Metropolis (film)
Overview
Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist
German Expressionism
German Expressionism refers to a number of related creative movements beginning in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin, during the 1920s...

 film in the science-fiction
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 genre directed by Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

. Produced in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 during a stable period of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia
Dystopia
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four...

 and makes use of this context to explore the social crisis between workers and owners inherent in capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, as expressed by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

. The film was produced in the Babelsberg Studios
Babelsberg Studios
The Studio Babelsberg, located in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany, is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Founded in 1912, it covers an area of about . Hundreds of films, including Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel were filmed there...

 by Universum Film A.G. (UFA). The most expensive silent film ever made, it cost approximately 5 million Reichsmark, or approximately $15 million when adjusted for inflation.

Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere, and much footage was lost over the passage of successive decades.
Encyclopedia
Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist
German Expressionism
German Expressionism refers to a number of related creative movements beginning in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin, during the 1920s...

 film in the science-fiction
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 genre directed by Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

. Produced in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 during a stable period of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia
Dystopia
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four...

 and makes use of this context to explore the social crisis between workers and owners inherent in capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, as expressed by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

. The film was produced in the Babelsberg Studios
Babelsberg Studios
The Studio Babelsberg, located in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany, is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Founded in 1912, it covers an area of about . Hundreds of films, including Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel were filmed there...

 by Universum Film A.G. (UFA). The most expensive silent film ever made, it cost approximately 5 million Reichsmark, or approximately $15 million when adjusted for inflation.

Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere, and much footage was lost over the passage of successive decades. There have been several efforts to restore it, as well as discoveries of previously lost footage. A 2001 reconstruction of Metropolis, shown at the Berlin Film Festival, was inscribed on UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

's Memory of the World Register in that same year. In 2008, a copy of the film 30 minutes longer than any other known surviving copy was located in Argentina. After a long period of restoration in Germany, the restored film was shown publicly for the first time simultaneously at Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 on February 12, 2010. The event of the Friedrichstadtpalast was shown live on a screen at the Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and one of the most well-known landmarks of Berlin and Germany. It is located west of the city centre at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. It is the only remaining gate of a series through which...

 as well as on TV on ARTE
Arte
Arte is a Franco-German TV network. It is a European culture channel and aims to promote quality programming especially in areas of culture and the arts...

. This version was also shown in New York at the Ziegfeld Theater in the last two weeks of October 2010.

Plot

In the futuristic mega-city Metropolis, society is divided into two classes. The "managers" live in luxurious skyscrapers and the workers live and toil underground. The city was founded and built by the autocratic Joh Fredersen. Fredersen's son, Freder, lives a life of luxury as do all the sons of the manager class. One day, as Freder is cavorting in the Eternal Gardens, he sees a beautiful girl who has with her a group of workers' children. She is quickly shooed away, but Freder becomes infatuated with her and follows her down to the workers' underworld. There, he sees the horrors of the workers' lives. He is appalled when an enormous machine, the M-Machine, violently explodes, killing dozens of workers. In the smoke, Freder envisages the M-Machine as Moloch
Moloch
Moloch — also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, or Moloc — is the name of an ancient Semitic god...

, a monstrous deity to which the hapless workers are sacrificed.

Freder returns to the New Tower of Babel, a massive skyscraper owned by his father. There, he confronts his father about the workers' plight and the accident at the M-Machine. Grot, foreman of the Heart Machine, arrives to inform Fredersen of several mysterious maps which have been found in workers' pockets. Because he has not heard both of these bits of news from Josaphat, his clerk, Fredersen fires him, and also orders a spy (credited as the "Thin Man") to tail his son. Outside Fredersen's office, Freder thwarts Josaphat's suicide and persuades him to help with his quest to help the workers. After instructing Josaphat to wait for him at his apartment, Freder descends to the workers' underworld again and meets a worker named Georgy, #11811. Freder persuades Georgy to exchange clothes with him, go to Freder's apartment, and let Freder work at the machine. However, Georgy finds wads of money in the pockets of Freder's clothing and goes instead to Yoshiwara, the city's red-light district, to pursue a girl in an adjacent automobile. While Georgy enjoys a night of wild parties, Freder becomes delirious working at the machine, having never worked a day in his life, and begins having visions of being crucified on the factory clock. Later Georgy is captured by the Thin Man as he leaves Yoshiwara.

Fredersen, wondering about the papers found, decides to consult the scientist Rotwang, his old collaborator, who lives in an old house contained in the lower levels of the city. The two were once friends but became rivals over the love of a woman, Hel, who eventually chose Fredersen. Hel died giving birth to Freder, leaving both Rotwang and Fredersen heartbroken and loathing each other. Rotwang's love for Hel and his hatred of Fredersen remain as strong as ever. After Frederson notices Rotwang now has a mechanical hand, Rotwang introduces Fredersen to a Machine-Man
Maschinenmensch
The Maschinenmensch from Metropolis, is a gynoid played by German actress Brigitte Helm in both her robotic and human incarnations...

 he has constructed, to which he intends to give the image of Hel. When Fredersen seeks Rotwang's counsel about the papers, Rotwang explains that they are maps to the 2,000-year old catacombs
Catacombs
Catacombs, human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place can be described as a catacomb, although the word is most commonly associated with the Roman empire...

 that are deep under the lowest levels of the workers' city. The two enter the catacombs from Rotwang's house and reach the workers' meeting-place. From a gap in the rocks, they observe the beautiful Maria preaching to the workers (with the disguised Freder among them) about the Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel
The Tower of Babel , according to the Book of Genesis, was an enormous tower built in the plain of Shinar .According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar, where...

 and about how they must wait for the coming Mediator. Her theme is that the heart must be mediator between the head (the planners) and the hands (the workers).

