The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse

The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (Ger. Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse) is a 1960 black-and-white crime thriller film directed by Fritz Lang in his final film before his death. A West German/French/Italian international co-production, it starred Peter van Eyck, Dawn Addams and Gert Fröbe. The film made use of the character Dr. Mabuse, who had appeared in earlier films by Lang in 1922 and 1933. The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse spawned a film series of German Mabuse films that were released over the following years to compete with Rialto Film's Krimi films.

Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse
German theatrical release poster
Directed byFritz Lang
Produced byArtur Brauner
Written byFritz Lang
Heinz Oskar Wuttig
Based onMr. Tot Aĉetas Mil Okulojn
by Jan Fethke
StarringDawn Addams
Peter van Eyck
Gert Fröbe
Music byBert Grund
Werner Müller
CinematographyKarl Löb
Edited byWalter Wischniewsky
Waltraut Wischniewsky
Distributed byPrisma Filmverleih
Release date
  • 14 September 1960 (1960-09-14)
Running time
103 minutes
  • West Germany
  • Italy
  • France[2][3]


A reporter is killed in his car on his way to work. Inspector Kras gets a call from his informant Peter Cornelius, a blind fortuneteller, who had a vision of the crime but not the perpetrator. Meanwhile, Henry Travers, a rich American industrialist, checks into the Luxor Hotel, which has been outfitted by the Nazis during World War II to spy on people in every room. He becomes involved with Marian Menil, who is being threatened by her evil club-footed husband, Hieronymus B. Mistelzweig, purportedly a salesman, who is also a guest in the hotel and always seems to be lurking about. These disparate characters eventually get together to solve what appears to be the re-emergence of the long-dead Dr. Mabuse.



The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse was co-produced by CCC Filmkunst (West Germany), C.E.I. Incom (Italy) and Critérion Film (France). The original titles were Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse (German), Il diabolico Dr. Mabuse (Italian) and Le diabolique docteur Mabuse (French).[4]

It was the last film directed by Fritz Lang, who had returned from the U.S. to Germany to make what would turn out to be a total of three films for producer Artur Brauner: The Tiger of Eschnapur, The Indian Tomb and The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse. The film made use of the character Doctor Mabuse invented by Norbert Jacques, whom Lang had used in two previous films back in 1922 (Dr. Mabuse der Spieler, released in two parts) and 1933 (Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse).

The script of this movie, written by Fritz Lang and Heinz Oskar Wuttig, was based on the Esperanto novel Mr. Tot Buys A Thousand Eyes by the Polish author Jan Fethke. It brought the Mabuse character from his previous pre-war appearances into contemporary times (the 1960s) and combined elements of the German Edgar Wallace film series, spy fiction and Big Brother surveillance with the nihilism of the Mabuse world.

Filming took place 5 May to 28 June 1960 at the Spandau Studios in Berlin. The film premiered on 14 September 1960 at the Gloria-Palast in Stuttgart (Germany) and on 28 June 1961 in Paris (French version).[4]


The film spawned a number of sequels, all made in a similar style and produced by Artur Brauner:

See also


  1. "Credits". BFI Film & TV Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  2. Erickson, Hal. "The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  3. "Die Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse". BFI Film & TV Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  4. "Filmportal: Die tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse". Retrieved 21 March 2013.
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