Testament of Dr Mabuse
Released January 1, 1933 (USA), Directed by Fritz Lang
With black and white storytelling, director Fritz Lang (1890-1976) is the place to see an advanced sense of the skill displayed. He made many color films during his long career, but of particular interest should be the black and white silent films like Metropolis, and early sound films like M and (especially) Testament of Dr. Mabuse. This last film is "special" because it uses unusual visual techniques which seem perfectly suited to comic books.
The film is available on DVD from the usual places, but it shows up on Turner Classic Movies from time to time - - it is a German movie with English subtitles, as is "M." Lang also made english-language noir films like Hangmen Also Die, Ministry of Fear and Clash by Night. He moved to Hollywood after more or less running for his life when the Nazis took control of Germany in he early 1930s. Lang's Testament of Dr. Mabuse seems to be something of a poke in the eye at Nazi party politics, though I have read (but did not notice as I watched the movie) that there is direct commentary toward the Nazis specifically - - so no wonder Lang had to get out of town in a hurry.
Original Page Sep 29, 2014 | Updated Dec 2017