At the end of the sermon, the disguised Freder reveals his true identity to Maria and tells her that he must be the Mediator she has been waiting for. Fredersen, who has turned away in thought, sees none of this; Rotwang, however, sees everything. Fredersen instructs Rotwang to give the machine-man the image of Maria in order to sow discord between her and the workers. Rotwang acquiesces but has ulterior motives, intending to use the machine-man to ruin Fredersen's life. While Fredersen returns to his office, Rotwang chases Maria through a tunnel up into his house, capturing her.

Freder returns to Josaphat in the apartment, but Georgy is nowhere to be found. He intended to seek out the foreman of the workers with Georgy's help, but leaves to search on his own. Immediately afterwards, Thin Man tracks down Josephat in the apartment and forces him to cooperate. As Freder wanders the worker's city, he overhears Maria's cries for help. Nearby, Rotwang attempts to force Maria to give the Machine-Man her face. Freder attempts to rescue her, but he is imprisoned in the house.

Rotwang transforms the machine-man into a double of Maria. He then commands it to destroy Fredersen, his city, and his son. Downstairs, a door opens, allowing Freder to ascend a staircase. He encounters Rotwang, who tells him that Maria is not here; rather, she is with Fredersen. When Freder arrives at his father's office, he sees the machine (which now resembles Maria) embracing his father. Freder suffers a mental breakdown and collapses. During his convalescence that night, he hallucinates vividly about passages from the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 and death's descent upon the city.

Rotwang demonstrates the machine-man's abilities to Fredersen by dressing it up as an erotic dancer at the Yoshiwara (which is compared to the Whore of Babylon
Whore of Babylon
The Whore of Babylon or "Babylon the great" is a Christian allegorical figure of evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Her full title is given as "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth." -Symbolism:...

), where it drives the sons of the owners into homicidal fits of sexual jealousy. Josephat escapes from Thin Man by wearing a worker disguise. He finds Freder and tells him what has happened during Freder's recovery the ward: the fake Maria is creating chaos up top, and also inciting the workers to rebel. Freder arrives and tells the workers that this Maria is a fraud. The workers instead recognize him as Fredersen's son and attempt to kill him. In the fight, Georgy tries to defend Freder but is accidentally stabbed.

Rotwang explains to the real, imprisoned Maria that all her work is being undone, that Fredersen intends a worker revolt to justify quashing the rebellion with force, and that the Machine-Man follows his will, not Fredersen's. Joh Fredersen happens to be eavesdropping and subdues Rotwang, allowing Maria to escape. She makes her way to the worker's city.

All the workers storm the M-Machine, but Grot keeps them at bay with impenetrable gates. Fredersen orders Grot to open the gates, allowing the workers to destroy the Heart Machine, the city's power generator. This results in a complete hydraulic breakdown. The city's reservoirs overflow and inundate the workers' city to the brim, threatening to drown the children of the workers. However, the children are saved by Maria, Freder, and Josaphat in a heroic rescue.

The workers, realizing what they have done from Grot, and believing that they have killed their children, blame Maria. Under Grot's leadership, they dash to the upper city to pursue the real Maria. They run into the reveling crowds from the Yoshiwara and meet the owners' sons, led by the machine Maria. In the ensuing confusion, Maria escapes and the machine-man is tied to a stake and burned. The flames burn off the likeness of Maria and reveal the machine-man's true form to the crowd.

Meanwhile, Rotwang, who has broken down completely and believes her to be Hel, corners Maria in a cathedral. Freder climbs up to the roof and battles Rotwang as Fredersen watches in horror. Rotwang falls to his death, and Freder and Maria return to the street. Freder takes his first step as mediator, overcoming the mutual reluctance of Grot and Fredersen to join hands, thus beginning a period of unity and reform.

Cast

  • Alfred Abel
    Alfred Abel
    Alfred Abel was a German film actor, director, and producer. He appeared in over 140 silent and sound films between 1913 and 1938...

     as Joh Fredersen, the leader of the city.
  • Gustav Fröhlich
    Gustav Fröhlich
    Gustav Fröhlich was a German actor. He landed secondary roles in a number of films and plays before landing his breakthrough role of Freder Fredersen in Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis.-Biography:...

     as Freder, Fredersen's son who tries to mediate between the elite and the workers.
  • Brigitte Helm
    Brigitte Helm
    Brigitte Helm was a German actress, best remembered for her dual role as Maria and her double, the Maschinenmensch, in Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis.-Career:...

     as Maria, as both the pure-at-heart teacher and the machine-version of her.
  • Rudolf Klein-Rogge
    Rudolf Klein-Rogge
    Friedrich Rudolf Klein-Rogge was a German film actor. Klein-Rogge is known for playing sinister figures in films in the 1920s and 1930s as well as being a main-stay in director Fritz Lang's Weimar-era films.- Biography :...

     as C. A. Rotwang
    Rotwang
    C. A. Rotwang is a fictional character in Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film Metropolis. Rotwang was played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge.- Character overview :...

    , a mad scientist
    Mad scientist
    A mad scientist is a stock character of popular fiction, specifically science fiction. The mad scientist may be villainous or antagonistic, benign or neutral, and whether insane, eccentric, or simply bumbling, mad scientists often work with fictional technology in order to forward their schemes, if...

    .
  • Heinrich George
    Heinrich George
    Heinrich George , born Georg August Friedrich Hermann Schulz, was a German stage and film actor.He had one of his first roles in the Fritz Lang directed film Metropolis and the first film version of Berlin Alexanderplatz...

     as Grot, Foreman of the Heart Machine.
  • Fritz Rasp
    Fritz Rasp
    Fritz Heinrich Rasp was a German film actor who appeared in 104 films between 1916 and 1976.His most notable film roles were "J. J. Peachum" in The Threepenny Opera , as Meinert in Diary of a Lost Girl , and as "Der Schmale" in Fritz Lang's Metropolis...

     as "Der Schmale" ("The Thin Man"), Fredersen's Spy who trails Freder across the city.
  • Theodor Loos
    Theodor Loos
    Theodor August Konrad Loos was a German actor.The son of a watchmaker and instruments manufacturer, he left secondary school prematurely and worked for three years at an export firm for music instruments in Leipzig, and after that for his uncle, an art dealer in Berlin...

     as Josaphat, the man responsible for knowing what is going on in both parts of the city.
  • Erwin Biswanger as 11811 - Georgy, the worker with whom Freder switches places.


Lang recounts the number of extras as being between 250 and 300.

Architecture and visual effects

Metropolis features special effect
Special effect
The illusions used in the film, television, theatre, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects ....

s and set designs that still impress modern audiences with their visual impact – the film contains cinematic and thematic links to German Expressionism, though the architecture as portrayed in the film appears based on contemporary Modernism
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 and Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

. The latter, a brand-new style in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 at the time, had not reached mass production yet and was considered an emblem of the bourgeois class, and similarly associated with the ruling class in the film.

Rotwang's Art Deco laboratory with its lights and industrial machinery is a forerunner of the Streamline Moderne
Streamline Moderne
Streamline Moderne, sometimes referred to by either name alone or as Art Moderne, was a late type of the Art Deco design style which emerged during the 1930s...

 style, highly influential on the look of Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

-style laboratories of "mad scientists" in pop culture. When applied to science fiction, this style is sometimes called Raygun Gothic
Raygun Gothic
Raygun Gothic is a catchall term for a visual style that incorporates various aspects of the Googie, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco architectural styles when applied to retro-futuristic science fiction environments. Academic Lance Olsen has characterised Raygun Gothic as "a tomorrow that never was"...

.

The effects expert, Eugen Schüfftan
Eugen Schüfftan
Eugen Schüfftan was a cinematographer.He invented the Schüfftan process, a special effects technique that employed mirrors to insert actors into miniature sets. One of the first uses of the process was for Metropolis , directed by Fritz Lang...

, created innovative visual displays widely acclaimed in following years. Among the effects used are miniatures
Miniature effect
A miniature effect is a special effect created for motion pictures and television programs using scale models. Scale models are often combined with high speed photography or matte shots to make gravitational and other effects appear convicing to the viewer...

 of the city, a camera on a swing, and most notably, the Schüfftan process
Schüfftan process
The Schüfftan process is a movie special effect named after its inventor, Eugen Schüfftan . It was widely used in the first half of the 20th century before being almost completely replaced by the travelling matte and bluescreen effects....

, in which mirrors are used to "place" actors inside miniature sets. This new technique was seen again just two years later in Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

's film Blackmail
Blackmail (1929 film)
Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard, and featuring Donald Calthrop, Sara Allgood and Charles Paton. The film is based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett, as adapted by Hitchcock, with dialogue by...

(1929).

The Maschinenmensch
Maschinenmensch
The Maschinenmensch from Metropolis, is a gynoid played by German actress Brigitte Helm in both her robotic and human incarnations...

, the robot character played by Brigitte Helm
Brigitte Helm
Brigitte Helm was a German actress, best remembered for her dual role as Maria and her double, the Maschinenmensch, in Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis.-Career:...

, was created by Walter Schulze-Mittendorff. A chance discovery of a sample of "plastic wood" (a pliable substance designed as wood-filler) allowed him to sculpt the costume like a suit of armour over a plaster cast of the actress. Spraypainted a mix of silver and bronze, it helped create some of the most memorable moments on film. Helm suffered greatly during the filming of these scenes wearing this rigid and uncomfortable costume, which cut and bruised her, but Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

 insisted she play the part, even if nobody would know it was her.

The restored version of the film includes scenes of the cityscape from many angles, including a straight-down view of the Tower of Babel, that were unavailable for years. But no prop designer touched the cars that drive the high, angled overpasses; they're typical 1920s cars.

