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Trivia: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • Executive Meddling: The Twist Ending was originally the idea of a studio exec (sometimes credited as Fritz Lang himself), and it arguably makes the movie much more uncomfortable. Supposedly after screenings, a man would come out and reassure the audience that everything was going to be alright. Word of God stated that the film was supposed to represent what people in power could force others to do against their will, leaving them unresponsive shells who were a slave to the whims of those in power. Many historians view the changed ending as a sign that the audiences of the time weren't comfortable with the idea of questioning authority, even if that authority was corrupt and instigated them to do horrible things - a foreboding portent of things to come. Instead, the twist makes the film about the realization of how little authority the individual has over their own actions and the dangers of blaming outsiders, which - although probably not what the studio intended, unless it really was Fritz Lang's idea (he would be all over this kind of message) - is also a pretty timely point to make in interwar Germany.
  • Viral Marketing: One of the earliest examples, with posters reading "Du mußt Caligari werden!" ("You must become Caligari!"), with no explanation of who Caligari was or why the reader must become him, plastered all over German cities in the lead-up to the film's release.

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