"There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as a mediator."
In this prophetic vision of the future, the intellectual class dwells in luxury skyscapers towering hundreds of stories above the earth while far below the surface, faceless legions of laborers toil likes slaves to maintain the giant machines that run the vast Metropolis. Freder, spoiled son of the city's ruler, Johhan Frederson, frolics in his Pleasure-Garden, when his revelry is interrupted. Maria, a saintly girl from below, appears and shows him the starving, sickly children of the underworld. Consciousness aroused, Freder journeys down deep below to the subterranean world where he is horrified to see the inhuman conditions under which his fellow men are forced to toil and die.
As class conflict simmers to the boiling point, the evil industrialist-inventor Rotwang creates a robot in the image of Maria to lead the rabble into open conflict. The result is mayhem, destruction, and a Flood of biblical proportions that will shake this society to it's very core.
Director Fritz Lang creates indelible images in this expressionistic masterpiece. The set designs are some of the greatest in the history of cinema and the special effects are unbelievable in light of the limited means at the disposal this movie's creators. Metropolis is ranked as one of the best Science Fiction films of all times.
Fritz Lang's Metropolis belongs to legend as much as to cinema. It's a milestone of sci-fi and German expressionism. Yet the story makes minimal sense, and the "theme" belongs in a fortune cookie; to experience the film's pagan power, you have to see the movie. But for decades we couldn't, not really--not with so many versions, all incomplete, often in public-domain prints like smudged photocopies. This Murnau Foundation restoration changes all that. Some shots, scenes, and subplots may be lost forever, but intertitles indicate how they fit into the original continuity and the characters' individual trajectories. Most crucially, the images are crisp, vibrant, and three-dimensional instead of murky and flattened. The composite sequences (the Tower of Babel, a sea of lusting eyes) have been restored to their hallucinatory ferocity. And there's one moment when you can see a bead of sweat roll down a man's cheek--in medium long-shot. --Richard T. Jameson
Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and
unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC,
Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We
are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion
for films with a large audience.
Let us know what you have.