Release

Although it has been reported on numerous historic printed documents that the premiere of the film was in the UFA-Palast in December 1926 where Thea Von Harbou distributed signed novelisations of the movie to the present dignitaries, electronic media spread a new date that seems to fit with the Parafumet distribution.
On January 10, 1927, a 153-minute version of the film premiered in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 with moderate success. Before it was shown outside Germany, however, the film was cut and re-edited, changing many key elements. American and foreign theatre managers were generally unwilling to allow more than ninety minutes to a feature in their program, during a period when film attendance figures were high. Metropolis suffered as the original version was thought to be too long. Many theatres (including the premiere theater) projected the film at the standard sound film
Sound film
A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades would pass before sound motion pictures were made commercially...

 speed of around 24 frames per second, rather than the speed of 16 frames per second, at which the film was made. (The orchestral score for the premiere version was also written to match 24 frame/s.) This affected the rhythm and pace of the original film. As a result of these changes, few people outside of Berlin saw Metropolis as Fritz Lang originally intended; the version shown to European and American audiences in 1928 was disjointed and illogical in parts. The speed at which Lang intended the film to be projected is still debated, as he gave no clear indications. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the movie was shown in a version edited by the American playwright Channing Pollock
Channing Pollock (writer)
Channing Pollock was an American playwright, critic and writer of film scenarios.-External links:* from Howard University*...

, who almost completely obscured the original plot, which was considered too controversial by the American distributors; the Pollock version is considerably shortened. In Germany, a version similar to Pollock's was shown on August 5, 1927.

As a result of the edited versions, the original premiere cut eventually disappeared and a quarter of the original film was long believed to be lost forever. In 2001, a new 75th anniversary restoration, commissioned by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. This version, with a running time of 124 minutes, restored the original story line using stills and intertitles to bridge missing footage. It also added a soundtrack using the orchestral score originally composed by Gottfried Huppertz
Gottfried Huppertz
Gottfried Huppertz was a German composer who is perhaps most known for his scores to German expressionist silent films such as the science fiction epic Metropolis...

 to go with the film. This restoration received the National Society of Film Critics Heritage Award for Restoration 2002. In June 2008, a copy of the original film was discovered in an archive of the Museum of Cinema in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. Twenty to twenty-five minutes of lost footage could be added to the 2001 reconstruction, filling most of the gaps. This was a 16-mm copy made of a 35-mm print owned by a private collector, who obtained it from the distributor who brought the original cut to the country in 1927.

Despite the film's later reputation, some contemporary critics panned it. The New York Times critic Mordaunt Hall
Mordaunt Hall
Mordaunt Hall was the first regularly assigned motion picture critic for The New York Times, from October 1924 to September 1934....

 called it a "technical marvel with feet of clay". The Times went on the next month to publish a lengthy review by H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 who accused it of "foolishness, cliché, platitude, and muddlement about mechanical progress and progress in general." He faulted Metropolis for its premise that automation created drudgery rather than relieving it, wondered who was buying the machines' output if not the workers, and found parts of the story derivative of Shelley's Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

, Karel Čapek
Karel Capek
Karel Čapek was Czech writer of the 20th century.-Biography:Born in 1890 in the Bohemian mountain village of Malé Svatoňovice to an overbearing, emotional mother and a distant yet adored father, Čapek was the youngest of three siblings...

's robot stories, and his own The Sleeper Awakes
The Sleeper Awakes
The Sleeper Awakes is a dystopian novel by H. G. Wells about a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, waking up in a completely transformed London, where, because of compound interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world...

. Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...

 was impressed however and took the film's message to heart. In a speech of 1928 he noted: "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 Labour, to begin their historical mission".

Screenplay and influences

The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou
Thea von Harbou
Thea Gabriele von Harbou was a German actress, author and film director of Prussian aristocratic origin. She was born in Tauperlitz in the Kingdom of Bavaria.-Early work:...

. The two wrote the screenplay in 1924, and published a novelization
Novelization
A novelization is a novel that is written based on some other media story form rather than as an original work.Novelizations of films usually add background material not found in the original work to flesh out the story, because novels are generally longer than screenplays...

 in 1926, allegedly before the film was released. But, it has been also recorded that she finished it in time to distribute some signed version to the dignitaries at the UFA-Palast opening in December 1926. Lang was influenced by the Soviet science fiction film Aelita
Aelita
Aelita , also known as Aelita: Queen of Mars, is a silent film directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made on Mezhrabpom-Rus film studio and released in 1924. It was based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name...

by Yakov Protazanov
Yakov Protazanov
Yakov Alexandrovich Protazanov was Russian and Soviet film director and screenwriter, and one of the founding fathers of cinema of Russia....

 (1924), which was an adaptation of a novel by Alexei Tolstoy
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy , nicknamed the Comrade Count, was a Russian and Soviet writer who wrote in many genres but specialized in science fiction and historical novels...

. The plot of Aelita included a revolution taking place on the planet Mars. However, Metropolis advocates non-violent cooperation rather than the Marxist ideal of "class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

".

Fritz Lang later expressed dissatisfaction with the film. In an interview with Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich is an American film historian, director, writer, actor, producer, and critic. He was part of the wave of "New Hollywood" directors, which included William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino, and Francis Ford Coppola...

 (available in Who The Devil Made It...), he expressed his reservations.

The main thesis was Mrs. Von Harbou's, but I am at least 50 percent responsible because I did it. I was not so politically minded in those days as I am now. You cannot make a social-conscious picture in which you say that the intermediary between the hand and the brain is the heart. I mean, that's a fairy tale – definitely. But I was very interested in machines. Anyway, I didn't like the picture – thought it was silly and stupid – then, when I saw the astronauts: what else are they but part of a machine? It's very hard to talk about pictures—should I say now that I like Metropolis because something I have seen in my imagination comes true, when I detested it after it was finished?

In his profile for Lang featured in the same book, which prefaces the interview, Bogdanovich suggested that Lang's distaste for his own film also stemmed from the Nazi Party's fascination with the film. Von Harbou became a passionate member of the Nazi Party in 1933. They divorced the following year.

