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(aka 'Dr. Mabuse, King of Crime" or "Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler" or "Inferno")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/lang.htm
Germany 1922

Dr Mabuse The Gambler is a fascinating reflection of German society in the 1920s and all its criminal-ridden decadence. In Fritz Lang's epic tale of domination by terror, the power-crazed Mabuse (Rudolph Klein-Rogge) masterminds the world's most dangerous gang of counterfeiters, thieves and murderers, wielding hypnotic powers with an iron fist to obtain total obedience to his will! This double DVD set presents the complete 4 1/2 hour version of Lang's silent masterwork.

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The two-part film Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler) is one of the most sensational crime thrillers ever filmed. It is also, together with Die Nibelungen, Metropolis, and M, one of Fritz Lang’s most accomplished films.

It mirrors German society of the 1920s in all its criminal-ridden decadence. Its sinister theme is domination by terror. The power-crazed Mabuse masterminds the world’s most dangerous gang of counterfeiters, thieves, and murderers, wielding hypnotic powers with an iron fist to obtain total obedience to his will. A master of many disguises, Mabuse is portrayed by Rudolf Klein-Rogge, who later starred as Rotwang, the mad scientist, in Lang’s science-fiction classic, Metropolis. See the cinema’s most legendary criminal genius in this monumental four-hour epic.
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Posters + Video jackets

Theatrical Release: April 27th, 1922 - Germany

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Comparison:

Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregg Ferencz, Enrique B Chamorro and Nick Wrigley for the Screen Captures!

1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Covers

 

  

 

Distribution

Kino

Region 0 - NTSC

Image Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

Eureka
Region 2 - PAL

Masters of Cinema - Spine #69

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Also available, on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema, in a Limited Edition Steelbook:

 

Runtime Approx - 4.5 hours 2:00:16 + 1:49:24 = 3:49:40 Approx - 4.5 hours (4% PAL speedup) 2:35:10.166 + 1:55:40.541 = 4:30:50
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.25:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.45 / 6.50 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.30:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc 1: 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,189,491,600 bytes

Feature: 48,107,941,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.82 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc 2:1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,024,482,226 bytes

Feature: 35,830,294,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Image Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

Disc 1 Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

Disc 2 Blu-ray

 

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 - Music Score German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 

German (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) 

LPCM Audio 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles Non removable English German Intertitles replaced with English Intertitles English, French, None English,  None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Kino

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• "The Story Behind Dr. Mabuse" featurette

Fritz Lang bio/filmography
• Still gallery
• Film notes

DVD Release Date: July 18, 2006
Double snap case

Chapters 30

 

Release Information:
Studio: Image Ent.

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.25:1

Edition Details:
• Issued on two discs;
• Disc 1 2:00:16 16 chapters 6.50 mbit/sec
• Disc 2 1:49:24 16 chapters 6.45 mbit/sec
• New 2.0 music track by Robert Israel
• Commentary by David Kalat
• 1 chapter list index card

DVD Release Date: 08/28/01
Double Plastic Keepcase
Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.30:1

 

Edition Details:

German Intertitles
Three Part Documentary
Photo Gallery
Mabuses Motives
Norbert Jacques
Biographies
Facts And Dates
Supplements Produced By HG Pflaum

DVD Release Date:
May 24th, 2004
Deluxe digipak foldout in slipcase
Chapters: 36 

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  • Exclusive feature - length audio commentary by film - scholar and Lang expert David Kalat
  • Three video pieces: an interview with the composer of the restoration score (12:57), a discussion of Norbert Jacques (9:35), creator of Dr. Mabuse, and an examination of the film s motifs in the context of German silent cinema (29:55)
  • 32 - PAGE BOOKLET featuring vintage reprints of writing by Lang

  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 28th, 2013
    Custom
    Blu-ray Case
    Chapters: 21 + 15

     

    Comments:

    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

     

    ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (October 2013): Firstly this is also available in a LTD Edition Steelbook, presumably also a two Blu-ray disc set (same transfer and contents) as this transparent case version is.

     

    I don't know why, but we never added the MoC Complete Fritz Lang Mabuse Boxset DVD of Dr. Mause, The Gambler images to this DVD comparison - back in 2009 - when it came out. We simply reviewed the entire collection HERE. Regardless, I am thrilled with the new 1080P transfer of the latest restoration. The quality is so rich, thick, textured - superb black levels - and I could have taken screen captures all day. The grain is so pleasing but, as expected, the light damage - scratches etc. become more noticeable with the higher resolution and pronounced detail. Both disc are dual-layered with max'ed out bitrates. It isn't going to get any better. Some may question the contrast - but I actually think it suits the film to have it at such a pronounced degree.

     

    Audio (the film is silent but has a score - Aljoscha Zimmermann) is competently transferred via lossless in a linear PCM. I thought it sounded incredible and supported the film's action magnificently. Very crisp and strong! The piano-base is almost addictive to listen to and there are optional subtitles for the original-appearing German title-cards (see sample).

     

    Extras duplicate Masters of Cinema's last DVD (in the boxset) with the persevering  Kalat commentary (4.5 hours!) and three video pieces: an interview with the composer of the restoration score (12:57) entitled Mabuse's Music, plus a discussion of Norbert Jacques (9:35), creator of Dr. Mabuse, and an examination of the film's motifs in the context of German silent cinema (29:55). The latter is called Mabuse's Motives and all are in German with English subtitles. All three are located on the second Blu-ray disc.

     

    Fritz Lang? Mabuse? Steelbook? This is just so... cool - that it's one that I desire in the Steelbook form. You get so wrapped up in Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler that it is addictive and you desire more. The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray presentation is fabulous. I am so impressed with it that I want to watch it all over again, in the pitch darkness of my home theater with a big bowl of popcorn. Our highest recommendation!  

