Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920)

Germany, 1919
67m (USA), 71m (Germany, projected at 18 fps), 90m (UK, projected at 16 fps), 1840 feet (at 16 fps)
35mm film, black and white/green, brown and blue tints, 1.33:1
silent, score added for re-releases, German [intertitles]

A German horror film directed by Robert Wiene.

Plot Summary

At a fair, Alan, Francis and Jane watch the show staged by the sinister Dr Caligari and his somnambulist, Cesare, who can predict the future. Alan is told that he will be dead by dawn and sure enough, Alan is murdered during the night. Could Caligari and Cesare be the guilty men?


* = uncredited

Director: Robert Wiene
© [not originally given on screen] Copyright MCMLII [1952] by The Attorney General of the United States [US re-release] Restored © 1996 by Film Preservation Associates
Film Renters, Inc. presents [US re-release]. Decla Film-Gesellschaft
Produced by: Erich Pommer
Story and Screenplay by: Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz
Assistant Director: Rochus Gliese
Photography: Willy Hameister
Music: Alfredo Antonini; Giuseppe Becce (score at world premiere); Richard Marriott (1987); Peter Schirmann
Music Composed and Conducted by: Timothy Brock [1996 restoration], (p) and © 1996 Timothy Brock
Costume Designer: Walter Reimann
Design: Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann, Walter Röhrig
Set Decorator: Hermann Warm

Werner Krauss (Dr Caligari)
Conrad Veidt (Cesare)
Friedrich Feher (Francis)
Lil Dagover (Jane)
Hans Heinrich v Twardowski (Alan)
Rudolf Lettinger (Dr Olson)
Rudolf Klein-Rogge [a criminal – uncredited]
Hans Lanser-Ludolff *
Henri Peters-Arnolds *
Ludwig Rex *
Elsa Wagner *

Alternative Titles

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari – English language title

Extracts included in
The American Nightmare (2000)
Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (1996)
Duelo ao Por-do-Sol (1998)
Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A német film 1933-ig (1989)
Visions of Light (1992)



  • Alien Worlds no.14 (March 1965) pp.10-16 – illustrated article (Caligari and others by R.J. Keightley)
  • Architectural Design vol.70 no.1 (January 2000) pp.12-15 – illustrated article (Spaces of the psyche in German Expressionist film by Hans Dieter Schaal)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.2 p.17
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.14 pp.31, 32
  • Cinéaste vol.25 no.4 (October 2000) pp.48-50 – illustrated review (by Christopher Sharrett)
  • Classic Images no.279 (September 1998) pp.39-40 – review (Video tape reviews by Robert Klepper)
  • Classic Images no.301 (July 2000) pp.31-32 – review (by John Nangle)
  • Classic Images no.302 (August 2000) pp.28-29 – review (Sam Rubin's classic clinic by Sam Rubin)
  • Classic Images no.334 (April 2003) pp.25-26 – DVD review (Video views by John Nangle)
  • Empire no.137 (November 2000) p.128 – DVD review (by David Parkinson)
  • Film-Echo/Filmwoche no.24 (15 June 1996) p.35 (Germany) – note (Cabinett in Buchform by ST)
  • Filmfax no.56 p.18 – review
  • Filmfax no.105 (January 2005) p.30 – soundtrack review (Hi-Tek Hi-Fi: Das Cabinet Des Caligari by Harry H. Long)
  • Journal of Popular Film and Television vol.18 no.1 (Spring 1990) pp.36-39 – illustrated article (Deus ex Animo, or Why a Doc? by Irving Schneider M.D.)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.46 no.545 (June 1979) p.135 – credits, synopsis, review (by Richard Combs)
  • Sight & Sound vol.2 no.8 (December 1994) p.60 – video release note (by William Green)
  • Sight & Sound vol.4 no.2 (February 1994) p.69 – illustrated video release note (by Peter Dean)
  • Sight & Sound vol.11 no.4 (April 2001) p.62 – DVD review (Home movies: reviews by Geoffrey MacNab)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror (2nd edition) by Phil Hardy (ed) pp.21-22 – credits, review
  • BFI Companion to Horror pp.53-54 – review
  • Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations by James Craig Holte pp.30-31 – note
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke pp.167
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.17, 164, 269
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.7-8, 19-22, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 37, 38, 42, 44, 45, 47, 58, 80, 99, 106, 142, 150, 324, 348
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.201 – credits, review
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay p.23 – illustrated review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.54-55  – illustrated credits, review
  • Movies of the 20s and Early Cinema by Jürgen Müller pp.79-77 – illustrated credits, review (by PLB [Petra Lange-Berndt])
  • The Psychotronic Video Guide by Michael Weldon p.86 – review
  • by Walt Lee pp.52; 53 – credits; photograph
  • Silent Films, 1877-1996: A Critical Guide to 646 Movies by Robert K. Klepper pp.153-156
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani p.161 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan pp.15, 70, 71, 91, 120-122, 133, 209
  • Vintage Science Fiction Films, 1896-1949 by Michael Benson p.138 – credits

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide May 2019 p.20 – illustrated listing
  • Film Society History (1938) – note