Follow TV Tropes


Film / Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse

Go To

In 1960, Fritz Lang returned to Germany to make his last film, a much-delayed sequel to Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.

In this film (in English, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse), the methods of the long dead Diabolical Mastermind Dr. Mabuse appear to be being put into practice again in the West Germany of the Wirtschaftswunder. Kommisar Kras of Homicide is investigating a series of mysterious crimes against wealthy guests of the Hotel Luxor. Meanwhile, at the Luxor, an American businessman tries to save a woman in distress...

The film failed to achieve the lasting reputation of the earlier Mabuse films with critics, but was enough of a hit to initiate a new series of Mabuse films by other directors, also featuring Wolfgang Preiss as Mabuse and Gert Fröbe as his police enemy.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Rosensweig uses the engineer's body as this in his gunfight with Berg.
  • Call-Back:
    • The opening scene in which the journalist Barter is shot in his car is an shot-for-shot copy of the murder of Dr. Kramm in Testament, using modern vehicles.
    • The attempt to kill Kras with an exploding telephone is a direct reference to a similar scene in Dr. Mabuse der Spieler.
    • The climax with Travers and Marion sealed in the control room is a hybrid of Mabuse being trapped in the workshop at the end of Dr. Mabuse der Spieler and the death trap for Kent and Lilli in Testament.
  • Catchphrase: Rosensweig has a long and heavy-handedly comic speech when introducing himself, as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Decoy Damsel: Marion is seemingly a victim of domestic abuse, but she is actually in cahoots with Mabuse.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Invoked. Marion pretends to be suicidal to get close to Travers.
  • Honey Trap: The whole situation with Marion and her "husband" is a fake to make Travers fall in love with her, so that he can marry her and Mabuse can then kill him and run his company when she inherits.
  • Hell Hotel: Played with: Although the hoteliers are evil they aren't (usually) killing the guests there and then but spying on them so that they can plan later crimes.
  • In Love with the Mark: Marion.
  • Infodump: First when a policeman summarises the previous two films at a meeting, and then a really blatant one near the end where Berg and the engineer discuss why the surveillance was installed at the hotel.
  • Legacy Character: The new Dr. Mabuse is not Dr. Mabuse himself but Peter Cornelius.
  • Love Redeems: Marion's genuine love
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Used by Rosensweig to identify the finally unmade-up Mabuse III, when Cornelius's dog runs straight to him.
  • Master of Disguise: Dr. Mabuse III. Whereas in Dr. Mabuse der Spieler the audience were meant to recognise Mabuse's different personas, in this one the fact that Cornelius and Jordan were the same person in different make-up is a surprise reveal.
  • Multiple Endings: The film exists in alternate versions with different cuts of the (silent) final scene of Travers at Marion's bedside in hospital, which have different implications as to whether she survives her injuries or dies. It will surprise nobody who knows European film that the French release had the sad ending.
  • Never Found the Body: Dr. Mabuse III drives his car into a river in what is blatantly signaled as an example of this trope.
  • No Name Given: The killer in sunglasses and the engineer go unnamed throughout the entire movie.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Dr. Mabuse pretends to be a blind man to throw Kras off his scent.
  • Pet Positive Identification: The finally un-made-up Mabuse is identified when the guide dog he had been using to play the allegedly blind mystic Cornelius recognises him and runs up to him.
  • Phony Psychic: Cornelius does not have precognition; rather, he has a lot of cameras that let him know what is happening.
  • Prophet Eyes: Cornelius is a blind psychic with white eyes. Subverted when Mistelzweig rightly calls them out as special contact lenses used in American horror movies.
  • Real Time: As with the previous Mabuse films, set in the year of release.
  • Red Herring: After someone tries to assassinate Kras with a telephone bomb, he suspects Peter Cornelius, Hieronymus B. Mistelzweig, or Marion Menil may be the culprit. In hindsight, he guessed correctly on two of them. Cornelius is the new Dr. Mabuse, and Menil was his accomplice before her High-Heel–Face Turn. Only Mistelzweig turns out to be innocent; his dubious behavior was actually a façade for his true identity as an Interpol agent.
  • Red Right Hand: Roberto, who is in cahoots with Dr. Mabuse, has an obvious clubfoot.
  • Same Language Dub: Cornelius's lines were spoken by a different actor, to prevent the audience from recognising the voice and realising that he and "Dr. Jordan" were the same person.
  • Sinister Shades: Mabuse's main gunman wears them when killing Barter.
  • Staged Shooting: Followed by a real one, when the club-footed man is first "shot" by Travers to defend Marion, and then really shot by the man in sunglasses. Also, the faked assassination attempt on Cornelius at the seance.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Justified, as the hotel was secretly built by the SS as a panopticon so they could spy on foreign businessmen and diplomats.