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Metropolis
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Metropolis (1927) More at IMDbPro »

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Metropolis -- Metropolis Trailer

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Thea von Harbou (screenplay)
Thea von Harbou (novel)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Metropolis on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1927 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Fritz Lang's 1927 Masterpiece Now With 25 Minutes of Lost Footage (2010 re-release) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Watch the Kino DVD! See more (384 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Alfred Abel ... Joh Fredersen

Gustav Fröhlich ... Freder - Joh Fredersen's Son

Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... C.A. Rotwang - the Inventor
Fritz Rasp ... The Thin Man
Theodor Loos ... Josaphat
Erwin Biswanger ... 11811 - Georgy

Heinrich George ... Grot - the Guardian of the Heart Machine

Brigitte Helm ... The Machine Man / Maria
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fritz Alberti ... Creative Human - Man who Convinces Babel (uncredited)
Grete Berger ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Olly Boeheim ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Max Dietze ... Working Man (uncredited)
Ellen Frey ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Beatrice Garga ... Woman of Eternal Gardens (uncredited)
Heinrich Gotho ... Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Dolly Grey ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Anny Hintze ... Woman of Eternal Gardens (uncredited)
Georg John ... Working Man Who Causes Explosion of M-Machine (uncredited)
Walter Kuehle ... Working Man (uncredited)
Margarete Lanner ... Lady in Car / Woman of Eternal Gardens (uncredited)
Rose Lichtenstein ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Hanns Leo Reich ... Marinus (uncredited)
Arthur Reinhardt ... Working Man (uncredited)
Curt Siodmak ... Working Man (uncredited)
Henrietta Siodmak ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Olaf Storm ... Jan (uncredited)
Erwin Vater ... Working Man (uncredited)
Rolf von Goth ... Son in Eternal Gardens (uncredited)
Helen von Münchofen ... Woman of Eternal Gardens (uncredited)
Helene Weigel ... Working Woman (uncredited)
Hilde Woitscheff ... Woman of Eternal Gardens (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
 
Writing credits
Thea von Harbou (screenplay)

Thea von Harbou (novel)

Fritz Lang  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
 
Original Music by
Gottfried Huppertz 
Abel Korzeniowski (2004)
Giorgio Moroder (1984)
Peter Osborne (1998)
Bernd Schultheis 
Benjamin Speed (2005/2011)
Wetfish (1999)
 
Cinematography by
Karl Freund 
Günther Rittau 
Walter Ruttmann 
 
Art Direction by
Otto Hunte 
Erich Kettelhut 
Karl Vollbrecht 
 
Costume Design by
Aenne Willkomm 
 
Art Department
Otto Hunte .... set designer
Erich Kettelhut .... set designer
Walter Schulze-Mittendorff .... sculptor (as Walter Schultze-Mittendorf)
Karl Vollbrecht .... set designer
Edgar G. Ulmer .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Ernst Kunstmann .... special effects
Konstantin Irmen-Tschet .... special photographic effects sequences (uncredited)
Erich Kettelhut .... trick photography (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jeff Matakovich .... color and opticals (1984 restoration)
Eugen Schüfftan .... special visual effects
Erich Kettelhut .... painting effects (uncredited)
Ernst Kunstmann .... assistant compositing effects artist (uncredited)
Willy Muller .... model maker (uncredited)
Hugo O. Schulze .... assistant trick photography (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Karl Freund .... camera operator
Günther Rittau .... camera operator (as Gunther Rittau)
Robert Baberske .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Horst von Harbou .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hermann I. Kaufmann .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Brian Reeves .... mixing engineer
Frank Strobel .... music editor
Otto Harzner .... conductor: original score (uncredited)
Frank Strobel .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Rudi George .... key production assistant (uncredited)
Erich Holder .... production assistant (uncredited)
Erich Kettelhut .... technical consultant (uncredited)
Gustav Püttjer .... production assistant (uncredited)
Hans Taussig .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Bob Badami .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Eileen Bowser .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
John Branca .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Mark Damon .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Michael Dilbeck .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Jere Huggins .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Dieter Kosslick .... special thanks (2010 restoration)
Rusty Lemorande .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Tom Luddy .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Mike Lynskey .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Alan Marshall .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Michael Maslansky .... special thanks (1984 restoration) (as Mike Maslansky)
Alan Parker .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Paul Schrader .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
David Shepard .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Gary Stiffelman .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
Walter Yetnikoff .... special thanks (1984 restoration)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Complete Metropolis" - International (English title) (restored version)
See more »
Runtime:
153 min | Germany:210 min (premiere cut) | Germany:93 min (re-release version) | USA:114 min (25 fps) (1927 cut version) | USA:123 min (2002 Murnau Foundation 75th aniversary restored version) | 119 min (DVD edition) (2002 Murnau Foundation 75th aniversary restored version) | 80 min (Giorgio Moroder version) | 145 min (2010 restored version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital (1995 restored version) | Silent (original release)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:G | Chile:TE | Finland:K-7 | Germany:o.Al. (DVD re-rating) | Germany:12 (video rating) (re-release) | Germany:18 (original rating) (1927) | Iceland:L | Netherlands:12 (DVD rating) | Norway:12 (1986) | Peru:PT | Portugal:M/6 (DVD rating) | Portugal:17 (original rating) | South Korea:12 (DVD rating) | Spain:T (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-release) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16 (theatrical re-release) (1962)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Being one of the most expensive movies of the time, costing around 5,000,000 marks, this film nearly sent UFA (Universum Film) into bankruptcy.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: After watching Maria's sermon, Fredersen withdraws his left hand twice from the hole in the wall next to Rotwang.See more »
Quotes:
Maria:There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Love KillsSee more »

