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This must be one of the greatest movies of all time. I found myself almost
in a state of shock during the whole movie. Everything was perfect. The
story was great, the filming was pure genius and the effects directly from
I don't think any movie after this one have gotten so much out of the available effects of the time as this one. Nowadays they have super computers generating special effects. Sure they look good, but it's no big deal making them. Back in 1926 computers weren't even invented yet, all effects had to be done by hand or in simple editing. And when you take a look at all the thins that have been done in this movie, it's impossible not to get impressed. Huge buildings, explosions, flooding, picture phones (however did he come up with the very idea?), transformation sequences, robots and so on. No movie has ever pulled the limits of special effects as much as this one. Star Wars and Jurassic Park are also known as limit pullers in special effects, but they don't even come close.
Then you have the filming. Everything is perfect. The use of body language is tremendous, the light setting perfect, everything well timed and perfectly captured by the camera. I've never been witness to such a treat in filming other places.
And the story!!! Perfect in every detail. Intriguing, exciting and thrilling with lots of religious undertones and tyranic leaders. No wonder Hitler liked this movie...
I don't know how the original music of the film was, but the new music for the restored 139 minute version I saw was really good and moodseting.
All in all. This is one of the most perfect movies of all time, and it deserves anything it can get. Never has a 10/10 been as secure as for this movie...
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!
I was shocked to find myself riveted to this movie. This is without a doubt the best sci-fi movie I've ever seen! Let me explain my position. We have all seen modern sci-fi movies, and argued over which is the best ever made, but those film makers have high speed film and computers. Imagine trying to make a movie today with only the tools available to Fritz Lang in 1925, and even if you used a modern camcorder it would be nigh impossible! This is a must see for all persons interested in the history of film, as well as just good fun for everyone. The social metaphores as well as the religious and philosophical double meanings are a sight to behold.
I doubt that I'd ever seen anything resembling a "complete" version of METROPOLIS before, though certain of its scenes were familiar to me, if only as used and abused in such films as Diane Keaton's HEAVEN (1987). In any case, whatever I had seen before had nothing like the clarity and beauty of the Kino restoration. I expected to be distracted by the restoration's technique of concise written descriptions of missing sequences, but the narrative coherence that these provided was definitely worth it. As "exaggerated" as the style of acting seems by contemporary standards, some performances, such as the Master of the city, are amazingly nuanced and layered, and Brigitte Helm is stunning as both Maria and her evil clone. The meticulous design of the film, the unerring camera placement and Lang's muscular choreography of the crowd scenes are breathtaking. I'd thought of METROPOLIS as a curiosity ("important" = "dull") but now I've come to appreciate it as the seminal work it has always been.
Who ever heard of an epic science fiction film? Especially in the 1920s?
Sure, some science fiction movies are huge today, such as George Lucas'
latest goofy Star Wars movie, but in 1926, Fritz Lang came out with a
brilliant film about what the future would be like if people went on living
the way they were living back then. And sure enough, we went right ahead
living the way we were living, the population got bigger and more crowded,
and now modern society is not a whole lot different from what was presented
The story is about a young rich kid without a care in the world who becomes concerned about the way that society (Metropolis) was run by his father, John Frederson, the master of Metropolis. He lives in a Pleasure Garden' high above the level of the workers', and he worries about what would happen if the huge number of workers were to turn against his father, given the terrible conditions under which they live and work. Some of the best scenes in the film take place in the underground mines, showing the workers portrayed as little more than components on a gigantic, sinister looking machine. The scene where the machine overheated even contained some impressive stunts, as well as interesting cinematography as the machine transforms into a giant devil-looking monster. After countless workers are consumed by it (no wonder this was Hitler's favorite film), they are immediately replaced by other workers, who go right to the same spots that the previous men left and resume their robotic movements. If some of these scenes, men can be seen being carried away on stretchers after having been injured, and the rest of the workers keep right on working, hardly even noticing.
