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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Directed by Robert Wiene • 1920 • Germany
Starring Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
In 1920, one groundbreaking film jolted postwar audiences and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism to international attention. The macabre story of a demented doctor (Werner Krauss) who uses a carnival sleepwalker (Conrad Veidt) to perpetrate a series of ghastly murders, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a plunge into total insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a visionary team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow, and substance are abstracted to reflect a twisted psychological interiority that paved the way for a new form of cinematic expression and gave birth to the modern horror film.