Film Review

The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari Director: Robert Wiene

Figure 01: film poster Release: 1920 Director: Robert Wiene Producer: Rudolf Meinert, Erich Pommer Genre: Horror Country: Germany

Robert Wiene’s, The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari 1920 was on of the first horror movies to have been created through film, which was quite a surprise as most black and white movies have some type of comedy in them. The film starts off with a man explaining his story of what happened to him and his friends upon discovering a man named Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, also known as a sleepwalker. The movie is full of confusion which requires the viewers to have to watch the film until the end to finally understand the plot. The image is a good example of showing how creepy and uncomfortable the scenery is in the film as nothing is straight everything leans over likes its watching over the actors or is about to fall on them just as (Tim Eaton 2002) points out ‘In the film, they make you uneasy. The whole atmosphere is of a world gone wrong; like a dream worthy of Salvador Dalí. Nothing is square or straight. The buildings loom in on you; windows sweep upward, slanted or curved; doors are obscenely angled holes beckoning you to enter and be trapped inside.’

Figure 02. Town

Wiene’s film The Cabinet Of Caligari relied a lot on expressionism and shadow and lighting effects for his scenes as you can see in the images he used different colours to show time of day and if inside or out which helped set the mood to make it more dark in certain scenes to add more suspence as (Daniel Villares 2002) rightly ‘points out it´s dark and it uses the shadows and lights effects so well.’

Figure 03. Day

Figure 04. Night

Figure 05. Inside

Because of Wiene’s film The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari it has influences in many of the films that have been created after its time and is still being used now especially in other directors such as Tim Burton just as San (Tropez_couch 2003) mentions ‘I can see influence from this film in the set designs of Tim Burton especially.’ which proves how much of an impact Wiene’s film as been on viewers and other directors.

Tim Eaton (2002). The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari. In: [Online] At: (Accessed on: 01/10/2012) Daniel Villares (2002). The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari. In: [Online] At: (Accessed on: 01/10/2012) SanTropez_Couch (2003). The Cabinet Of Caligari. In: Com [Online] At: (Accessed on: 01/10/2012)

Figure 01. film poster (1920) [Film poster] Figure 02. Town (1920) [Film still] S9aH0A/s1600/The+Cabinet+of+Dr.+Caligari+02.jpg Figure 03. Day (1920) [Film still] ma/12-CabinetofDrCaligari.jpg Figure 04. Night (1920) [Film still] Figure 05. Inside (1920) [Film still] ureka_uk5.jpg

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful