The magician (1926)

– It was something in me over which I have no control.

Science or magic? Modern or medieval? Skillful, rational, loving doctor or diabolical, ruthless, egotistical hypnotist with strange power over both animals and (wo)men?

Early example of the evil madman with spectacular laboratory in ancient tower, planning unholy experiments on damsel in distress during raging thunderstorm. The script is partly haphazard, the final showdown less than climactic, and most comic relief parts embarrassing. Not in my book of spells, erotic metaphors, or creation of life. But considering Paul Wegener’s grotesquely fascinating overplay, one must love this wonderfully self-ironic line:

– He looks as if he had stepped out of a melodrama.

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