Restorations and re-releases

Several restored versions (all of them missing varying amounts of footage) were released in the 1980s and 1990s, running for 90 minutes.

In 1984, a new restoration and edit of the film was made by Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
Hansjörg "Giorgio" Moroder is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records...

, a music producer who specialized in pop-rock soundtrack
Soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

s for motion pictures. Moroder's version of the film introduced a new contemporary pop music soundtrack for the film. Although it restored a number of previously missing scenes and plot details from the original release (in particular, Moroder's version restores the character of Hel, who was omitted from the original release version of the film due to problems with American censors), his version of the film runs to only 80 minutes in length, although this is mainly due to the original intertitle
Intertitle
In motion pictures, an intertitle is a piece of filmed, printed text edited into the midst of the photographed action, at various points, generally to convey character dialogue, or descriptive narrative material related to, but not necessarily covered by, the material photographed.Intertitles...

s being replaced with subtitles, and being run at 24 frame/s. The "Moroder version" of Metropolis sparked heated debate among film buffs and fans, with outspoken critics and supporters of the film falling into equal camps.

The Moroder film's release came at the same time that Queen released their video "Radio Ga Ga
Radio Ga Ga
"Radio Ga Ga" is a 1984 song performed and recorded by the British rock band Queen, written by their drummer Roger Taylor‎. It was released as a single with "I Go Crazy" by Brian May on the original B-side and was included on the album The Works...

", which featured footage of the film. Though the Moroder version was nominated at The 1985 Razzie Awards for Worst Original Score and Worst Original Song (with Freddie Mercury), it brought the film back to the public eye.

It also brought attention to the large amount of missing footage cut from the film, due to Moroder opening the film with a disclaimer that addressed how the film was altered and recut shortly after its premiere. While available on now out-of-print VHS tape and LaserDisc, music rights issues regarding the film's usage of popular songs of the 1980s have kept the film from receiving a DVD release. However it was announced in August 2011 that the licensing issues had been resolved with SonyBMG, and that Kino International
Kino International
Kino International is a film and video distributor, founded by Bill Pence in 1977. Donald Krim bought Kino just months after its founding and served as president of the company until his death from cancer in 2011. Kino, based in New York City, specializes in art house films, such as low-budget...

 would be planning a limited theatrical re-release in November, with a subsequent DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 and Blu-Ray release to follow on November 15, 2011.

The moderate commercial success of the Moroder version of the film inspired Enno Patalas
Enno Patalas
Enno Patalas is a German film historian, collector, and expert film preservationist. A former head of the Munich Film Museum, his restorations include silent films such as Metropolis, M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder and Die Nibelungen, all directed by Fritz Lang...

 to make an exhaustive attempt to restore the movie in 1986. This restoration was the most accurate for its time, thanks to the script and the musical score that had been discovered. The basis of Patalas' work was a copy in the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

's collection.

The American copyright had lapsed in 1953, which eventually led to a proliferation of versions being released on video. Along with other foreign-made works, the film's U.S. copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 was restored in 1998, but the constitutionality of this copyright extension was challenged in Golan v. Gonzales and as Golan v. Holder it was ruled that "In the United States, that body of law includes the bedrock principle that works in the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 remain in the public domain. Removing works from the public domain violated Plaintiffs' vested First Amendment interests." This only applied to the rights of so-called reliance parties, i.e. parties who had previously relied on the public domain status of restored works. The case is on appeal.

F.W. Murnau Foundation (which now owns the film's copyright where applicable) and Kino International (now the film's American distributor) released a digitally restored version of 3378 metres (which equals a running time of 124 minutes at 24 f.p.s.) in 2002, supervised by Martin Koerber. It included the original music score and title cards describing the action in the missing sequences. Lost clips were gleaned from museums and archives around the world, and computers were used to digitally clean each frame and repair minor defects. The original score was re-recorded with an orchestral ensemble. Many scenes had still not been recovered at that point and were considered lost
Lost film
A lost film is a feature film or short film that is no longer known to exist in studio archives, private collections or public archives such as the Library of Congress, where at least one copy of all American films are deposited and catalogued for copyright reasons...

. Among the missing scenes were the adventures of 11811, a worker who trades places with Freder; the Thin Man spying on Josaphat; Maria's incarceration; Rotwang's gloating and her subsequent escape; and scenes which establish the longstanding rivalry between Joh Fredersen and Rotwang.

Most silent films of the time were shot at speeds of between 16 and 20 frames per second, but the digitally restored version with soundtrack plays at the speed of 25 frames per second (equaling a running time of 118 minutes), which is the standard speed of PAL
PAL
PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line, is an analogue television colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in many countries. Other common analogue television systems are NTSC and SECAM. This page primarily discusses the PAL colour encoding system...

 video (the US DVD is a conversion
Television standards conversion
Television standards conversion is the process of changing one type of TV system to another. The most common is from NTSC to PAL or the other way around. This is done so TV programs in one nation may be viewed in a nation with a different standard...

 from PAL to NTSC
NTSC
NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

). This speed often makes the action look unnaturally fast. A documentary on the Kino DVD edition states that Metropolis may have been intended to be projected at 25 frames per second. In the 1970s, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 prepared a version with electronic sound that ran at 18 frames per second and consequently had much more realistic-looking movement. Since there is no concrete evidence of Fritz Lang's wishes on this subject, it continues to be debated by silent film enthusiasts.

