The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005 film)

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Lee Fisher
Produced by Paula Elins
Leonard McLeod
Screenplay by David Lee Fisher
Hans Janowitz (story)
Carl Mayer (story)
Starring Judson Pearce Morgan
Daamen J. Krall
Doug Jones
Lauren Birkell
Music by Eban Schletter
Cinematography Christopher Duddy
Edited by David Lee Fisher
Highlander Films
Distributed by Image Entertainment
Release date
  • October 22, 2005 (2005-10-22)
Running time
76 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 2005 American independent film, and a remake of the 1920 silent film of the same name. It was directed by David Lee Fisher and released in the U.S. at the ScreamFest Film Festival on October 22, where it won three prizes: the Audience Choice Award, Best Cinematography and Best Special Effects.


The plot is largely similar to that of the original film with extra dialogue scenes. The film tells the story of the deranged Dr. Caligari and his faithful sleepwalking Cesare and their connection to a string of murders in a German mountain village, Holstenwall. The movie features a "frame story" in which the body of the plot is presented as a flashback, as told by Francis.

The narrator, Francis, and his friend Alan visit a carnival in the village where they see Dr. Caligari and Cesare, whom the doctor is displaying as an attraction. Caligari brags that Cesare can answer any question he is asked. When Alan asks Cesare how long he has to live, Cesare tells Alan that he will die tomorrow at dawn — a prophecy which turns out to be fulfilled.

Francis, along with his girlfriend Jane, investigate Caligari and Cesare, which eventually leads to Jane's kidnapping by Cesare. Caligari orders Cesare to kill Jane, but the hypnotized slave refuses after her beauty captivates him. He carries Jane out of her house, leading Jane's father and brother on a chase. Cesare is stabbed to death after being pursued by Jane's brother, and Francis discovers that Caligari had created an illusion of Cesare to distract him.

Francis discovers that "Caligari" is the head of the local insane asylum, and with the help of his colleagues discovers that he is obsessed with the story of a medieval Dr. Caligari, who used a somnambulist to murder people as a traveling act. After being confronted with the dead Cesare, Caligari breaks down and reveals his mania and is imprisoned in his own asylum.

The "twist ending" reveals that Francis' flashback is his fantasy: The man he claims is Caligari is indeed his doctor in the asylum, who, after this revelation of the source of his patient's delusion, claims to be able to cure him.


  • Judson Pearce Morgan as Francis Geist
  • Daamen J. Krall as Dr. Daamen Caligari
  • Doug Jones as Cesare
  • Lauren Birkell as Jane Stern
  • Neil Hopkins as Alan
  • William Gregory Lee as Joseph Stern
  • Randy Mulkey as Inspector
  • Time Winters as Dr. Gabriel Stern
  • Richard Herd as Commissioner Hans Raab
  • Scott Lincoln as Criminal
  • Tim Russ as Town clerk
  • John Bigham as Asylum doctor
  • Alan Altshuld as Clerk's assistant
  • Ernest Misko as Old man
  • Darren Joel as Policeman #1
  • Mitch Steinberg as Policeman #2
  • Dr. Frank Bettag as Organ grinder
  • Buckley Sampson as Young woman
  • Ricky Skilliter as Burly man #1
  • Brian Farber as Burly Man #2/Cloaked man


The film was entirely filmed in front of a green screen and tried to recapture the look of the original – several shots from the original were superimposed behind the actors to exactly replicate some scenes.

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