Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, Part I: A Portrait of Our Time
(Dr Mabuse der Spieler: (I) Der grosse Spieler—ein Bild der Zeit)
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede Nissen, Gertrude Weckler, Alfred Abel,
At once the Expressionist portrayal of its times—the malaise of post–World War I Berlin—and a breathtaking detective story, this silent masterpiece gives us the sensational adventures of “the great unknown,” the man who holds all the cards: Dr. Mabuse, the master of disguises. In the frenetic and duplicitous city, Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) constantly reinvents his own identity (he is the psychoanalyst, the stockbroker, the hypnotist, the professional gambler, the crowd agitator) in order to manipulate the destiny of others. Both actor and director in the spectacle of modern life, he asserts control by virtue of the piercing and hypnotic power of his gaze.