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Metropolis (1927)

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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 ... Joh Fredersen
Gustav Fröhlich ... Freder - Joh Fredersen's Son
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... C.A. Rotwang - the Inventor
Fritz Rasp ... The Thin Man
Theodor Loos ... Josaphat
Erwin Biswanger Erwin Biswanger ... 11811 - Georgy
Heinrich George ... Grot - the Guardian of the Heart Machine
Brigitte Helm ... The Machine Man / Maria
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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:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

5 March 1927 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Metrópolis 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

For decades, all that survived of "Metropolis" were an incomplete original negative and copies of shortened, re-edited release prints; over a quarter of the film was believed lost. However, in July 2008 Germany's 'ZEITmagazin' reported the discovery at the Buenos Aires Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós Hicken by film historian and collector Fernando Martín Peña of a 16mm dupe negative copy of the original full-length 35mm export print, which had been sent to Argentina in 1928. Examining the reels in Buenos Aires, cinema experts realised that they contained almost all of the missing sequences (around 25 minutes-worth of footage, predominantly those involving the Thin Man who spies on Freder, and worker 11811 heading to and from Yoshiwara). Additionally, in October 2008 it was announced that another (hopefully) early copy in the obsolete 9.5mm format had been held in the University of Chile's film library, intentionally mislabelled to avoid destruction during 1973's military coup. It is as yet unknown if this holds any further viewable footage. After almost 80 years, the film is now practically complete, barring sections such as Joh Fredersen's fight with Rotwang. See more »

Goofs

In the Kino Video DVD, the cityscape shot that ends in Chapter 7 (at around 1 min) is cut short. It ends before a dirigible crosses the top of the shot flying from right to left. The dirigible appears in the Madacy Video DVD in Chapter 3 (at around 21 mins). See more »

Quotes

Joh Frederson: What were you doing in the machine halls, Freder?
Freder: I wanted to look into the faces of the people whose little children are my brothers, my sisters...
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 Paramount release, released in the United States in mid-1927, is presented by Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky. This version also replaces the original Ufa credits with more appropriate Paramount titles (i.e. Majestic Mountain); and deletes certain scenes and makes changes. Here are the deleted scenes:
  • The pursuit of Freder and Josaphat by the Thin Man, Fredersen's assistant, is deleted. This scene was lost until it was found on the 2008 copy in Buenos Aires.
  • The rivalry between Fredersen and Rotwang over Hel, Rotwang's now-dead love, was completely deleted from the Paramount version, but is restored in the 2002 restoration by the Murnau Foundation and later completed in the 2008 copy.
  • Certain names are changed from the original German in the Paramount version. For example, Joh Fredersen's name is changed to "John Masterman", Josaphat's name is changed to "Joseph", and various other changes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cyborg 2: Glass Shadow (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Machines
Written by Giorgio Moroder
Performed by Giorgio Moroder
Courtesy of Columbia Records
(from the 1984 re-release)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The father of sci-fi cinema.
24 April 1999 | by PIST-OFFSee all my reviews

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 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.


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