Cabinet of Caligari

Cabinet of Caligari

Director: Roger Kay

Cast: Glynis Johns, Dan O'Herlihy, Dick Davalos

     
 

The DVD edition of Robert Kay's The Cabinet of Caligari (1962) has treated the movie exceptionally well, with a pair of superb transfers, one letterboxed in the original release's 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the other fullscreen pan-and-scan (1.33:1). Each features crisp, vivid details and a sharp black-and-white image from start to finish. The letterboxed versionSee more details below

Overview

The DVD edition of Robert Kay's The Cabinet of Caligari (1962) has treated the movie exceptionally well, with a pair of superb transfers, one letterboxed in the original release's 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the other fullscreen pan-and-scan (1.33:1). Each features crisp, vivid details and a sharp black-and-white image from start to finish. The letterboxed version will, of course, be preferred by most viewers as it captures the original theatrical release's compositions, which were very important to the mood of suspense -- the sense of isolation experienced by Glynis Johns' character as she walks from her stricken car is much more pronounced when seen in this manner, and those viewers with screens larger than 20 inches should savor that aspect of the release. Both transfers have been given the same 24 chapters, which is nicely generous for the 105-minute picture. The audio is also nicely vivid, giving full play to Gerald Fried's score. The only major bonus feature is the original trailer, which makes The Cabinet of Caligari seem to resemble Hitchcock's Psycho -- which which this film shares that same author, Robert Bloch -- more than it actually does. Given the relatively obscure nature of the movie, we can be grateful that The Cabinet of Caligari has been released at all, much less in this satisfying a manner, on DVD.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Fred Beldin
Despite the title, this 1962 puzzler is no relation to the 1919 silent horror classic Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari. The themes of relative insanity and sinister psychiatrists are similar, and a brief sequence appropriates the distorted, angular settings of the German masterwork, but the title choice was surely a marketing decision. It's unfortunate, since viewers who are duped into expecting a remake may find it difficult to judge this surreal thriller on its own terms. The Cabinet of Caligari is a remarkable little film that takes the viewer into the mind of madness, and it's a dark, confining place to be sure. Even after one has sussed out the structure of Caligari and is privy to the twist ending that turns everything inside out, great pleasure can be taken in analyzing the symbols and clues that make the film such a mansion of mirrors. The cast is slightly mannered and a bit manic, playing just off the edge and encouraging tension. As the abducted Jane, Glynis Johns is alternately prim and coquettish, and Dan O'Herlihy brings mystery and menace to Caligari, Jane's kidnapper, tormentor, and, ultimately, her healer. If The Cabinet of Caligari resembles an episode of the sci-fi/mystery/thriller omnibus programs that were popular on television at the time, it's not a surprise. Director Roger Kay had briefly worked on The Twilight Zone, and screenwriter Robert Bloch (best known as the author of Psycho) had penned scripts for Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Viewers should disregard the exploitative title and settle in with an open mind in order to fully enjoy this weird psychological curio.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/06/2005
UPC:
0024543202912
Original Release:
1962
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
53,616

Special Features

[None specified]

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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Cabinet of Caligari - Full Screen
1. Main Titles
2. More Than Expected
3. On an Impulse
4. A Bitter Invitation
5. Against Her Will
6. What I Remember
7. A Dream of Reality
8. I Must Know Everything
9. A Way Out
10. Words, Tongues, Walls and Ears
11. Facing Her Enemies
12. Visions of Horror
13. I'll Do Anything!
14. Boys Your Age
15. Even the Dogs Watch
16. Suppose There Was a Way
17. Making Her Move
18. A Good Theory
19. Soliciting Seduction
20. Nothing as it Seems
21. A Monster Too Real
22. Older But Better
23. Mark, My Son
24. End Titles
Disc #1, Side B -- Cabinet of Caligari - Widescreen
1. Main Titles
2. More Than Expected
3. On an Impulse
4. A Bitter Invitation
5. Against Her Will
6. What I Remember
7. A Dream of Reality
8. I Must Know Everything
9. A Way Out
10. Words, Tongues, Walls and Ears
11. Facing Her Enemies
12. Visions of Horror
13. I'll Do Anything!
14. Boys Your Age
15. Even the Dogs Watch
16. Suppose There Was a Way
17. Making Her Move
18. A Good Theory
19. Soliciting Seduction
20. Nothing as it Seems
21. A Monster Too Real
22. Older But Better
23. Mark, My Son
24. End Titles

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