The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) (1920)

In one of the most influential films of the silent era, Werner Krauss plays the title character, a sinister hypnotist who travels the carnival circuit displaying a somnambulist named Cesare (Conrad Veidt). In one tiny German town, a series… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: February 26, 1920
DVD Release Date: October 15, 1997
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre -- and remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

A case can be made that Caligari was the first true horror film.

Full review…
David Pirie
Time Out

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and inspired horror movies ever made.

Full review…
Noel Murray
The Dissolve

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari illustrates something more eternal: about great manipulators, and the underlying anxiety that either society has gone mad, or we have.

Full review…
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

This is more than just a textbook classic; the narrative frame creates ambiguities that hold certain elements of the story in disturbing suspension. A one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Full review…
Christopher Machell

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of cinema's most enduring masterpieces.

Full review…
Clayton Dillard
Slant Magazine

The vertiginous sets synthesize with the film's more rudimentary narrative of doubling to achieve radically luminous social ends.

Full review…
Variety Staff

Robert Wiene has made perfect use of settings designed by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Roehrig, settings that squeeze and turn and adjust the eye and through the eye the mentality.

Full review…
CA Lejeune

[That Wiene], this outsider, with no knowledge of studio customs, no reverence for studio traditions, should have turned out The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari seems a thing almost too strange for belief.

Full review…
Mark Kermode
Observer (UK)

Thrilling, chilling, electrifying.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
A terrifying and highly influential milestone of German Expressionism, and also a radically anti-bourgeois work of art that intended back then to express with… More
Spencer S.
Probably the best silent film I have ever seen, Caligari has a clear emphasis on German Expressionism while also being a methodically psychological horror film… More
Lucas Martins
An unforgettable masterpiece of German Expressionism.
Sophie Burgess
An interesting and strange film that captures the imagination, then leaves you feeling like you've just had a smoke of weed. For it's time it's… More
Randy Tippy
Beyond being an iconic milestone in the evolution of cinema, Robert Wiene's masterpiece is still as entertaining as ever. The truly great films never go… More
Graham Jones
Truly haunting images.