From Caligari to Hitler

From Caligari to Hitler : A Psychological History of the German Film

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An essential work of the cinematic history of the Weimar Republic by a leading figure of film criticism

First published in 1947, From Caligari to Hitler remains an undisputed landmark study of the rich cinematic history of the Weimar Republic. Prominent film critic Siegfried Kracauer examines German society from 1921 to 1933, in light of such movies as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M, Metropolis, and The Blue Angel. He explores the connections among film aesthetics, the prevailing psychological state of Germans in the Weimar era, and the evolving social and political reality of the time. Kracauer makes a startling (and still controversial) claim: films as popular art provide insight into the unconscious motivations and fantasies of a nation.

With a critical introduction by Leonardo Quaresima which provides context for Kracauer's scholarship and his contributions to film studies, this Princeton Classics edition makes an influential work available to new generations of cinema enthusiasts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 33.02mm | 385.55g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 64 b/w illus.
  • 0691191344
  • 9780691191348
  • 251,173

Back cover copy

"An undisputed classic of modern film historiography, Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler had a major impact on the way we relate movies to history and society. Although Kracauer is not afraid of using such contested concepts as collective psychology and German 'soul, ' his productive readings of Weimar films as harbingers of emerging fascism still resonate today. Leonardo Quaresima's engaging and erudite introduction is critical in situating Kracauer's project both in its historical moment and in our time."--Anton Kaes, University of California, Berkeley
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Review quote

"The thesis of this unusually interesting book is that the German films of the twenties were filled with premonitions of the German totalitarianism of the thirties."-Nation "One of the great works of film history, this look at early German cinema, first published in 1947, is still a must-have for cineastes and scholars alike."-H. J. Kirchhoff, Toronto Globe and Mail "The book is an invaluable guide to a golden period of cinema."-Christopher Wood, Times
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About Siegfried Kracauer

Siegfried Kracauer (1889-1966) was a film critic and independent sociologist and theorist. He is the author of The Mass Ornament and Theory of Film (Princeton). Leonardo Quaresima is professor of film history and criticism and director of cinema studies at the University of Udine.
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Rating details

714 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 27% (194)
4 42% (303)
3 24% (172)
2 5% (33)
1 2% (12)
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