The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)


I want to take you on a trip. A trip back in history to a simple time and (re) introduce you to a film that holds the title as the second horror movie ever made, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) directed by Robert Wiene.  To learn more about this film we need to take a trip to Germany when German Expressionist films were reaching their peak in Berlin in the 1920s. [singlepic id=1072 w=320 h=240 float=right]

It is often believed that The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was the first ever horror film, but the first horror film goes to a French horror film called The Devil’s Castle (Le Manoir Du Diable) made in 1896.  No matter what you believe to be the first horror film there is no doubt that The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a film that everyone should see and learn about its history.

The history of German Expressionist films is very fascinating about what directors did to produce such films on little to no budget by using set designs with wildly non-realistic, geometrically absurd sets, along with designs painted on walls and floors to represent lights, shadows, and objects.   When you watch The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari pay attention to the lighting and you will notice that most of the effects you see are not lights at all but just painted floors.  This type of artistic creation later went on to inspire the style and mood of the Universal monster movies of the 1930s.


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About author

Jason Bayless

Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.


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