Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is the second of the director's three films featuring the popular criminal mastermind and hypnotist. And like its predecessor (Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler), Testament has profound historical significance for students of Lang's work and German history. But where Lang's first Mabuse film screams Weimar decadence and cinematic expressionism, Testament answers with resigned prescience about the coming of National Socialism.
Testament was the last film Lang made before the expanding Nazi regime forced him to flee Germany, bringing to a close the most creatively productive phase of his career. Lang's escape to America, and Nazi censors' decision to ban the film as a "threat to law and order and public safety," make it a milestone of art at odds with the ideology of the regime.
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