The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez (1991)

  |  Drama, Music, Mystery

The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez (1991) Poster

Featuring music instead of any dialogue and set in a near Kafkaesque future, this loose remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari follows a bureaucrat whom mysterious Dr. Ramirez and his hideous sidekick want as their latest victim.

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

22 July 2004 | FieCrier
This is an unusual movie. I'd recently watched Thief, The (1952), another movie without any spoken dialogue or intertitles. That movie had a clear story that could be followed easily. This one is not so clear. To some extent Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, The (1991) borrows from Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (1920), but it's hardly a remake; no more so than Dr. Caligari (1989) I think.

There's no spoken dialogue or diegetic sound. The only audio is the musical score, one that reminded me very much of Philip Glass and in particular his three -qatsi scores. Perhaps in consequence, occasionally the picture reminded me of Godfrey Reggio's -qatsi films too; for example, sometimes there were montages of shots of buildings (this movie has more of a story, though). Occasionally the film is completely silent.

Sometimes there are words on the screen; some newspapers are glimpsed, a whole page of a book is seen (the page deals with the "disappeared" and the "Mad Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" in Argentina), and three business-sized cards with fortunes printed on them are seen. One character in the movie is seen mouthing words directly into the camera, but unfortunately I can't even guess what he might have been saying (if anything).

At the moment, this movie is labeled as a "Comedy" on IMDb. Perhaps it was meant as one, but no comedy was particularly evident to me. "Drama" seems more accurate. "Horror" wouldn't particularly fit; despite the roots in Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (1920) and several deaths, it's not really a horror movie.

Peter Gallagher's character works in an office, seated next to his roommate. He has a relationship with Joan Cusack's character. Their apartments are curiously bare, and they sleep on mattresses on the floor. Their boss is taken away by two people with badges. The city they work in has several peculiar homeless people, who are treated poorly by the police. For the rest, I guess you'll just have to try to see it.

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Plot Summary


Drama | Music | Mystery | Thriller


Release Date:

4 December 1991



Country of Origin

UK, France, Germany, USA

Filming Locations

New York City, New York, USA

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