In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Sometime in the future, the city of Metropolis is home to a Utopian society where its wealthy residents live a carefree life. One of those is Freder Fredersen. One day, he spots a beautiful woman with a group of children, she and the children who quickly disappear. Trying to follow her, he, oblivious to such, is horrified to find an underground world of workers, apparently who run the machinery which keeps the above ground Utopian world functioning. One of the few people above ground who knows about the world below is Freder's father, Joh Fredersen, who is the founder and master of Metropolis. Freder learns that the woman is Maria, who espouses the need to join the "hands" - the workers - to the "head" - those in power above - by a mediator or the "heart". Freder wants to help the plight of the workers in the want for a better life. But when Joh learns of what Maria is espousing and that Freder is joining their cause, Joh, with the assistance of an old colleague and now nemesis named ... Written by
The establishing shots of the city - with cars, planes and elevated trains moving about - were shot using stop-motion photography. The cars were modelled on the newest taxicabs driving the streets of Berlin. It took months to build the city model and several days to film the few short sequences. Then the lab ruined the first shots. The backgrounds in the shot had been dimly lit to create a greater sense of depth, but the head of the lab, who developed the film himself, decided that was a mistake and lightened the backgrounds, thereby destroying the sense of forced perspective. See more »
On the Kino DVD, a shot in chapter 7 that lasts nine seconds is backwards. The shot starts at 16 minutes, 33 seconds. It is the third of four cityscape shots in a row. The vehicular traffic in this third shot moves on the left side. The traffic moves on the right side in the second and fourth shots. There is a backward script letter "B" on the left side of the third shot. These indicate the third shot is backwards. If the third shot is reversed, it becomes apparent that it is a close-up of the bottom of the fourth shot. See more »
Moving Title Card:
Deep below - the earth's surface - lay the worker's city.
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Restoration based on the version in the Filmmuseum Munich and material preserved in the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv See more »
Fritz Lang's Metropolis is the first true masterpiece of science fiction in film. You can see it's influence in films such as Star Wars, The Matrix, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Blade Runner, and countless others. Despite the fact that parts of the film are no longer available, the efforts to reconstruct the original film from its remains are valiant enough to provide enough to make the story clear. The special effects were far ahead of their time and the set designs were, in some cases, phenomenal. I can see where some people may not enjoy this movie. It is hard for some to really appreciate a movie that is 77 years old, because a lot has happened in film since then. Yet, if you look at the basic elements of this movie - its story, characters, artwork, cinematography, etc., I believe this movie has just as much to offer now as it must have in the late 1920's. Also, take into consideration the asthetics of German expressionist film when viewing this. The performances and set designs are going to be over the top. That was part of the style. Metropolis may not be for everyone, but, for those willing to read between the lines, this film still has a lot to offer!
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