Rediscovery

On July 1, 2008, film experts in Berlin announced that a 16 mm reduction negative of the original premiere cut of the film, including almost all the lost scenes, had been discovered in the archives of the Museo del Cine (film museum) in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. Argentine museum curator Paula Félix-Didier and her husband made the discovery. The find was authenticated by film experts working for Die Zeit
Die Zeit
Die Zeit is a German nationwide weekly newspaper that is highly respected for its quality journalism.With a circulation of 488,036 and an estimated readership of slightly above 2 million, it is the most widely read German weekly newspaper...

. Passed around since 1928 from film distributor to private collector to an art foundation, the Metropolis copy arrived at the Museo del Cine, where it stayed undiscovered in their archives. After hearing an anecdote by the cinema club manager – who years before had been surprised by the length when this copy was screened – the museum's curator and the director of the film department of the Museum of Latin American Art reviewed the film and discovered the missing scenes. The print was in poor condition and required considerable restoration before it was re-premiered in February 2010.

In 2005, Wollongong
Wollongong, New South Wales
Wollongong is a seaside city located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. It lies on the narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, 82 kilometres south of Sydney...

-based historian and politician Michael Organ
Michael Organ
Michael Keith Organ is an Australian politician. He was an Australian Greens member of the Australian House of Representatives between 2002 and 2004, representing the Division of Cunningham, New South Wales...

 examined a print of the film in the National Film Archive of New Zealand
New Zealand Film Archive
The New Zealand Film Archive is a charitable trust dedicated to the collection, preservation and viewing of mainly New Zealand films and videos made between 1895 to the present day.- Background :...

. It had been thought that it was the same cut as the Australian version, but Organ discovered that it contained missing scenes not seen in the cut versions of the film. After hearing of the discovery of the Argentine print of the film and the restoration project currently under way, Organ contacted the German restorers about his find. The New Zealand print was found to contain 11 missing scenes and included seconds of footage which were missing from the Argentine print and also footage which could be used to restore damaged sections of the Argentine print. It is believed that the editor in charge of editing the New Zealand print for some unknown reason excised different scenes than that of the Australian print keeping scenes missing from other versions intact. It is believed that the Australian, New Zealand and Argentine prints were all scored from the same master. The newly discovered footage was used in the restoration project.

The rights holders of Metropolis, F. W. Murnau Stiftung (Foundation), later confirmed that the newly discovered footage completes the missing footage except for a few missing frames. Although the new footage was in a "deplorable" condition, they announced in February 2009 that they had begun restoration work on the rediscovered film and had the "ambitious target" for its completion by early 2010.
The restored original version was shown 83 years after its Berlin premiere on January 10, 1927, on the occasion of the 60th Berlinale
60th Berlin International Film Festival
The 60th annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 11 to February 21, 2010, with Werner Herzog as President of the Jury. The opening film of the festival was Chinese director Wang Quan'an's romantic drama Apart Together, in competition, while the closing film is Japanese...

, on February 12, 2010, at the Friedrichstadt Palast
Friedrichstadt Palast
The Friedrichstadt-Palast is a revue in the Berlin district of Mitte . The term Friedrichstadt-Palast designates both the building itself, and the revue theater as a body with his ensemble...

 in Berlin, at the Alte Oper
Alte Oper
The Alte Oper is a major concert hall and former opera house in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The building was inaugurated in 1880. Many important works have been premiered at the Alte Oper, including Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in 1937....

 in Frankfurt, as well as on TV on ARTE HD
Arte
Arte is a Franco-German TV network. It is a European culture channel and aims to promote quality programming especially in areas of culture and the arts...

 and as a public viewing at the Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate and one of the most well-known landmarks of Berlin and Germany. It is located west of the city centre at the junction of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße, immediately west of the Pariser Platz. It is the only remaining gate of a series through which...

. Only a few scenes – about eight minutes overall – were not included in the new cut because they were too badly damaged to repair or still missing; this gives the film a running time of 145 minutes. The film goes black for the original duration of the missing footage; in case of important scenes, an intertitle
Intertitle
In motion pictures, an intertitle is a piece of filmed, printed text edited into the midst of the photographed action, at various points, generally to convey character dialogue, or descriptive narrative material related to, but not necessarily covered by, the material photographed.Intertitles...

 with a different typeface explains the content of the missing footage. These include a monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 at the cathedral predicting the apocalypse
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

 to Freder and a fight between Fredersen and Rotwang which enables Maria to flee.

Kino re-released the film in select US theaters over the summer. A DVD and Blu-ray release followed on November 16, 2010. Eureka/Masters of Cinema
Masters of Cinema
The Masters of Cinema organization began as a website dedicated to the most well-regarded film directors in the world. Founded by a diverse international group of like-minded film enthusiasts: Jan Bielawski, a mathematician; Doug Cummings, a graphic artist and freelance critic; Trond Trondsen, a Ph.D...

 did the same in the UK and Ireland, with a theatrical release commencing September 10, 2010. Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is a movie-oriented cable television channel, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, featuring commercial-free classic movies, mostly from the Turner Entertainment and MGM, United Artists, RKO and Warner Bros. film libraries...

 held its inaugural Classic Film Festival in Hollywood April 22–25, 2010; included was the North American premiere of the newly restored version of the film, with an original score performed live by the Alloy Orchestra
Alloy Orchestra
Alloy Orchestra is a musical ensemble based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, that performs its own accompaniments to silent films of the classic movie era. Percussionists Terry Donahue and Ken Winokur and keyboardist Caleb Sampson founded the group in 1990...