FAQ

What kind of political views did Fritz Lang want to show in the film?
How did they shoot the rings around the machine when it was transforming into the guise of Maria?
Is "Metropolis" based on a book?
See more »
90 out of 101 people found the following review useful.
Watch the Kino DVD!, 25 April 2005
Author: Everett Jones from Northfield, Minnesota

Technically speaking, I have seen this Fritz Lang silent sci-fi before, but this was the first time I saw it in any shape by which I could fairly evaluate it. I had previously watched Metropolis on a public domain VHS from the 80s. The print was terribly scratched and while there were a few memorable images, the story was so incoherent that their context was usually unclear. Though this was clearly not the best way to see Metropolis, I was still left with an impression of this supposed classic as a dusty museum piece that was praised by critics because they were expected to like it. So finally seeing a restored and expanded copy was as much as a revelation as seeing Once Upon a Time in the West letter boxed in how it led me to reevaluate my opinion of the movie. The movie is a strange mixture of political speculation political parable, apocalyptic fantasy, and religious allegory. It depicts a futuristic city that is divided between the wretched workers, who toil in the depths tending the machines, and the upper classes, who dwell in luxury up in the skyscrapers. The hero, the idle, pampered son of the city's supervisor Joh Fredersen, changes his ways and becomes concerned with the plight of the lower classes after catching a glimpse of Maria, the Madonna of the workers. His father, meanwhile, is plotting to thwart Maria with the help of the mad scientist Rotwang, who has discovered how to create robot replicas of human beings. One of the most surprising things about watching this version is just how much I didn't see. In addition to restoring scenes to the film, the DVD also includes inter titles to explain pieces of the plot that cannot be found in any version. With these changes, the story becomes much clearer, particularly the machinations of Rotwang and the master of Metropolis. Perhaps most importantly, a whole new subplot is added involving the hero's dead mother Hel, who was loved by both his father and Rotwang. With this clarification of the back-story, the close but adversarial relationship between Rotwang and Fredersen becomes much clearer. In some ways it recalls the family back-story of the Star Wars movies. Of course, the real strength of Metropolis isn't the story, which is pretty silly and probably wouldn't have worked in anything but a silent film, but its amazing visuals, which in their scale and ambitiousness look forward to 2001 and Blade Runner. Actually, though in most respects silent films now look primitive, one area in which they have the edge over modern film-making is in their frequently grandiose production design. Metropolis employs huge sets to show the hellish factories of the subterranean world. The models of the city's towering skyscrapers are also surprisingly convincing for a 1920s film. Even beyond the expansive production design and (for the time) special effects, Lang's visuals are all consistently inventive. The robot Maria provides some of the movie's most iconic images, including her transformation into a human being. In a later scene, she performs for upper-class men in a nightclub, and as she performs a striptease that in 1920s Germany was apparently seen as very decadent, the screen is filled with wet staring eyeballs. A sign of Lang's visual lavishness, and the studio's, that he doesn't hesitate to throw in lavish dream and hallucination sequences to drive home a point or illustrate a character's state of mind. For instance, when the hero first enters the subterranean city and sees rows upon rows of workers toiling on huge machines, he imagines the furnace transforming into a monstrous idol's head into which the workers are being sacrificed. At another point, while he's sick in bed he imagines statues of the Seven Deadly Sins coming to life and advancing out from a wall in a cathedral. When Maria preaches her message of peace and understanding to the workers, she tells them the story of the Tower of Babel of a management vs. labor parable, and Lang gives us spectacular images of the tower's construction and fall. In a sound film many of these scenes would have seemed redundant and over-literal, but they're what silent cinema does best -tell a story without the advantage- or obstacle- of dialogue. The story is a little slow to start, but once it picks up Metropolis becomes one of the most directly involving silent films that I've seen. In addition to being a pioneering example of the cinematic possibilities of science fiction, Metropolis also has to be one of the earliest disaster films, as the workers riot and sabotage the machines, endangering the entire city. Lang creates a sense of rising fury and nihilism in the last hour that in a strange way reminded me of what was going to happen to Germany in less than 20 years.

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