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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari" or "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" or "Dr. Caligari" or "Caligari")
 

directed by Robert Weine
Germany 1920

 

One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form. Now presented in a definitive UHD edition, the film’s chilling, radically expressionist vision is set to grip viewers again.

At a local carnival in a small German town, hypnotist Dr. Caligari presents the somnambulist Cesare, who can purportedly predict the future of curious fairgoers. But at night, the doctor wakes Cesare from his sleep to enact his evil bidding…

Incalculably influential, the film’s nightmarishly jagged sets, sinister atmospheric and psychological emphasis left an immediate impact in its wake (horror, film noir, and gothic cinema would all be shaped directly by it). But this diabolical tale nevertheless stands alone – now more mesmerising than ever in its UK debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

***

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and inspired horror movies ever made. The story is a classic sampling of expressionist paranoia about a hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to do his murders, full of the gloom and fear that prevailed in Germany as it emerged from WWI. There are plenty of extremely boring sociological/critical accounts of the film; best to avoid them and enjoy the film's extraordinary use of painted light and Veidt's marvellous performance. Incidentally, the influence of Caligari on the cinema is much more problematic than some historians suppose. Thematically it has rarely been copied, and the style only really infiltrated in dream sequences and other odd devices.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 26th, 1920

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema Spine #92 - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:17:12.502 
Video

1.33:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 64,960,227,316 bytes

Feature: 55,514,071,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 54.46 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

Audio

LPCM Audio Undetermined 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Undetermined 3758 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3758 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio Undetermined 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles German Intertitles - English subtitles, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

1.33:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 64,960,227,316 bytes

Feature: 55,514,071,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 54.46 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Brand new audio commentary by Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
Audio commentary by film historian David Kalat
The Asylum in Film – brand new interview with author / critic Kim Newman (14:16)
You Must Become Caligari – video essay by film critic David Cairns (15:38)
Caligari: The Birth of Horror in the First World War – 52 minute documentary on the cultural and historical impact of the film (52:53)
On The Restoration – three short video pieces on the film's restoration (4:23)
4K Restoration Trailer (1:29)
Hardbound Slipcase featuring artwork by Kevin Tong (Tragic Sunshine)
PLUS: A LIMITED EDITION 100-PAGE BOOK featuring archival writing and articles including vintage writing on the film by Lotte H. Eisner; an original Variety review of the film; rare imagery; and more


4K Ultra HD Release Date: December 6th, 202
2
Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside Hardbound Slipcase featuring artwork by Kevin Tong (Tragic Sunshine)

Chapters 7

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema 4K UHD (December 2022): Masters of Cinema's are releasing Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" 4K UHD. This is quite a landmark, as I can't recall an older film coming to this format and it is presumably the first silent film in this 2160P resolution for home theatre physical media consumption. Like a few discs in this new format - ex. ClassicFlix's I, the Jury, Criterion's In the Mood For Love, Night of the Living Dead 4K UHD and Kino's 4K UHDs of The Apartment, For a Few Dollars More , A Fistful of Dollars, In the Heat of the Night, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as well as Koch Media's Neon Demon + one of the 4K UHD transfers of Dario Argento's Suspiria, this does not have HDR applied (no HDR10, HDR10+, nor Dolby Vision.)

Opening screens inform us that "The 4K restoration was undertaken by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung in Wiesbaden from the original camera negative held at the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv in Berlin. The first reel of the camera negative is missing and was reconstituted using alternate sources. Jump cuts and missing frames in 67 shots were reinserted from multiple prints.

An original German release print does not exist. The basis for the colour tinting were two nitrate prints from Latin America, which represent the earliest surviving prints of the film, now stored at the Filmmuseum Dusseldorf and the Cineteca di Bologna.

The intertitles were recreated from the flashtitles in the camera negative and a 16mm print from 1935 from the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum fur Film and Fernsehen in Berlin.
The digital image restoration was carried out by Ls lmmagine Ritrovata — Film Conservation and Restoration in Bologna.
"

This appears to be the same extensive restoration completed by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung in 2014 used on the older Blu-rays compared HERE. The 4K UHD improvement is in the detail of the higher resolution, contrast and, often brighter, tinted colors. It just ratchets-up a notch and the visual superiority is readily evident - of course, depending on your system capabilities. Bottom line is that this transfer of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is the best this 1920 film has ever looked in your home theatre. There are the same marks and light scratches but also impressive instances of depth. Certain parts of the film are jaw-dropingly remarkable in their clarity.   

