During the 1960s Germany, criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse is using hypnotized victims and the surveillance equipment of a Nazi-era bugged hotel to steal nuclear technology from a visiting American industrialist.
"Journey to the Lost City" is not a specific film by Fritz Lang but the combination of Der Tiger von Eschnapur (1959) with its sequel The Indian Tomb (1959), done in 1960 by American International Pictures.
A German architect runs away with the maharajah of Eschnapur's fiancee but is caught and thrown in the dungeon, while his relatives arrive from Europe looking for him and the maharajah's brother is scheming to usurp the throne.
Reporter Peter Barter gets murdered while driving to his tv station. Commisioner Kras gets a phone call from clairvoyant Cornelius who saw Barter's death in a vision. But a dark force prevents Cornelius from seeing the man behind the crime. Meanwhile the policemen concentrate their activities on the hotel Luxor. There exist too many links between the hotel and the unsolved crimes. Trevors, a rich American, rents a room in the hotel at the same time. He can prevent the suicide of the young woman Marion Menil at the last minute. But what is the reason for Miss Menil's doing? Why is she initimidated? Could it be that Dr. Mabuse, a genius in crime believed to be dead, is back? Written by
Matthias Luehr <email@example.com>
For nearly three decades, the visionary and brilliantly gifted writer/director Fritz Lang lived in the United States, because he fled from the Nazis and particularly from Joseph Goebbels who banned all of his previous films. But during the late fifties he returned to his home country Germany and completed the final three films of his rich career. Of course he couldn't retire without dedicating one last film to the character that is probably his most personally dearest and convoluted creation: Dr. Mabuse! The ingeniously and aptly titled "The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse" is in fact a belated but direct sequel to Lang's 1933 masterpiece "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse". It's a convoluted but extremely intelligent and hugely compelling mystery/crime thriller, with many characters and even more plot twists and secret story lines to discover. Some of the plot aspects are obvious and predictable, but most of the film is very surprising and incredibly fascinating!
TV journalist Peter Barker dies in his car in the middle of an intersection, but what initially seems to be death by heart-attack turns out to be a case of vile murder committed by an ultra-advanced weapon that fires needles of steel into the victims' brains. Police Commissioner Kras was informed about the murder from beforehand, by the mysterious blind clairvoyant Peter Cornelius, and the modus operandi of the murder is very reminiscent to a murder committed nearly 30 years ago, by the henchmen of criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse. The investigation of this crime, as well as several other peculiar and unsolved murders, leads to the Luxor Hotel. While commissioner Kras meets up with some interesting people at the bar, like an insurance agent and a hotel detective, we are introduced to two other guests, namely the beautiful young lady Marion who's about to commit suicide by jumping off the hotel's balcony, and the gentle and wealthy American industrialist Henry Travers who's courageous enough to save her. What connects all these individual people to the murder of journalist Peter Barker? And what's the link with Dr. Mabuse, who allegedly died in a mental asylum 30 years earlier?
"The 1.000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse" almost entirely revolves on suspenseful plotting and the intriguing rebirth of Lang's titular anti-hero protagonist. This film doesn't feature those beautiful expressionist trademarks anymore, like the case in the 1922 and 1933 films. That's okay, though, since the film was released in an entirely different era and focuses on more contemporary relevant things, like espionage and violent gimmicks such as exploding telephones and new kinds of artillery. However, one thing that Fritz Lang definitely kept alive in his post-WWII Dr. Mabuse movie is the criticism towards Germany's fascist past, ha! Apart from a terrific screenplay and a wondrously grim atmosphere, "The 1.000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse" can also rely on a whole series of impeccable acting performances. Gert Fröbe, known as one of the best James Bond villains in "Goldfinger", is excellent as the skeptical police inspector in charge of the investigation. Other great performances come from Peter Van Eyck, Dawn Addams, Wolfgang Preiss and Werner Peters. Cult fanatics will also definitely recognize Jess Franco regular Howard "Dr. Orloff" Vernon in a delightful supportive role as merciless hit man. The reincarnation of Dr. Mabuse's character also meant the start of several more sixties' sequels, and I plan to watch them all one day. Great stuff, warmly recommended to fans of Fritz Lang, but also to admirers of good "Krimi" (crime) thrillers.
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