- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
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Integral to our modern notions of science fiction as well as what can be visually achieved onscreen. Also, with Battleship Potemkin, a groundbreaking period social commentary.
Birth of a Genre
- Tim Russo
You're supposed to like Metropolis, just as you're supposed to like any old science fiction masterpiece. But I just can't. Even allowing for its era, Fritz Lang's timeless silent masterpiece plods along, pounds you in the head with overwrought everything, and in the end, you just wait for the predictable happy ending, which takes a while.And yet, Metropolis is such a visually stunning weirdscape of towering cities and machines, you can't take your eyes off it's Cubist Bauhaus wonder. Every character leaps from the screen, especially Brigitte Helm's split personality heroine Maria, who undergoes a personality transplant, or a cloning, it's a bit unclear. No matter - Helm is irrepressible, contorting in an evil dance, being burned at the stake, saving children, or plaintively longing. The robot Maria is the inspiration for Star Wars' C3PO, a resemblance so instant to the viewer, even that draws you further in. Because of its length, I found myself wondering about the fate of the massive cast of extras. Shot in Weimar Germany and released into Berlin's thriving arts decade, thousands participated before they all no doubt were sucked into the coming vortex of World War II. How many in this film would perish in concentration camps? Or under Allied bombs? Heinrich Gotho of the supporting cast was eventually banned from film work for being Jewish. Helm was later targeted by Hitler himself for marrying a Jew. Weimar films all carry this haunt. Metropolis' place in the sci-fi Rosetta Stone forces us to remember their stories, and marvel at their art. Even if the film is a bit boring.
Art Directors Take Note....
- Graham Thomas
The Art of cinema.
1927 or 1926?
- Steven Lyons
My understanding is that the premiere of the movie was on 1/10/1927. Why do you list it as 1926?
An astonishing film
Despite its antiquity, Metropolis remained, at least in my mind, the most visually striking film ever made until the Lord of the Rings series. Of course, the images are not the result of computers, but models, sets, and some simple photographic tricks. The plot is melodramatic and the acting typical of the silent era, but what one sees easily makes up for these shortcomings. While "silent," the film has a custom written orchestral score that adds much to the experience.
Socialistic Society Exposed
- Will Fox
Way ahead of its time, a George Orwell-esque, de-humanized Socialistic society is exposed in this classic silent film, featuring a futuristic Utopia, worked by slaves living underground, beneath an urban 'plantation.' This skyscraping, city of the future is threatened with destruction, when its original designer, a politically-privileged elitist conspires with a mad scientist to create a robotic clone, a false Messiah of an inspirational leader of the working masses, that promotes peaceful labor reforms. Ironically, the egocentric elitist's son, an honestly idealistic, free-thinking, young man rejects his father's life of luxury, to lead the oppressed workers in a revolt. Eventually, his power-obsessed father realizes that he has lost the most prized presence in his life, his only begotten son. Even the neo-Nazis of the future, in this Expressionistic Sci-Fi drama, love their young. It was not long after this most-expensive Prussian production that internationally acclaimed director, Fritz Lang left old, totalitarian Europe for the Brave New World of Hollywood. Individualists and Rand Paulians of the free world continue to rejoice.
Overall-3 1/2 out of 5Lead Performers-3/5Supporting Cast-2/5Director-4/5Screenplay-3/5Cinematography-4/5Importance-4/5Recomendation for fans of the genre-4/5
- Dashiell Barnes
One of the greatest & most-enduring science-fiction films. The son of the Master of Metropolis abandons his luxuries & becomes one of the hard-living workers to find a beautiful preacher woman, however, the Master & his scientist ally have different plans for the workers. Frolich overacts in almost all his scenes, but Abel, Klein-Rogge & Helm are each perfect in their respective roles. The massive sets & army of extra's are just an example of Director Lang's handling of this epic film, which has a fine amount of mystical & biblical elements, as well as alot of sex. An unforgettable film experience that must be seen by everyone. I give it a 5/5.
Metropolis-A Silent Classic
- Bruce Reber
"Metropolis" (1927) the classic (and somewhat prophetic) silent film from German director Fritz Lang about the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and technology in a futuristic city is generally considered to be the first film of what would eventually be the Science Fiction genre. It no doubt influenced later directors such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials, and later sci-fi epics such as "Forbidden Planet", "2001-A Space Odyssey" and the "Star Wars" series. It was also the inspiration for a couple of TV ads in the 1980's, and the rock group Queen's video for their song "Radio Ga Ga" in 1984. I don't watch silent films, but when I saw the restored "Metropolis" for the first time last year I knew I had to see it again when it aired on TCM Sunday night 9/18/11. If I was asked to choose a silent film that I would watch again and again it would without question be "Metropolis".
