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Dr. Mabuse is a fictional character created by Norbert Jacques in his 1921 novel Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler ('Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler'), and his 1932 follow-up novel Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1932).
The character was made famous by three films about the character directed in Germany by Fritz Lang: Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (silent, 1922) The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) and the much later The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960). Five other films featuring Dr. Mabuse were made by other directors in Germany in the early 1960s, followed by Jess Franco's interpretation The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse in 1971.
Although the character was deliberately written to mimic villains such as Dr. Fu Manchu, Guy Boothby's Doctor Nikola, Fantômas, or Svengali, the last of which was a direct inspiration, Jacques' goals were commercial success and to make political comments, in much the same way that the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) had done just a few years previously.