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.
The Viking children Røskva and Tjalfe embark on an adventurous journey from Midgard to Valhalla with the gods Thor and Loki. Life in Valhalla, however, turns out to be threatened by the ... See full summary »
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 quickly disappear. Trying to follow her, he is horrified to find an underground world of workers who apparently run the machinery that keeps the Utopian world above ground functioning. One of the few people above ground who knows about the world below is Freder's father, John Fredersen, who is the founder and master of Metropolis. Freder learns that the woman is called Maria, who espouses the need to join the "hands" - the workers - to the "head" - those in power above - by a mediator who will act as the "heart". Freder wants to help the plight of the workers in their struggle for a better life. But when John learns of what Maria is advocating and that Freder has joined their cause, with the assistance of an old colleague. an inventor called ...Written by
Fritz Lang and his team traveled to the United States where they acquired two Mitchell cameras. The cameras contained the revolutionary "Mitchell movement" which included a set of registration pins that would hold each frame steady as it was being exposed. This resulted in their reputation for shooting rock steady images. This became crucial for this film when shooting special effects, especially when portions of the frame were exposed during multiple passes of the film stock. The various models of the Mitchell cameras became the industry standard through the 1950s. See more »
When Freder and Maria reach the top of the stairs, when they are saving the children, their clothes suddenly dry up quite a lot. In the shot before they are still soaked. See more »
Restoration based on the version in the Filmmuseum Munich and material preserved in the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv See more »
The Paramount release, released in the United States in mid-1927, is presented by Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky. This version also replaces the original Ufa credits with more appropriate Paramount titles (i.e. Majestic Mountain); and deletes certain scenes and makes changes. Here are the deleted scenes:
The pursuit of Freder and Josaphat by the Thin Man, Fredersen's assistant, is deleted. This scene was lost until it was found on the 2008 copy in Buenos Aires.
The rivalry between Fredersen and Rotwang over Hel, Rotwang's now-dead love, was completely deleted from the Paramount version, but is restored in the 2002 restoration by the Murnau Foundation and later completed in the 2008 copy.
Certain names are changed from the original German in the Paramount version. For example, Joh Fredersen's name is changed to "John Masterman", Josaphat's name is changed to "Joseph", and various other changes.
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.
160 of 188 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this