On today’s episode, I talked with Frances Mulraney, a former colleague of mine who picked, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or in its original German, Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari. Described as the first true horror film by Roger Ebert, and the precursor to art house films by Danny Peary, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is by far and away one of if not the most influential, and discussed silent film of all time. From its encapsulating German Expressionist atmosphere to featuring film’s very first ambiguous twist ending The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has influenced not only the genres of horror, psychological thrillers, and film noir, but it also has been used as a muse for films like Metropolis, M, Battleship Potempkin, The Man Who Laughs, Dracula, Frankenstein, pretty much all of the works of Tim Burton, especially, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas and even Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. As it is the 100th anniversary of the film’s debut, it is the perfect time to get into it.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari follows the story of Franzis, who tells the strange tale of how a mad psychiatrist brainwashed a young man who has slept walked for all of his 23 years to murder the ones Franzis loves the most, and his quest to stop them both only for the audience to later find out who our main character are really. So, sit back relax, and whatever you do, don’t ask anyone about the date you might die.
You can purchase The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari here.