Caligari

Today in Movie History: February 26

Roman Polanski scored one of his later hits with Frantic, a brilliant little Hitchcockian number about a doctor (Harrison Ford) whose wife mysteriously vanishes on a business trip to Paris. Though not quite on the level of his very best films, it’s still a tight expertly crafted  thriller with Ford delivering one of the best performances of his career. It opened today in 1988.

Sixty-eight years earlier, director Robert Wiene created one of the final statements of German Expressionism and the inspiration for countless horror and fantasy films to follow. With its deliberately distorted sets and strange, dream-like atmosphere, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari anticipated the likes of Rosemary’s Baby, Pan’s Labyrinth, the Universal Horror cycle, most classic noir films, and a whole slew of Expressionist masterpieces that followed. It first premiered in Germany today in 1920.

 

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