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Thread: 'Metropolis' [Full Movie] (Fritz Lang, 1927)

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    Arrow 'Metropolis' [Full Movie] (Fritz Lang, 1927)

    Metropolis is a 1927 silent film. It is regarded as a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in movies.

    Made in Germany during the Weimar Period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city's ruler, and Maria, a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks.

    The art direction draws influence from Bauhaus, Cubist and Futurist design. The film’s use of art deco architecture was highly influential, and has been reported to have contributed to the style’s subsequent popularity in Europe and America.

    The film's extensive running time came in for criticism, as well as its alleged Communist message.[6] Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere, removing a large portion of Lang's original footage.


    Reviews

    - Writing in The New Yorker, Oliver Claxton called it "unconvincing and overlong", faulting much of the plot as "laid on with a terrible Teutonic heaviness, and an unnecessary amount of philosophizing in the beginning" that made the film "as soulless as the city of its tale." He also described the acting as "uninspired with the exception of Brigitte Helm". Nevertheless, Claxton wrote that "the setting, the use of people and their movement, and various bits of action stand out as extraordinary and make it nearly an obligatory picture."[40] Other critics considered the film a remarkable achievement that surpassed even its high expectations, praising its visual splendour and ambitious production values.[41]

    - Dr Joseph Goebbels was impressed with the film's message of social justice. In a 1928 speech he declared that "the political bourgeoisie is about to leave the stage of history. In its place advance the oppressed producers of the head and hand, the forces of Labor, to begin their historical mission"

    - Roger Ebert noted that "Metropolis is one of the great achievements of the silent era, a work so audacious in its vision and so angry in its message that it is, if anything, more powerful today than when it was made."


    Plot

    In the futuristic year of 2026, in the city of Metropolis, wealthy industrialists reign from high-rise tower complexes, while underground-dwelling workers toil to operate the underground machines that power the city. Joh Fredersen is the city's master. His son Freder idles away his time in a pleasure garden, but is interrupted by the arrival of a young woman named Maria, who has brought a group of workers' children to witness the lifestyle of the rich.

    Maria and the children are ushered away, but Freder, fascinated, goes to the machine rooms to find her. Witnessing the explosion of a huge machine that kills and injures several workers, he hurries to tell Fredersen about the accident. Grot, foreman of the Heart Machine, brings to Fredersen secret maps found on the dead workers. Freder secretly rebels against Fredersen by deciding to help the workers, after seeing his father's cold indifference towards the harsh conditions they face.

    Fredersen takes the maps to the inventor Rotwang to learn their meaning. Rotwang had been in love with a woman named Hel, who left him to marry Fredersen and later died giving birth to Freder. Rotwang shows Fredersen a robot he has built to "resurrect" Hel. The maps show a network of catacombs beneath Metropolis, and the two men go to investigate. They eavesdrop on a gathering of workers, including Freder. Maria addresses them, prophesying the arrival of a mediator who can bring the working and ruling classes together. Freder believes that he could fill the role and declares his love for Maria. Fredersen orders Rotwang to give Maria's likeness to the robot so that it can ruin her reputation among the workers, unaware that Rotwang plans to use the robot to kill Freder and bring down Metropolis. Rotwang kidnaps Maria, transfers her likeness to the robot and sends her to Fredersen. Freder finds the two embracing and, believing it is the real Maria, falls into a prolonged delirium. Intercut with his hallucinations, the false Maria unleashes chaos throughout Metropolis, driving men to murder and stirring dissent amongst the workers.

    Freder recovers and returns to the catacombs. Finding the false Maria urging the workers to rise up and destroy the machines, Freder accuses her of not being the real Maria. The workers follow the false Maria from their city to the machine rooms, leaving their children behind. They destroy the Heart Machine, which causes the workers' city below to flood. The real Maria, having escaped from Rotwang's house, rescues the children with the help of Freder. Grot berates the celebrating workers for abandoning their children in the flooded city. Believing their children to be dead, the hysterical workers capture the false Maria and burn her at the stake. A horrified Freder watches, not understanding the deception until the fire reveals her to be a robot. Rotwang chases the real Maria to the roof of the cathedral, pursued by Freder, and the two men fight as Fredersen and the workers watch from the street. Rotwang falls to his death. Freder fulfills his role as mediator by linking the hands of Fredersen and Grot to bring them together.


    The original premiere cut of Metropolis has been lost, and for decades the film could be seen only in heavily truncated edits that lacked nearly a quarter of the original length. However, over the years, various elements of footage have been rediscovered, so that by 2007 it was possible to see the film in almost its original form.
    Here you can watch the full 2h30 min 720 px restoration:


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    I DL'd this last week, will give a watch and post back.

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    The film is amazing and by far awesome. The special effects are incredibly good for the era before CGI.
    (It doesn't matter how old the song is, I won't stop liking it).

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    Fritz Lang's exhibitionism of the glorious German steel industry, with a tale about the victory of love.

    Plenty of the best Lang symbolism, you should not lose this masterpiece.

    "We shall build a tower that will reach to the stars!" Having conceived Babel, yet unable to build it themselves, they had thousands to build it for them. But those who toiled knew nothing of the dreams of those who planned. And the minds that planned the Tower of Babel cared nothing for the workers who built it. The hymns of praise of the few became the curses of the many - BABEL! BABEL! BABEL! - Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a Mediator, and this must be the heart.

    A glittering nugget!

    Fantastic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla View Post
    Plenty of the best Lang symbolism, you should not lose this masterpiece.
    Oh yes, the symbolism! It's almost overwhelming at some points. But Erich Kettelhut's set designs, oh my goodness...the Jugendstil and the Teutonic gothic elements were breathtaking.
    Let us not desire delights, daughters; we are well-off here; the bad inn lasts for only a night.
    -St. Teresa of Avila

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    Wanted to see it tonight, but it has already been taken off because of copyright infringement. Would think this movie was outside of copyright by now, so I had to check:
    It will remain copyrighted in Germany and the rest of the European Union until the end of 2046, seventy years after Fritz Lang's death, under current U.S. copyright law it will be copyrighted there only through 31 December 2022 due to the rule of the shorter term as implemented in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act; the U.S. copyright limit for films of its age is 95 years from publication per the Copyright Term Extension Act.

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