Die Unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse
(The Invisible Claws of Dr. Mabuse)

Directed by Harald Reinl (1962)

CAST:
     Karin Dor (Liane Martin, dancer)
     Lex Barker (Joe Como, FBI agent)
     Rudolf Fernau (Professor Erasmus)
     Wolfgang Preiss (Dr. Krone)
     Kurd Pieritz (Dr. Bardorf)
     Werner Peters (Bobo, clown)
     Sigfried Lowitz (Commissioner Brahm)
     Walo Lüönd (Inspector Hase)

Coming at the height of the Cold War, this movie is about suave spies, secret inventions and mysterious villains intent on world domination. Every night at the Metropol Theatre, Liane Martin dances a reenactment of a French aristocrat being beheaded. We see an empty theatre box with opera glasses mysteriously moving by themselves as if an invisible person were watching the performance. A man in the audience also notices the glasses moving and the door to the box opening by itself. He attempts to follow the invisible man and is waylaid by an evil clown, Bobo, and a gang of stagehands. They demand to know about "Operation X". A shadow on the wall orders the men to stop torturing him and then kills the man. We then see steamer trunk being taken from the theatre and loaded onto a Transas moving van.

FBI agent Joe Como arrives in Berlin and meets Commission Brahm. He goes to identify a body found on the docks and it is the FBI agent from the theatre. At the morgue he meets Liane, who refuses to answer his questions and leaves. Inspector Hase arrives and tells Como that Liane's phone number was found in the dead man's pocket. Joe then breaks into the Transas moving company and is discovered by the owner who insists he knew nothing about the dead man in the trunk. Later the van's driver is killed in an explosion.

Joe goes to the theatre and watches Liane's show. Later in her dressing room, an unseen presence scares her. She confesses to Joe that she thinks "ghosts" are haunting her room. Later Joe calls Liane's home and an invisible hand answers the phone. He tells Joe to stop bothering Liane and that he is her husband. Joe goes to Liane's apartment and finds that she is moving. She tells him she is not married and says that no one was there to answer the phone. She says she is moving because she feels that she has been bothered by an invisible presence.

Joe is called to headquarters and finds out that Operation X is a plan to get Professor Erasmus's secret invention which renders matter invisible. His assistant Dr. Bardorf is assisting the FBI as Dr. Erasmus has been missing since an automobile accident. Joe is asked to visit the planetarium, where Dr. Erasmus's laboratory is located. A man is murdered there after being mistaken for Joe. Joe is positive the killer is his old adversary, Dr. Mabuse, who is intent on world domination.

Joe goes back to the theatre and sees a door open by invisible hands. Liane screams in her dressing room and they see footprints in her spilled champagne. The man escapes and Joe finds Dr. Krone to attend to Liane. The doctor recommends that Liane go for a rest in the country at a famous castle. Liane goes and sees that she is being followed by a mysterious car. At the hotel she meets Joe. Joe finds the invisible man in a steamy bathroom and forces him to become visible. It is Dr. Erasmus and he is hideously disfigured from his auto accident. He tells Joe that his special frequency coordination batteries must be recharged or he will become visible again. He is in love with Liane and he doesn't want her to see his face.

Going back to her room, Joe finds that Liane has been kidnapped. Dr. Mabuse wants Dr. Erasmus's invisibility machine in exchange for Liane's life. Is Dr. Mabuse Commissioner Brahm, Inspector Hase, Bobo the Clown, Dr. Krone, Dr. Bardorf or the owner of the Transas Moving Company? Joe follows clues all over Berlin and in a flaming finale rescues Liane and saves the world from Dr. Mabuse's evil clutches.

In 1963, Carl made his last movie, Der Würger von Schloss Blackmoor (The Strangler from Blackmoor Castle) with Karin Dor, Rudolf Fernau and Director Harald Reinl. It is interesting to speculate whether or not Carl discussed with Lex Barker his original role as Kara ben Nemsi in the 1920's Karl May movies Auf des Trümmern des Paradieses, Die Todeskarawane and Die Teufelsanbeter. Lex Barker was famous in Germany for recreating the role in the 1960's. Also, Karin Dor acted in some Karl May films.

Copies of this film may be obtained from Videoflicks.