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Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 13 March 1927 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Thea von Harbou (screenplay), Thea von Harbou (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Alfred Abel ... Johann (Joh) Fredersen
Gustav Fröhlich ... Freder Fredersen - Joh Fredersens Sohn
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Erfinder C.A. Rotwang / The Inventor
Fritz Rasp ... Der Schmale / The Thin Man
Theodor Loos ... Josaphat / Joseph
Erwin Biswanger Erwin Biswanger ... 11811 - Georgy
Heinrich George ... Grot -Wärter der Herzmaschine / Guardian of the Heart Machine
Brigitte Helm ... Maria / Maschinenmensch / The Machine Man
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

13 March 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Metropolis See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,386, 14 July 2002

Gross USA:

$1,236,166
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) | (1927 cut) | (2002 Murnau Foundation 75th aniversary restored) | (Giorgio Moroder)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (1995 restored version)| Silent (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer David Foster Wallace wanted to make a photo of Fritz Lang directing this film the cover of his most famous novel: "Infinite Jest". This was most likely due to how harsh the director was on his cast and crew, putting them through a physically strenuous and grueling shoot. This went along with themes in the novel, in which "Metropolis" is mentioned several times. Wallace was denied permission to do so, as publishers feared his eleven hundred page book was difficult enough to market already. The book went on to be a bestseller, and Wallace remained bitter about the cover. See more »

Goofs

When Freder, and Rotwang are fighting on top of the Cathedral, it is daytime. But in the shot of the workers, Grot, and Joh on the ground, it is night. See more »

Quotes

Maria: Oh mediator, have you finally come?
Freder: You called me - - here I am!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Restoration based on the version in the Filmmuseum Munich and material preserved in the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv See more »

Alternate Versions

The official German video version runs 93 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Billy Elliot (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Destruction
Music by Giorgio Moroder
Lyrics by Pete Bellotte
Produced by Giorgio Moroder and Paul Dean
Performed by Loverboy
Courtesy of Columbia Records
(from the 1984 re-release)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
So old…and yet so futuristic!
25 August 2005 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

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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