Metropolis (Reconstructed & Restored) (Masters of Cinema) DVD
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Directed by Fritz Lang
Produced in 1926
Main Language - Silent
Film fans couldn’t believe their luck when 25 minutes of previously lost footage were restored to Fritz Lang’s dystopian epic. Mike Bartlett goggles at the version unseen since the 1920s.
It’s strange to think that one of the best-loved silent films, Fritz Lang’s dystopic vision of a future society, has until now only been available in a heavily edited and confusing version.
But thanks to a miraculous discovery of 25 minutes of lost footage, it can now be seen almost in its entirety for the first time since 1927. The added material expands three sub-plots which cast new light on the power struggles in the city, and also ups the action movie quotient.
But the film’s principal pleasures remain the same: the vast sets and extraordinary production design, Lang’s depiction of factory workers reduced to a macabre dance of robotic movements that became the definitive representation of the mechanised world, and best of all, Brigitte Helm, playing both the saintly Maria and her diabolical robot double who whips high society into a frenzy with her ‘Whore of Babylon’ dance routine.
Seldom have sci-fi and the erotic blended so successfully.
Michael Bartlett on 21st October 2010
Author of 30 reviews
With its dizzying depiction of a futuristic cityscape and alluring female robot, Metropolis is among the most famous of all German films and the mother of sci-fi cinema (an influence on Blade Runner and Star Wars, among countless other films). Directed by the legendary Fritz Lang (M, Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse,The Big Heat, etc.), its jaw-dropping production values, iconic imagery, and modernist grandeur – it was described by Luis Buñuel as "a captivating symphony of movement" – remain as powerful as ever.
Drawing on – and defining – classic sci-fi themes, Metropolis depicts a dystopian future in which society is thoroughly divided in two: while anonymous workers conduct their endless drudgery below ground their rulers enjoy a decadent life of leisure and luxury. When Freder (Gustav Fröhlich) ventures into the depths in search of the beautiful Maria (Brigitte Helm in her debut role), plans of rebellion are revealed and a Maria-replica robot is programmed by mad inventor Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) and master of Metropolis Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel) to incite the workers into a self-destructive riot.
A "Holy Grail" among film finds, Metropolis is presented here in a newly reconstructed and restored version, as lavish and spectacular as ever thanks to the painstaking archival work of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and the discovery of 25 minutes of footage previously thought lost to the world. Lang's enduring epic can finally be seen – for the first time in 83 years – as the director originally intended, and as seen by German cinemagoers in 1927.
Publisher: Eureka / Masters of Cinema
Length: 150 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1 OAR
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 22nd November 2010
Cat No: EKA40321
- 150-minute feature film (including 25 minutes of footage previously thought lost to the world)
- Special-edition packaging with lavish wraparound sleeve and embossed printing
- Newly translated optional English subtitles
- Full-length audio commentary by David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Die Reise nach Metropolis (2010) documentary about the film
- 56-page booklet featuring new essays, archival interviews, vintage production stills and more!
by Anon on 9th January 2003
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was a landmark in film history and had a huge influence on the development of science fiction and fantasy films (think Blade Runner, Star Wars ... Read on
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was a landmark in film history and had a huge influence on the development of science fiction and fantasy films (think Blade Runner, Star Wars and Batman for example).
It is also a terrifically enjoyable film with a great story, based on the novel by Mrs Lang – Thea Von Harbour, full of excitement, romance, amazing special effects and set designs to die for. This restoration, initiated by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung was shown at the Berlin Film Festival to wide acclaim and is accompanied by the original 1920’s score written by Gottfried Huppertz.
Metropolis was conceived as a mega project with a length of 153 mins at its premier in January 1927. However it failed at the box office and was cut to a more modest size in the USA by Paramount with the playwright Channing Pollack, and then again in Germany by UFA, the German production company.
This version, lovingly pieced together by various film archives, gets very close to the original story and gives the best possible picture. It is now possible to view Metropolis again with much of the original sequencing and a photographic quality near to that of the 1927 premiere.
Watch it and marvel. Hide
by Anon on
The breath-taking, nightmarish cityscape, inspired by the towering Manhattan skyline, attests to Langs artistic vision. Here is the maddest of mad scientists, a welter... Read on
The breath-taking, nightmarish cityscape, inspired by the towering Manhattan skyline, attests to Langs artistic vision. Here is the maddest of mad scientists, a welter of mythological symbolism, and a robot that is both alarmingly sexual, and the forerunner of the prissy C-3PO. Whether taken as a humanistic political tract or simply a lavish and thrilling spectacle, this is something that nobody with even the faintest interest in the genre, in silent cinema, or in film itself, should fail to see. Hide