, although the Moroder version will soon also have an official international DVD and Blu-ray release.
In October 2010, The Roundhouse
The Roundhouse
The Roundhouse is a Grade II* listed former railway engine shed in Chalk Farm, London, England, which has been converted into a performing arts and concert venue. It was originally built in 1847 as a roundhouse , a circular building containing a railway turntable, but was only used for railway...

 staged three screenings of the restored film with the original score performed live by the London Contemporary Orchestra
London Contemporary Orchestra
The London Contemporary Orchestra is an ensemble of young musicians formed in 2008 whose stated aim is "to explore and promote new music to an increasingly wide audience". LCO staged its inaugural season at LSO St Luke's and has since performed at venues and festivals including The Roundhouse,...

, conducted by Hugh Brunt. In March, 2011, the restored version opened the 2011 season of the century-old Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro (Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro) with the original score performed live by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Municipal Theater. In April, 2011, the restored version was shown for the first time in Buenos Aires, at the BAFICI festival, with a completely new musical score composed and performed by Marcelo Katz and his trio. It was also shown in August 17, 2011 at Mexico City's Auditorio Nacional to serve as closure for the 10th week of German Cinema organised by the aforementioned as well as the National Film Archive (Cineteca Nacional) and Goethe-Institut
Goethe-Institut
The Goethe-Institut is a non-profit German cultural institution operational worldwide, promoting the study of the German language abroad and encouraging international cultural exchange and relations. The Goethe-Institut also fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on German...

 Mexiko.

A possible 9.5 mm
9.5 mm film
9.5 mm film is an amateur film format introduced by Pathé Frères in 1922 as part of the Pathé Baby amateur film system. It was conceived initially as an inexpensive format to provide copies of commercially-made films to home users, although a simple camera was released shortly afterwards.It...

 copy of the movie was found in 2005 in the film archive of the Universidad de Chile. The copy was sent to Germany in late 2008 for verification.

Original score

Like many big budget films of the time, the original release of Metropolis had an original musical score meant to be performed by large orchestras accompanying the film in major theatres. The music was composed by Gottfried Huppertz
Gottfried Huppertz
Gottfried Huppertz was a German composer who is perhaps most known for his scores to German expressionist silent films such as the science fiction epic Metropolis...

, who had composed the original scores for Lang's Die Nibelungen
Die Nibelungen
Die Nibelungen is a series of two silent fantasy films created by Austrian director Fritz Lang in 1924: Die Nibelungen: Siegfried and Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge....

films in 1924. For Metropolis Huppertz composed a leitmotific orchestral score which included many elements from the music of Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 and Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

, plus some mild modernism for the city of the workers and the use of the popular Dies Irae
Dies Irae
Dies Irae is a thirteenth century Latin hymn thought to be written by Thomas of Celano . It is a medieval Latin poem characterized by its accentual stress and its rhymed lines. The metre is trochaic...

for some apocalyptic imagery. His music played a prominent role during the shooting of the film, since during principal photography many scenes were accompanied by him playing the piano to get a certain effect from the actors.

The score was rerecorded for the 2001 DVD release of the film with Berndt Heller conducting the Rundfunksinfonieorchester Saarbrücken. It was the first release of the reasonably reconstructed movie accompanied by the music that was originally intended for it. In 2007, the original film score was also played live by the VCS Radio Symphony which accompanied the restored version of the film at Brenden Theatres in Vacaville, California on August 1 and 2. The score was also produced in a salon orchestration which was performed for the first time in the United States in August 2007 by The Bijou Orchestra under the direction of Leo Najar as part of a German Expressionist film festival in Bay City, Michigan. The same forces also performed the work at the Traverse City Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
The Traverse City Film Festival is an annual film festival held every late July through early August in Traverse City, Michigan. The festival was created as an annual event in 2005 to help “save one of America's few indigenous art forms—the cinema." The event was co-founded by Michael Moore, the...

 in Traverse City, Michigan in August 2009.

For the 2010 almost complete reconstruction, the score was performed and recorded for the DVD release by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (East Berlin)
The Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra is a symphony orchestra based in Berlin, Germany. In Berlin, the orchestra gives concerts at theKonzerthaus Berlin and at the Berliner Philharmonie...

, conducted by Frank Strobel, who also conducted the premiere of the reconstructed version at Berlin Friedrichstadtpalast
Friedrichstadt Palast
The Friedrichstadt-Palast is a revue in the Berlin district of Mitte . The term Friedrichstadt-Palast designates both the building itself, and the revue theater as a body with his ensemble...

.

Other soundtracks

There have been many other soundtracks created for Metropolis by different artists, including, but not limited to:
  • 1975 – The BBC version of Metropolis features an electronic score composed by William Fitzwater and Hugh Davies
    Hugh Davies
    Hugh Seymour Davies was a musicologist, composer, and inventor of experimental musical instruments.Davies was born in Exmouth, Devon, England. After attending Westminster School, he studied music at Worcester College, Oxford from 1961 to 1964. Shortly after he traveled to Cologne, Germany to work...

