Metropolis (1927) Other movies recommended for you
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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. Runtime: 153 mins Release Date: 13 Mar 1927
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 another dimension.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 <more>
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...
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 <more>
religious and philosophical double meanings are a sight to behold.
Restored Kino DVD changed my view of this film. (by Bockharn)
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 <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? (by laika-lives)
Francis Ford Coppola once said that 'Apocalypse Now' wasn't just about Vietnam, is was Vietnam. In a similar way, 'Metropolis' isn't just about the Twentieth Century, it is the Twentieth Century. Almost every image in it reflects or, more often, predicts the realities of life in the West over the past hundred years in a way that is truly uncanny.From small details - the traffic jams and blackouts that plague city dwellers - to major historical events - the climactic flood predicts every industrial disaster that has destroyed the lives of thousands of workers, from <more>
Chernobyl to the Bhopal disaster, whilst Fredersen's vision of workers being fed to Moloch can't help but bring to mind the holocaust - 'Metropolis' feels prescient in any number of ways. In the image of the Manhattan skyline, Lang really did find the perfect symbol of the coming century - progressive, new, faceless, oppressive.This is far from the simple Marxist fable it is often taken for - although the Socialist message can hardly be ignored. It's also a Christian parable Maria, flanked by crosses, is counterbalanced by the Machine, brought to life under a pentagram informed by the book of Revelation; a retelling of the Orpheus myth, with Freder as Orpheus and Maria as Eurydice, lost in the underworld; and a Kafkaesque nightmare of depersonalisation although the Gothic, expressionistic production design is a long way from Kafka's more sterile style .It's also, lest we forget, a silly adventure-melodrama, with a mad scientist, an evil twin, a bad father with a noble son and an impossibly virtuous, idealised heroine. In many ways, it anticipates 'Star Wars' in dressing up mythic standards with Science Fiction tropes - with Fredersen as the misguided King, Freder as the handsome Prince, Maria the good-hearted peasant's daughter, Rotwang as a scheming sorcerer and the Machine as the wicked witch, appropriately burnt at the stake by the 'villagers'.The Machine-'Man' a confusing name for a construction so obviously feminine is the single most indelible image of the film; the scene in which Rotwang brings her to life for the first time is a real moment of magic and awe, untarnished by eighty subsequent years of cinematic showmanship. Even better is the scene in which she becomes a duplicate of Maria - such an obvious influence on James Whale's 'Frankenstein' that it's hard not to shout out 'It's alive!'. The optical effects are years ahead of their time, certainly the best of their kind until the sixties at least . It also marks the beginning of Brigitte Helm's truly extraordinary turn as the false Maria.This is only the third silent film I've seen after 'Nosferatu' and 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari' , and it's taken me a while to acclimatise to the acting style, which can seem close to parody. What it really reminds me of, however, is modern dance, which similarly seeks to communicate with the audience visually, rather than verbally. 'Metropolis' encourages this comparison, with the highly choreographed movements of the workers operating the machinery. Bearing this in mind, Helm is hugely impressive in multiple roles. Maria could be a rather dull and virtuous heroine she enters the film surrounded by poor children in rags but Helm invests her with enormous energy and expressiveness. It helps that the script allows her to take an unusually proactive role for a female character, organising workers' meetings and racing to the rescue of the endangered children. However, it is her performance as bad Maria, vamping up a storm, that lingers in the memory - the twitching, jerking movements of her head and body, the Anne Robinson style half-wink that changes the shape of her face, that malicious little grin that makes it hard not to root for her mischief. The entirely weird 'erotic dance' that she performs isn't technically very good or erotic , but it is utterly unforgettable. Subtextually, she's the Whore of Babylon.The other performances are mainly very good, particularly Alfred Abel as Fredersen, proving that it is possible to underplay in a silent film. Only Rudolf Klein-Rogge hits any wrong notes - difficult as it undoubtedly must be to play a mad scientist in a silent film with subtlety, some of his more unrestrained gesticulations leave you worried about the safety of the other actors.Ultimately though, it all inevitably comes back to the imagery. Lang's film remains unmatched even today. Pick a scene, any scene - the synchronised, shuffling crowds at the shift change; our first sighting of the Metropolis, all biplanes, skyscrapers and suspended motorways; the vision of Moloch; the Machine-Man awakening; Maria, pursued along a pitch-black tunnel by a beam of light; the statue of Death coming to life in the Cathedral; disembodied eyes, entranced by the twitching false Maria; the crowds swarming up the steps in the 'Tower of Babel' section; the lifts crashing down, one by one; desperate children crowding around Maria as the flood-waters close in; and, most of all, false Maria, laughing as she burns on her pyre, then transforming back to her metal visage. No film, before or since, matches this for spectacle. And if, in order to appreciate it, you have to swallow a little treacle about the heart being the mediator between head and hands... well, trust me, it's worth it.
Highly influential and, dare I say, prophetic? (by ACitizenCalledKane)
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 <more>
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!
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 <more>
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.
Movie-making milestone, but boring (by ID_alreadytaken)
OK, first of all. I'm not some kind of action-junkie who thinks that the Rambo-trilogy is the best movies of all time. I am a person who think that other silents like Nosferatu and The Battleship Potemkin are entertaining.Although I loved the previous movies referred to, I thought this was one of the most dull movies ever. As entertainment this movie can't go very far. On a scale rating it's abilities to entertain, it gets a 2/10 from me.As a milestone in the history of movies, it goes all the way to the top. The special effects were great to have been made almost 80 years ago. <more>
The editing was great. It must have been one of the most expensive movie made to that date. On the scale of how important a chapter in the cinematic history this is, I will rate it a 10/10. That means a total 6/10. This also means that you should rather check out really good silents like Chaplin's Modern Times, Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin and Murnau's Nosferatu.