The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

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The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari Movie poster.jpg

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari [Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari] (1920) is a silent film directed by Robert Wiene from a screenplay by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. It is one of the most influential of German Expressionist films. A version based on the original was made in 2005.

Dr. Caligari[edit]

  • Step right up. Now showing for the first time: Cesare, the miraculous, twenty-three years of age, has for these three-and-twenty years been sleeping -- night and day -- without a break. Before your very eyes, Cesare will awaken from his death-like rigidity. Step right up. Step right up.
  • Cesare! Do you hear me? It is I calling you: I, Caligari, your master. Awaken for a brief while from your dark night.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Cesare will now answer any question you like to put to him. Cesare knows every secret. Cesare knows the past and can see into the future. Come up and test him for yourselves.
  • I must know everything. I must penetrate the heart of his secret! I must become Caligari!


  • You fools, this man is plotting our doom! We die at dawn! He is Caligari!
  • Look! There is Cesare. Never ask him to tell your fortune; it will mean death for you.


  • Man in the Garden: Everywhere there are spirits ... They are all around us ... They have driven me from hearth and home, from my wife and children.
  • Title card: That night saw the first of a series of mysterious crimes.
  • Asylum director: At last I recognize his mania. He believes me to be the mythical Caligari. Astonishing! But I think I know how to cure him now.


Dr. Caligari: I want to apply for a permit to show my exhibit at the fair.
Town Clerk: What sort of an exhibit is it?
Dr. Caligari: A somnambulist.

Alan: How long have I to live?
Cesare: Until tomorrow's dawn.

Francis: [about Jane] Alan, we both love her.
Alan: We must let her choose. But whatever her choice, we shall always remain friends.

Francis: Jane, I love you - when will you marry me?
Jane: We who are of noble blood may not follow the wishes of our hearts.

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