Director: Fritz Lang
Release Year: 1927
Trivia: One of the first sci fi feature films ever created.
At the time of its release it was the most expensive film ever made with a budget of approximately five million Reich marks.
Runtime: 1 hour 50 but various cuts have different lengths depending on how much has been lost or restored in the version.
Fritz Lang is one of the giant of cinema he along with the great like Hitchcock and chaplain helped define a young art form and show the potential of the moving picture. The particular ability of film with its use of visual and audio to move people to convince to charm to enrage and audience are still discovering the power of this medium to this day .And this is one of fritz Lang’s classic films and a film that constantly appears in list of the greatest films of all time. Another fritz Lang film I have to recommend is his film M which is a master class cinema and storytelling it follows a murder as he is hunted down .If you are watching that film be sure to watch the restored version to get the full effect of the visual story telling. The version of metropolis I am watching is the restored version though to be lost to time a print was found with a few of the lost film sections .It’s hard to believe that a classic film could be lost but there are a few major lost film a Lon Cheney horror film London after midnight .And of course Nosfaratu was almost a lost film when after a law suit it was ordered the destruction of all prints .It would have been a terrible loss to cinema to have no Nosfarutu one of cinemas horror classics .
But back to metropolis the film is really at its heart a love story told in a dystopian future .It revolves around the rich son of the ruler of the city and his falling in love with a resistance leader .She is replaced by a robot and incites revolution as robots are prone to do. That is the core of the story there are some nice sub plots playing out as well. There is really no boring breaks in the film it has a lot of story to tell and it does not waste any time in telling it Some very interesting names and concepts in the movie the power unit for the city is called the heart machine the workers live in huge underground city’s while the wealthy play in pleasure garden .There is a very obvious social message of the place of man in the modern world and the price of industrialization but this does not detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.
The film is frankly a must watch it has stunning set design a very interesting and ground breaking vision of the future. There are so many interesting effects and visuals that it would be hard to single any one out the film. Huge vast sets massive crowds really sell home the smallness of man in this machine world .The film has what we might consider clichés a mad scientist with a robotic hand underground city’s but this is of course the originator in cinema at least. There is some debate whether the film is in the public domain or not but there are versions freely available on YouTube .If you have a few free hours and want to see a classic movie there are worse things you could watch. And what happens with the evil robot the revolution and the underground city or the heart machine well you will have to watch it yourself to find out.