''The Testament of Dr. Mabuse'' (1933) is a German noir film directed by Creator/FritzLang. A decade after the success of ''Film/DrMabuseTheGambler'', Lang decided to revisit the character in the sound era, with a plot appropriately based on the eeriness of recorded sound.

In the film, it is ten years or so since the criminal empire of DiabolicalMastermind Dr. Mabuse was crushed by the authorities, and the evil doctor, driven insane by his fall, confined to a mental hospital. Suddenly, the catatonic Mabuse has reawakened and begun to obsessively scribble notes on hypothetical crimes. Which would only be of academic interest, if it weren't for the new criminal gang that seems to be putting those plans into practice.

This was the last film Lang made before leaving Germany. ThoseWackyNazis, who had come to power just two months before the film was scheduled for release in Germany, promptly banned it. Lang, whose mother was a practicing Roman Catholic but Jewish by birth, left Germany soon after and made his way to Hollywood. Lang's wife Thea von Harbou, who had been his screenwriter and creative partner for almost all of Lang's career, joined the Nazi Party, divorced Lang, stayed behind in Germany, and worked in the Nazi movie industry until the end of the war. A quarter-century after he left, Lang came back to Germany and made another sequel, ''[[Film/Die1000AugenDesDrMabuse The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse]]''. The movie was [[TheRemake remade]] in 1962 as ''The Terror of Dr. Mabuse''.

''Testament'' had a complicated release history. Lang's original German cut saw limited release in Austria and Hungary in 1933. A French-language version, shot simultaneously by Lang with French-speaking actors, became the basis for most international prints. While the Nazis initially banned ''Testament'', they released a heavily-edited version in the late '30s. The biggest change was added narration by Inspector Lohmann stressing the [[WeimarGermany Weimar]] setting and claiming Mabuse was Jewish.

''Testament'' didn't reach America until 1943, in the midst of WorldWarII, when it was again reedited, this time to [[ANaziByAnyOtherName emphasize the Nazi parallels]]. Indeed, some versions explicitly compared Mabuse to Adolf Hitler. In 1952, a heavily cut (from 124 to 82 minutes), English-dubbed version entitled ''The Crimes of Dr. Mabuse'' appeared, which remained the standard version for several decades. Lang's original German cut didn't resurface until 1973, when it was re-released to general acclaim.

(It should be noted that this film has a major case of ItWasHisSled. To avoid the trope examples below being a block of spoiler code, the famous twist in question has not been whited out. If you really want to see the film unspoiled, don't read any further.)

!!This film provides examples of the following tropes:

* ActionPrologue
* AnswerCut: Several times.
** Lohmann says Hofmeister "must have gone out of his mind with terror", and there is a quick cut to a psychiatrist at a lecture describing exactly that condition.
** Later in the movie the cops are discussng a criminal and looking at his picture--cut to the criminal wearing the same clothes and in the same position.
* AsYouKnow: When Inspector Lohmann's assistant tells him that someone named Hofmeister has called, Lohmann makes sure to say "Our former colleague who got into trouble with foreign currency?".
* BedlamHouse: Unexpectedly averted. The place isn't exactly cosy, but even though the head psychiatrist is batshit crazy, the patients don't seem to be being ill-treated and most of the staff seem decent.
* BondVillainStupidity: Kent and Lilli locked in a room, being given three hours to anticipate their deaths.
* CanonWelding: This film pits Dr. Mabuse against Komissar Lohmann from ''{{Film/M}}''.
** This is alluded to when the archivist goes to recover the files and drops the title of the first film, "Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler" while holding a fat document that was apparently the script of the earlier film.
* TheChessmaster: Mabuse
* CigarChomper: Lohmann
* DeadHandShot: Of a {{Mook}} after he shoots himself rather than be taken alive.
* DevilInPlainSight: Baum is publicly vocal about his admiration for Mabuse even before he starts going seriously round the bend.
* DiabolicalMastermind: Guess who?
* DrivenToMadness: Hofmeister. Also Baum.
* DrivenToSuicide: A number are reported to have happened off-screen.
* DrowningPit: Kent risks deliberately turning the room he and Lilli are imprisoned in into this, in the hope that the water will absorb the force of the explosion.
* DunkingTheBomb: Mabuse, in a shining example of BondVillainStupidity, locks the good guy and his girlfriend in a room with a bomb set to go off in three hours. The good guy opens up the pipes and deliberately floods the room in an effort to muffle the explosion. They almost drown, but in the end it works.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Kent.
* ExpositionVictim: Dr. Kramm.
* FatAndSkinny: Hardy and Bredow
* ForTheEvulz: Mabuse's motivations in this film are purely to create chaos and a Hobbesian-nightmare "Empire of Crime". Lampshaded in scenes where some of his minions discuss their bemusement at why they're being paid to commit crimes that don't actually seem to make any money.
* GrandTheftMe: One possible interpretation of the film is that Mabuse succeeds in doing this on Baum with his psychic powers.
* HisNameIs: Hofmeister is attacked just as he's about to tell Lohmann who the bad guy is. Unusually, instead of beng killed, he's driven mad.
* HypnoticEyes: Mabuse still has them.
* LectureAsExposition: Baum's lecture on Mabuse, which gives a condensed run-down of the plot of the first film, and sets up his undue admiration of his patient.
* LegacyCharacter: Baum-Mabuse.
* LoveRedeems: Kent.
* ManipulativeBastard: Mabuse, again.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Whether Baum was simply mad, or whether Mabuse actually did manage to do a GrandTheftMe on him by some mystical means.
* MightAsWellNotBeInPrisonAtAll: The central mystery is how Mabuse is achieving this.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: All of Mabuse's leading minions get killed or arrested because one of them stupidly gave his moll a stolen piece of jewellery to wear in public.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Mabuse and Baum.
* MyBrainIsBig: Baum's visions of the dead Mabuse show him like this with a huge exposed brain. (According to WordOfGod, this was intended to be Baum seeing Mabuse as he last saw him, while he was dissecting Mabuse's brain on the autopsy table.)
* MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning: Dr. Mabuse may be dead but his writings still exist, waiting to be unleashed on the world. In the finale, Baum, in his madness comes to find the doctor possessing him entirely.
* NapoleonDelusion: Baum fully believes by the end that he '''is''' Dr. Mabuse.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Ladies and gentlemen, the UrExample.
* NoOneSeesTheBoss: The gang's "boss" is seen only as a silhouette behind a curtain, which turns out to be a cardboard cut out with a microphone and loudspeaker.
* NothingIsScarier: We never find out exactly what Hardy and Bredow did to Hofmeister to drive him mad.
* PosthumousCharacter: Mabuse, for the second half of the film.
* PsychoPsychologist: Mabuse's past as a psychanalyst is referred to, and his psychiatrist Baum initially starts committing crimes in admiration for him and finally becomes deludedly convinced that he '''is''' Mabuse.
* RealTime: Not within the film, but dialogue establishes that both this and the first film are set at the time of their release, with a ten-year-ish gap in between in canon.
* SealedRoomInTheMiddleOfNowhere: For Kent and Lilli, with a time-bomb included.
* ShoutOut: Arthur Miller in his autobiography, stated that he got the name for Willy Loman in ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman'' from this film, specificially for a scene where one of the characters calls the detective "Lohman" several times on the phone.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Creator/ChristopherNolan has said that this film partially inspired his characterization of The Joker in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Mabuse's speeches about sewing chaos certainly could come from The Joker's mouth, and vice versa.
* SympatheticInspectorAntagonist: Komissar Lohmann.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Hardy and Bredow are an early example, although they aren't as chatty as later examples would become.
* TookALevelInBadass: Inspector Lohmann, who goes from a hard-working but ineffectual investigator in ''M'' to a tough and efficient policeman.
* VillainBasedFranchise: The first of the sequels in what would become an irregular but long-running example.
* VillainousBreakdown: Baum is essentially having one throughout the film.
* VillainProtagonist
* TheVoice: The "chief". Almost a pre-internet example of VoiceWithAnInternetConnection.