Back in Germany for the first time since 1933, director Fritz Lang returned to the screen character that brought him enormous success in his pre-Hollywood years. The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse is not so much a sequel as an extension of Lang's early Dr. Mabuse (1922) and Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Set in 1960, the film begins with a series of unsolved murders in a Berlin hotel. The modus operandi of the murderer is the same as that of long-dead megalomaniac Dr. Mabuse. Police detective Gert Frobe and amateur sleuths Peter Van Eyck and Dawn Addams suspect that the killer is a man who believes that he is the reincarnation of Mabuse. Could the culprit be secretive insurance salesman Werner Peters, or blind seer Wolfgang Preiss? The title refers to the hotel's sophisticated TV surveillance system--dozens of roving cameras and TV monitors, inspired (claimed Lang) by a sophisticated bugging method used by the Nazis during World War II. The renewed popularity of the Dr. Mabuse character spawned five movie sequels, none of which were directed by Lang, who had washed his hands of the project.
by Hal Erickson synopsis