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The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari


By Bret McCabe | Posted 6/24/2009

German director Robert Wiene's silent 1920 Expressionist nightmare is a virtuosic fusion of haunting story and hallucinatory, chiaroscuro visuals. The titular "doctor" (Werner Krauss) is a traveling sideshow hawker whose main attraction is the clairvoyant Somnambulist (the superb Conrad Veidt), who not only answers questions put to him by visitors but, perhaps, carries out Caligari's nefarious bidding. Horror and thriller movies' subjective camera placement and melodramatic lighting techniques begin here.

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