    ***

    ADDITION: - Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - July 06' : - The new Kino edition appears to be from the same source as the Eureka release, including the use of English intertitles, probably a result of the restoration process. There are a few noticeable differences between this version and the Eureka release. One is the non removable English subtitles  over shots of German text (see capture #7). Another difference is that the contrast on the Eureka version is boosted resulting in increased sharpness and deeper blacks. However, the smoother Kino image displays better gray scale and, in most cases, reveals more image detail (capture #4 is an exception). I noticed some combing artifacts during the screen capture process indicating a non progressive transfer. No surprise coming from Kino.

     - Gregg Ferencz

    "I imagine you will get around to the new Kino Dr. Mabuse that just came out.  It is the Transit Films version clocking at 4.5 hours, and it is tremendous, a vast improvement over the Image version, both in image quality and (I believe) in correct speeds (almost anything David Shepard touches seems to me played too fast).  However, Kino somehow managed to botch the brightness/contrast levels.  To see this most clearly, watch the extras on Disc 2, for example the one about the music.  If you play it with a normal brightness setting, the clips look wonderful, but if you watch the same parts during the DVD proper, you will see they are much brighter with things looking very washed out. Even if you don't make such a comparison, the Kino transfer is transparently wrong anyone would see it as too bright. I found when I lowered my brightness control 10 units (out of 60) below my normal setting, I was able to get a satisfactory image. There were still some problems - faces of characters in a medium or long shot tended to look a bit washed out, but I don t know if the contrast setting would have helped, or if the problem is in the source.  Anyway, please blast Kino for botching what should have been an easy transfer, since they had a superb source there was no excuse for getting the brightness/contrast wrong."

    Louis Irwin (sent to us in email)
     

    NOTE: My experience with the Kino set is similar to that
    of Louis Irwin as quoted. The picture is really good, but I had to
    change my settings by the following from my usual settings to achieve a
    quality image:
    Changes made on my dvd player, not on my TV:
    Gamma correction from off to medium
    Brightness - 8 notches lower then normal (out of aprox 20 total)
    Contrast: - 4 notches lower then normal (out of aprox 20 total)
    System is a Pioneer 578 connected by inexpensive Monster 3 way component
    cable to an inexpensive Toshiba 32" CRT. TV settings are at Toshiba's
    "normal" default.
    Without the corrections, the picture is quite washed out. With them,
    it's excellent, my only other criticism is some minor flicker.
    (Thank Geff)

    Just to add my own opinion - I suspect there are only a handful of people who 'know' what this release should look like - so after that it depends on personal preference. I think the Kino has had some brightness boosting - I think the Eureka has had some black-level boosting. One removes damage marks the other heightens sharpness. From the captures I don't mind the softer look of the Kino. I am still waiting for my copy to arrive. What bothered me about the Eureka was the audio - so I will post again after I get, and watch, my Kino version. The other issue I am still working on is the time - is the Kino taken from a PAL source? or the Eureka from an NTSC source? - I suspect the former and the 'combing' Gregg noticed may be from incorrect standard transfer - typical of Kino. More will be added to these comments as we can derive answers. At least now you can visually see the differences. Overall the Kino release would be considered a triumph for that distribution company (and their past record), but the Region 2 PAL has too many superiorities.

    NOTE: We thanks Gregg for supplying the new Kino captures!

    Gary Tooze  

    ***

    THE IMAGE DISC: The back jacket comments state that the transfer was made from a fine grain master and is at the correct speed. David Shepard takes great care in his releases. Perhaps much of the timing differences stem from the time the camera stays on the inter-title for the viewer to read. We are investigating.

     

    The Image Entertainment release is not the 'full version' (4.5 hours). It has spots where it appears zoomed in, contrast has been boosted and it is no where near the sharpness of the new Eureka disc. The Image Entertainment does have a commentary which is a bonus for real fans. Obviously we lean toward the Eureka DVD in this case. The disparity in image quality, original inter-title cards and the completeness of the PAL version are the swaying factors.

    Gary W. Tooze

     

    THE EUREKA DISC:

    Whilst agreeing wholeheartedly with you that the visuals are superb - well up to the standard that we’ve come to expect from Eureka lately, the English subtitles rather let the side down. Apart from the odd spelling mistake, they bear the unmistakable sign of being translated by someone who is not a native English speaker. From the constructions, I would hazard a guess that they were done in Germany.
     
    I know that this could be regarded as nit-picking, but there are a couple of places where things just don’t make sense. So  out of  in my view!

    Stephen Gadd

    As with other recent Eureka silent releases, this is stunning. Beautifully done with care and detail - crammed with Extras - a sharp image with film grain. Whatever digital processing method they are using is so gratifying for the fans of silent films. What can you say except - Magnificent job Eureka !  out of

    Gary W. Tooze


    Associated Reading  (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

    DVD Menus

    Kino - Region 0 - NTSC
     



    (Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


     

     

    Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray 1

     

     

    Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray 2

     


     

    CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

     

    Screen Captures

     

     

    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     


    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     


    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     


    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     


    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     


    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     


    1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

    2) Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

    3) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

    4) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

     

    More Blu-ray Captures


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    Report Card:

     

    Image:

    Blu-ray

    Sound:

    Blu-ray

    Extras: Blu-ray

    Box Covers

     

      

     

    Distribution

    Kino

    Region 0 - NTSC

    Image Entertainment

    Region 1  - NTSC

    Eureka
    Region 2 - PAL

    Masters of Cinema - Spine #69

    Region 'B' - Blu-ray

    Also available, on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema, in a Limited Edition Steelbook:

     



     

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    Gary Tooze

    Many Thanks...