October 29, 2021
Fritz Lang going all out. In this almost 5-hour lasting epic, Lang tried to cram in everything he figured would fit in a crime flick. The result is pretty bloated of course, and in dire need of an editor, but one has to commend Lang on creating one of the earliest blueprint of rise and fall crime cinema.
The titular Dr. Mabuse is a criminal mastermind (and he sure looks the part too). He has his eyes set on the Berlin underworld, most notably the gambling scene. The law is hot on his tail though, Norbert von Wenk won't rest until he has Mabuse locked up behind bars. Safe to say, that's going to require some effort.
Though the pacing isn't too bad, the plot and characters are pretty simplistic. There's certainly not enough material to fill more than 4 hours of film, I wouldn't be surprised if some shorter cuts were a bit easier to sit through. On the other hand, it's not quite as boring as I feared, so at least this wasn't a complete bust. Recommended if you like 20s German cinema and big crime epics, it's not really for me though.