“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” is a film that greatly influenced both the noir genre and the horror genre. When Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) summons sleepwalker Cesare (Conrad Veidt) from his cupboard on stage at the fair, it’s as if we’re witnessing Dracula rising from his coffin and Dr. Frankenstein simultaneously brings his monster back to life – and almost for the first time on screen. Like the monster, Cesare’s story also climaxes when he is pursued by a mob.
The difference is, Cesare is a tool. He has slept for 23 years, since he was born, and lives only to do as his master says. This character can be considered to represent whoever sleepwalks metaphorically in life. Climbing into the bedroom, casting his shadow on the wall, you can see in him traces of Count Orlok and the killer in “M,” played by Peter Lorre. Even Rob Zombie would consciously recall Cesare and “Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet” decades later in “The Girl Who Lived Dead” music videos.
The scene where Francis and his friend went to the fair and Cesare prophesied about his friend’s death was inspired by a real fortune teller who predicted the death of Gilda Langer, a German actress in the movies. lost of the dumb era. Janowitz and Mayer were pacifists who wrote after World War I, and some have suggested that Dr. Caligari cinematically assumed Hitler and his control over the German masses led to The War II.
When we first met Caligari, he was a small man, with an officer towering over him on disproportionately high chair legs. Our perspective changes when Francis follows him into a mental hospital and finds his diary, from which we get a flashback in a flashback.
Spoiler warning for a 102 year old movie…
https://www.slashfilm.com/1027079/the-daily-stream-come-one-come-all-to-see-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari/ Come one, come all, to see Dr. Caligari .’s cabinet