Best Movies by Farr

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

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What's it About

Sinister mesmerist Dr. Caligari (Krauss) travels the German countryside as a carnival showman whose main attraction is a sleep walker named Cesare (Veidt). After a series of murders occurs in a small town, Francis (Feher), bosom friend of one of the victims, suspects Caligari may be ordering his somnambulist to commit the crimes, perhaps out of jealousy over ravishing Jane (Dagover). He then begins to hound the manipulative hypnotist, but is he putting himself in serious danger?

Why we love it

One of the finest achievements of the silent era and in some ways an allegory of Weimar Germany's decadent demise, Wiene's "Caligari" is an eerie, heavily stylized horror film that refuses to get old. With its distorted angles, chiaroscuro lighting, and jarring German expressionist sets, the film is a striking precursor not only to Lang's "Metropolis," but to the atmospheric look and feel of 1940s American noir. Also, its tale of a crazed doctor and his zombie-like proxy introduced a basic template for many later horror features. Still creepy and lurid after nearly a century, "Caligari" will cast its spell on you.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"