I usually find that silent movies are boring and the acting is very unconvincing. But once I started watching Metropolis I was transfixed! Although the plot is hokey, there is something about the striking visuals, special effects and the fantastic orchestration that really works! The film effectively creates an alternate world, grim and gritty, and illustrates how industrialization can crush both individuality and the human soul. It is especially stunning when you realize that this film was produced at a time when film sound was itself a kind of special effect. Still, in this movie you can see the seeds that many years later resulted in some of the greatest classic films of all time. This movie was quite an achievement for its day, and it was well worth taking the time to enjoy. It, like Nosferatu, towers above the other productions of its day.
- Mark Sutch
Metropolis & German Cinema
- Chris R
I heard of this movie over the years and watched it on TCM in May 2008. I did not understand the movie. The restored version with added lost footage brings in the full story. It is an excellent masterpiece, even by todays standards. To me the only movie which can be compared to Metropolis' full verizon is the full cut of Brazil from 1985. These two movies are a wonder to cinema and the complete cuts would be worth buying. Another, German movie would be Titanic which I had the opportunity of watching on TCM several years back, it is also excellent and I understand was another lost movie which Hitler had shelved.
Worth all the effort
- Janice Peiffer
When I watched Metropolis the other night on TCM, I was totally amazed at both the story and the preservation of this wonderful film. From the very begining, it had me wondering how this ancient film could have been made. It was 1927, no computers to enhance the special effects. I was just mezmarized by the movie. How wonderful for the film preservation group to find this treasure and bring it to us. Hope TCM adds it to the schedule again. Would love to see more of these treasures.
- James Walker
Often described as the first sc-fi film masterpiece, Fritz Lang's Metropolis was for six decades only shown as a mutilated, poorly preserved print which was missing about a third of its original footage. The latest version is the product of over 30 years of research, treasure hunting for missing scenes, and painstaking restoration utilizing digital technology. The results are remarkably close to the original!Lang's original vision was premiered in Berlin in 1927 with an exclusive score performed by a live orchestra. Only about 10,000 persons had the opportunity to view it, before it was pulled from Berlin theatres and then marketed by Paramount for US distribution. The US version was re-edited and shortened. The original story line was changed and the continuity of the story suffered significantly. Metropolis was rarely seen since, until the Muroder restoration/rerelease came to the big screen in 1985. Still missing about an hour of film, it did receive moderate reviews. In 2000, the restored authorized version was released. The finest existing sources went into this version. Much of the source material came from the Paramount negative. Damaged scenes, including the main title, was touched up digitally. Still, there was about half an hour missing, and was presumed to be hopelessly lost. The score was recorded by an orchestra and also performed live.In 2008, a damaged, but viewable 16mm print of Lang's original cut was discovered in Buenos Aires. About 25 minutes have been added to the 2002 restoration. For the first time since 1927, we have the opportunity to see the "complete" Metropolis. And what a difference the missing scenes make. The story is much more understandable, and missing subplots are now included. The new footage, if far from perfect, but does make it easier for cinemaphiles to easily see where the new footage was inserted. The new version is about 2.5 hours long, and is well worth your time to see it.
Enjoyable to Watch
- Cindy Kong
Just watched the broadcast earlier in the evening. I always liked watching it whenever I get the chance. It really is a timeless classic.
Metropolis - restored version
- Roger Lecucq
From over 40 copies made for the movie premiere in 1927 - and shown all over the world - not a single one exits anymore.In 2001, the Murnau-Stiftung of Germany showed a digital reconstruction of the movie which hat the original copy of the american version as its foundation. But it also included parts from other still existing movie fragments from all over the world. But there were still blank spaces and parts missing until 2001 from the original version of 1927. Nobody ever dreamt of finding these again. But these missing scenes eventually were found in a another fragmented copy. Again the movie was completely digitally restored and remastered, so that the movie today is almost as complete as it was when shown at its premiere in 1927. Only a few minutes are still missing - approx 3 to 5 minutes, I believe.So, it's showtime for one of the greatest german movies of the silent ara ever!
Finest silent film ever made
- Larry Bradford
I've seen over 200 silent films and "Metropolis" is far and away the finest silent film ever made. I still wonder what gave them ideas like a video telephone.
I love the symbolism that a lot of movies lack now-a-days because they can just explain everything. This is such a well shot movie and i love how beautiful it is. One of my favorite old movies ever to be released
Best Silent Film Ever
This is one of the most beautiful silent films i've ever seen and a great example of German expressionism at it's best. It definitely proves that the era of good movies is over.