Der grosse Spieler


You know what they say: Anyone who thinks it’s impossible to change the past has never written his own biography. The brain has a difficult job.

It not only has to interpret the world, but also its own actions. It’s hard enough to judge other people’s character from the way they behave, to judge your own from such confusing evidence is pretty near impossible.

And still, it insists seeing itself as a rational being with an agenda. And so a life full of doubts and fears and changing allegiances may become a crusade in retrospect.

Fritz Lang came to the United States in 1934 as a fugitive from the Nazis. You see, the reason they hated him and wouldn’t give him a job was that he was critical of the regime.

It wasn’t that he was an insufferable egotist that no one wanted to work with. And so MABUSE, his most famous character, was really Hitler – just like CALIGARI.

It’s common knowledge among film historians, at least those who don’t read BATHOS. Forget about SIEGFRIED.

Yes, there are similarities, and there is denunciation. But then again, MABUSE is not a villain.

He’s an antihero. He’s a madman.

And he’s the scourge of a corrupt society. You see, he really wasn’t conceived by Lang at all.

His father was Norbert Jacques, who by the way was tried after the war as a Nazi. He was also a genius, and so of course was Lang.

In other words, he was one of those bothersome people, who can’t shut up. So people didn’t like him very much, because he wasn’t a real Nazi, and then after the war they didn’t like him because he was.

Because, as we all know, the people are never wrong, and there’s a reason for that. They simply don’t think.

Norbert believed in the people, and he was afraid of it. He believed in great men, and he was afraid of them.