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
Brigitte Helm recalled her experiences of shooting the film in a contemporary interview, saying that "the night shots lasted three weeks, and even if they did lead to the greatest dramatic moments - even if we did follow Fritz Lang's directions as though in a trance, enthusiastic and enraptured at the same time - I can't forget the incredible strain that they put us under. The work wasn't easy, and the authenticity in the portrayal ended up testing our nerves now and then. For instance, it wasn't fun at all when Grot drags me by the hair, to have me burned at the stake. Once I even fainted: during the transformation scene, Maria, as the android, is clamped in a kind of wooden armament, and because the shot took so long, I didn't get enough air." See more »
When Freder first sees the statues of the Seven Deadly Sins, there is almost imperceptible movement by the actors playing some of them, notably 'Eitelkeit'. See more »
Fritz Lang's groundbreaking landmark remains one of the biggest mysteries in the world of cinema. How can a movie that'll soon turn 80 years old still look so disturbingly futuristic?? The screenplay by Thea Von Harbou is still very haunting and courageously assails social issues that are of all ages. The world has been divided into two main categories: thinkers & workers! If you belong to the first category, you can lead a life of luxury above ground but if you're a worker, your life isn't worth a penny, and you're doomed to perilous labor underground. The further expansions and intrigues in the screenplay are too astonishing to spoil, so I strongly advise that you check out the film yourself. It's essential viewing, anyway! "Metropolis" is a very demanding film-experience and definitely not always entertaining. But, as it is often the case with silent-cinema classics, the respect and admiration you'll develop during watching it will widely excel the enjoyment-aspect. Fritz' brutal visual style still looks innovative and few directors since were able to re-create a similarly nightmarish composition of horizontal and vertical lines. Many supposedly 'restored' versions have been released over the years (in 1984 and 2002, for example) but the 1926-version is still the finest in my opinion, even though that one already isn't as detailed and punctual as Lang intended it. "Metropolis" perhaps is THE most important and influential movie ever made. "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Star Wars" and "Blade Runner" owe their existence (or at least their power) to it.
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