    .
  • 1984 – Giorgio Moroder
    Giorgio Moroder
    Hansjörg "Giorgio" Moroder is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records...

     restored and produced the 80-minute 1984 re-release, which had a pop soundtrack written by Moroder and performed by Moroder, Pat Benatar
    Pat Benatar
    Pat Benatar is an American singer and four-time Grammy winner. She had considerable commercial success particularly in the United States...

    , Bonnie Tyler
    Bonnie Tyler
    Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh singer, most notable for her hits in the 1970s and 1980s including "It's a Heartache", "Holding Out for a Hero" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart".-Early life:...

    , Jon Anderson
    Jon Anderson
    Jon Anderson is an English singer-songwriter and musician best known as the former lead vocalist in the progressive rock band Yes...

    , Adam Ant
    Adam Ant
    Adam Ant is an English musician who gained popularity as the lead singer of New Wave/post-punk group Adam and the Ants and later as a solo artist, scoring ten UK top ten hits between 1980 and 1983, including three No.1s...

    , Cycle V, Loverboy
    Loverboy
    Loverboy is a Canadian rock group formed in 1980 in Calgary, Alberta. Throughout the 1980s, the band accumulated numerous hit songs in Canada and the United States, earning four multi-platinum albums and selling millions of records...

    , Billy Squier
    Billy Squier
    William Haislip "Billy" Squier is an American rock musician. Squier had a string of arena rock hits in the 1980s. He is best known for the song "The Stroke" on his 1981 album release Don't Say No...

    , and Freddie Mercury
    Freddie Mercury
    Freddie Mercury was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range...

    .
  • 2000 – Jeff Mills
    Jeff Mills
    Jeff Mills is an American techno DJ and producer.-Career:Starting in the early 1980s, Mills, using the name "The Wizard", was a recurring guest DJ on "The Electrifying Mojo" radio show on WJLB...

     created a techno score for Metropolis which was released as an album. He also performed the score live at public screenings of the film.
  • 2004 – Abel Korzeniowski
    Abel Korzeniowski
    Abel Korzeniowski is a Polish film and theatre scores composer.He had contact with music from early childhood: his mother Barbara plays cello and both his brothers Antoni and Andrzej are musicians. He graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków majoring in cello and composer studies under the...

     created a score for Metropolis played live by a 90-piece orchestra and a choir of 60 voices and two soloists. The first performance took place at the Era Nowe Horyzonty Film Festival in Poland.
  • 2004 – Ronnie Cramer
    Ronnie Cramer
    Ronnie Cramer is an American artist, composer and filmmaker.Born in Bismarck, North Dakota, Cramer currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. During the 1980s he produced watercolor paintings, video installations and played guitar in several rock bands, most notably Alarming Trends, the...

     produced a score and effects soundtrack for Metropolis that won two Aurora awards.
  • 2005/2011 – The New Pollutants (Mister Speed and DJ Tr!p) performed Metropolis Rescore
    Metropolis Rescore
    Metropolis Rescore is a soundtrack by The New Pollutants for the silent film Metropolis. The soundtrack is for the 118-minute, digitally restored version which was released in 2002 by the F.W. Murnau Foundation and Kino International. In 2004 The New Pollutants composed and produced the new...

    live for festivals since 2005 and are rescoring to the 2010 version of the film for premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival 2011.

Adaptations

Several adaptations have been made of the original Metropolis, including at least two musical theater adaptations (see Metropolis
Metropolis (musical)
Metropolis is a musical based on the 1927 silent movie of the same name that was staged at the Piccadilly Theatre in London in 1989. The music was written by Joe Brooks, the lyrics by Dusty Hughes. The show was directed by Jerome Savary...

). The 2001 animated film Metropolis
Metropolis (anime)
Metropolis is a 2001 [anime] film and loosely based on the 1949 Metropolis manga created by the late Osamu Tezuka, itself inspired by the 1927 German silent film of the same name, though the two do not share plot elements. The anime, however, does draw aspects of its storyline directly from the...

, is based on an original manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 by Osamu Tezuka
Osamu Tezuka
was a Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, producer, activist and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack...

 (see Metropolis
Metropolis (manga)
, also known as Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis or Robotic Angel is a Japanese manga by Osamu Tezuka published in 1949. It has been adapted into a feature length anime, released in 2001...

).

In December 2007, producer Thomas Schuehly (Alexander
Alexander (film)
Alexander is a 2004 epic film based on the life of Alexander the Great. It is not a remake of the 1956 film which starred Richard Burton. It was directed by Oliver Stone, with Colin Farrell in the title role...

, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 British adventure comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, and Robin Williams.-Plot:...

) gained the remake rights to Metropolis.

Some scenes from the film were featured in the music video for Queen's
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

 Radio Ga Ga
Radio Ga Ga
"Radio Ga Ga" is a 1984 song performed and recorded by the British rock band Queen, written by their drummer Roger Taylor‎. It was released as a single with "I Go Crazy" by Brian May on the original B-side and was included on the album The Works...

.

Madonna's music video for 'Express Yourself' pays homage to the film.

Awards and accolades

  • Ranked #12 in Empire
    Empire (magazine)
    Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

    magazine's "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010. It was ranked number 2 in a list of the 100 greatest films of the Silent Era.

The 2002 version awarded the "New York Film Critics Circle Awards
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
New York Film Critics' Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. It is considered one of the most important precursors to the Academy Awards....

" "Special Award" to Kino International for the restoration.

See also


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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