NOTE: 54 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: High Plains Drifter (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mystery Men (software uniformly simulated HDR), Silent Running (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dressed to Kill (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Power of the Dog  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Escape From Alcatraz (software uniformly simulated HDR), I, the Jury (no HDR), Casablanca (software uniformly simulated HDR), In the Mood For Love (NO HDR applied to disc), The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Blow Out (software uniformly simulated HDR), Night of the Living Dead (NO HDR applied to disc), Lost Highway (software uniformly simulated HDR), Videodrome (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Last Picture Show (software uniformly simulated HDR), It Happened One Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Mummy (1932)(software uniformly simulated HDR), Creature From the Black Lagoon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bride of Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Amityville Horror  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The War of the Worlds (1953) (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Incredible Melting Man  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Event Horizon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Get Carter (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Killing (software uniformly simulated HDR), Killer's Kiss (software uniformly simulated HDR), Out of Sight (software uniformly simulated HDR), Raging Bull (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shaft (1971),  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Double Indemnity (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Untouchables (software uniformly simulated HDR) For a Few Dollars More (no HDR), Saboteur (software uniformly simulated HDR), Marnie (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shadow of a Doubt (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Fistful of Dollars (no HDR), In the Heat of the Night (no HDR), Jack Reacher (software uniformly simulated HDR), Death Wish II (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Apartment (no HDR), The Proposition (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nightmare Alley (2021) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Godfather (software uniformly simulated HDR), Le Crecle Rouge (software uniformly simulated HDR), An American Werewolf in London (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Hard Day's Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Piano (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Great Escape (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Red Shoes (software uniformly simulated HDR), Citizen Kane (software uniformly simulated HDR), Unbreakable (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mulholland Dr. (software uniformly simulated HDR), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Hills Have Eyes (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Servant (software uniformly simulated HDR), Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsing (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

On their 4K UHD, Masters of Cinema use the same 2.0 channel and 5.1 surround options via linear PCM track (24-bit) that were on their 2014 Blu-ray. These utilize a score by Cornelius Schwer. There is an additional 2.0 channel LPCM accompanying music track option with a 2019 score by Uwe Dierksen and Hermann Kretzschmar. All the music is crisp and clear supporting the viewing marvelously. Masters of Cinema include German intertitles that were recreated from the flashtitles in the camera negative and a 16mm print from 1935 from the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum fur Film and Fernsehen in Berlin. The disc offers optional English subtitles - and is, like all 4K UHD, region FREE, playable worldwide.

The 4K UHD is the only disc in the package and includes two commentaries. There is the excellent 2014 commentary by author and historian David Kalat, found on MoC's Blu-ray, providing a solid background education in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Plus there is a new one by Kevin Lyons (editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television) and Jonathan Rigby (author English Gothic: A Century Of Horror Cinema.) They discuss the established variety of motifs and conventions, listing off most of them. They talk about who introduced the debatable credit of bringing expressionism into "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari",  the six acts and plenty of information on its quintessential genre value, the somnambulist story, Robert Wiene, Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and so much more. It is definitely worth the indulgence. Also new is The Asylum in Film a 14-minute interview with author / critic Kim Newman (Kim Newman's Guide To The Flipside Of British Cinema) who discusses Edgar Allen Poe's The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether and other 'asylum' works and a relationship to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Repeated from the Universum release, and their own 8-year old Blu-ray, is the 52-minute long documentary on the cultural and historical context of the film entitled Caligari: The Birth of Horror in the First World War - in 1080P with English subtitles. There is also also the 2014, 1/4 hour video essay by David Cairns ; You Must Become Caligari with the humorous opening screen that states "The following is a work of speculative criticism. All German proper names are probably mispronounced, badly". I found it enjoyable and educational. There are 9-minutes on the restoration and a new 4K re-release trailer. The package features a 100-page booklet that has archival writing and articles including vintage writing on the film by Lotte H. Eisner; an original Variety review of the film; rare imagery; and more. This is all housed in a hardbound slipcase featuring artwork by Kevin Tong (see below.)

Masters of Cinema's
4K UHD of Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a very highly anticipated release. It is the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema. The film's extravagant twisted graphic style with obtuse angles and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets is the stuff of filmic legend. It is one of THE films you want to see in its best video presentation and this 4K UHD is it. The new Masters of Cinema edition has the best ever video, a new audio score option, a thorough new commentary, Kim Newman - the other older valuable extras, including the video essay and long documentary plus it offers a 100-page book. It is a must-own. Don't hesitate getting this for yourself for the Holidays.

Gary Tooze

 


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