The way that the workers are portrayed as lifeless machines is one of the more potent elements of this film, as well as the most revealing about the directors intentions. When his son complains about the tragic things that go on in the mines, Frederson replies that such accidents are unavoidable, but his son still insists that they deserve credit for building the city. This is the kind of content that foreshadows some serious mutiny, and at the same time it shows what may very well happen when large groups of people feel mistreated. `Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups' is a saying that doesn't necessarily only apply to stupid people, as Metropolis suggests. Fritz Lang brilliantly portrays this very complex story with extremely limited dialogue, and the result is still compelling today. The special effects in this film are decades ahead of its time it even resembles The Fifth Element in many ways (except that the two films can hardly be compared) and the acting and especially the elaborately created sets are stunning to say the least. An excellent film, Metropolis is one of the few that should never be forgotten.
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.
In the future, the society of Metropolis is divided in two social
classes: the workers, who live in the underground below the machines
level, and the dominant classes that lives in the surface. The workers
are controlled by their leader Maria (Brigitte Helm), who wants to find
a mediator between the upper class lords and the workers, since she
believes that a heart would be necessary between brains and muscles.
Maria meets Freder Fredersen (Gustav Fröhlich), the son of the Lord of
Metropolis Johhan Fredersen (Alfred Abel), in a meeting of the workers,
and they fall in love for each other. Meanwhile, Johhan decides that
the workers are no longer necessary for Metropolis, and uses a robot
pretending to be Maria to promote a revolution of the working class and
"Metropolis" is a fantastic futuristic view of the fight of classes. When "Metropolis" was shot, it was a romantic revolutionary period of mankind history, with socialist movements around the world. Fritz Lang directed and wrote the screenplay of this masterpiece certainly inspired in this historical moment and defending a position of agreement and understanding between both sides, showing that they need each other. I wonder how this great director was able to produce such special effects in 1927, with very primitive cameras and equipment. The city of Metropolis is visibly inspired in New York. The performance of Brigitte Helm is stunning in her double role, and this movie is mandatory for any person that says that like cinema as an art. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Metropolis"
Metropolis is surely one of the greatest films ever made. Its scope, its reach, its magnitude and its message are truly incredible even by today's standards of film-making. Seen in context of its premier in 1927, Metropolis is a giant of filmdom and film history. Lots of people always ask what makes a movie great, and in particular, Metropolis. A great film is one that stirs the imagination, leaves the viewer with images that will last perhaps forever, forces contemplation of issues dealing with the very essence of life, and achieves a kind of immortality. Metropolis is a film that succeeds with each of these criteria. Metropolis is a film that hailed in a new era of making films with it futuristic settings, halluciatory scenes, and its breadth of spirit and sheer scope, most clearly exhibited by its cast of epic proportions. There are images that blind the viewer with genius such as the beginning scene of the changing of the workers or the creation of the robot Maria. Metropolis challenges its viewers to think about their relationship with society both as a whole and with each individual, as well as contemplate the rationale of divisions amongst peoples and groups. Lastly, Metropolis has stood the test of time. It is a landmark film and an ignitor for the evolution of the science fiction/fantasy film genre. The story itself is simple,a Biblical allegory, about how people with a vision should share that vision in order to make it happen. The film is anything but simple. It is immense, and a rich legacy that director Fritz Lang has left us.
Silent movies are not for everyone. Neither are subtitles. Those brave enough to view a movie with no sound and words that are far and few between should definitely enjoy this silent masterpiece. One of the biggest productions of its time, Metropolis still holds its own when set design and special effects are compared. But what Metropolis really has is orginality. This German-Expressionist film had such originality in everything from its costumes to its views of a future (modern) city that its ideas can still be seen everywhere in modern sci-fi. Star Wars's C-3PO was based on Bridgette Helm's robot. Dark City and Brazil both have Metropolis look-a-like cities. This is a very good movie. It's too bad most movies don't have its originality.
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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