar Wallace, and to which these movies somewhat belong. Based on what I’ve seen of the Dr. Mabuse movies so far, they’re a cut above the other krimis; they’re coherent and quite exciting. I like this one even more than SCOTLAND YARD VS. DR. MABUSE ; Gert Frobe was an excellent choice to play the role of Inspector Lohmann, Wolfgang Preiss plays an intense and memorable Dr. Mabuse, and whoever plays the elegant main henchman (I think it may be Charles Regnier) practically steals the movie. I love some of the humor in this one; in particular, I like the moment when the henchman provides bus fare to some stranded guards. The henchman are actually well-differentiated rather than being faceless thugs, and this adds to the fun when the various criminal activities are committed. You should be able to recognize the actor who plays the disgraced policemen turned informer; it’s none other than Leon Askin, most famous for having played General Burkhalter on “Hogan’s Heroes”.

Personally, I find the sixties Dr. Mabuse movies to be a lot of fun.

 

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