One of the legendary epics of silent cinema and the beginning of a series of films that Fritz Lang developed up until the very end of his career, Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) is an epic masterpiece of conspiracy that constructs its own dark labyrinth from the base materials of human fear and paranoia. So epic in fact, that German film studio Ufa had to release it in two parts!
Part 2 sees Rudolf Klein-Rogge return as the very dangerous Dr. Mabuse, the criminal mastermind whose nefarious machinations provide the cover for many a masterful crime set with the backdrop of Weimar Germany.
A film of cold-blooded murder, opiate narcosis and cocaine anxiety, Lang’s film maintains an unrelenting power all the way to the final act which culminates in the terrifying question: “WHERE IS MABUSE?!”
This epic two-part tale was originally released as two separate films, respectively subtitled The Great Gambler and Inferno, and that format is reproduced over the course of these two screenings with live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.
This screening is part of Bristol Ideas’ 2022 series Modernism1922 which explores the worlds of film, literature, music, politics and more 100 years ago. It is run as a tribute to Kevin Jackson. His book, Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism and All That Jazz, tells the story of that remarkable year.