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Who is this Mabuse guy?

I'm a big fan of a German book trilogy from the 1920s (well, three and one unfinished book, plus a couple of TV movies from the 60s and the odd comic book here or there): Doktor Mabuse. I already posted (German) reviews of a few of the movies and books in this blog. The trouble is that, outside of Germany, this character is fairly unknown. A few cinema-fans may know it, because three of the movies (two from the 20s, one from the 60s) were directed by movie legend Fritz Lang (who did, among others, the famous Metropolis).

However, recently I stumbled across an article on Doktor Mabuse in English, written by a woman named Cora Buhlert. If you ever wondered who this guy is, there's a PDF of the article up there that will tell you all you want to know, and let you hear a few stories from the days when Germany still had a successful movie industry.

If any of you know a movie producer, here's subject matter that screams to be remade. The original movie version of the first part is a 4-hour silent movie, which took even me about a month to watch from end-to end. Don't get me wrong: It's a fantastic movie, but since you actually need to read the tables between the scenes in a silent movie, this isn't something you can have running while coding. Well, you can, but you'll only hear drop-dead-gorgeous piano music.

Anyway, the real time for this movie about crime, science, technology and counterfeit money would obviously have been 2001, when Europe got the Euro. The original story is from the inflation days of the Weimar republic, and this part would have nicely tied into that. But still, it's a great crime novel that lends itself to being filmed with today's methods very well (including car chases, terrorism and a disguised villain), and also has some fantasy and science fiction elements. Not enough to actually be Fantasy or SciFi, but enough to appeal to that audience while still being believable enough to the crime movie fan.

The movies from the 60s aren't quite as good, as they were mainly trying to compete with the very popular Edgar Wallace movies that were made in Germany back then, but missed the tongue-in-cheek writing (and often didn't quite have a point beyond using the Mabuse name). But if you know German, they're fun B-movies to watch, except that one they made in Malta... that one is too much a bad James Bond knock-off.

So, yeah, I'd love if this movie was re-made. Give your big shot producer friend a copy of this article, please :-)

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Created: 2005-09-01 @673 Last change: 2005-09-01 @688 | Home | Admin | Edit
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