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Metropolis
Year:
1927
Country:
Germany
Genre:
Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance
IMDB rating:
8.3
Director:
Fritz Lang
Alfred Abel as Joh Fredersen
Gustav Fröhlich as Kenichi
Rudolf Klein-Rogge as Duke Red
Fritz Rasp as The Thin Man
Theodor Loos as Josaphat
Heinrich George as Grot, the guardian of the Heart Machine
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 who quickly disappear. Trying to follow her, he, oblivious to such, is horrified to find an underground world of workers, apparently who run the machinery which keeps the above ground Utopian world functioning. One of the few people above ground who knows about the world below is Freder's father, Joh Fredersen, who is the founder and master of Metropolis. Freder learns that the woman is Maria, who espouses the need to join the "hands" - the workers - to the "head" - those in power above - by a mediator or the "heart". Freder wants to help the plight of the workers in the want for a better life. But when Joh learns of what Maria is espousing and that Freder is joining their cause...
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1080p 1440x1080 px 11199 Mb h264 128 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 576x416 px 1397 Mb mpeg4 1165 Kbps avi Download
DVD-rip 512x384 px 1276 Mb mpeg4 1503 Kbps avi Download
Reviews
Disturbing how it seems like they actually predicted the future!
I love silent films and remember seeing a clip of Metropolis in my film appreciation class, I was so excited to pick a five dollar copy of this film from Best Buy and I was just amazed at how disturbing this movie was for not only it's time, but today. Today, 2006, times are just like this movie's plot, everyone is getting so lazy due to technology's quick advancements, that they'll do anything just so they have to work less.

This movie is about a boss who is upset with the way his workers are always tired and have to go home. When he brings up to another worker that he has created the perfect worker, a robot who will never get tired, hungry, or have to go home to a family. But soon the worker has a fantasy, or as I'd say a very horrific nightmare, that the robots will turn against these humans and take over the world!

Yeah, silent films have always been overacted and very cheesy to look at, but it's amazing to me to see what the times were like and what the mood was. The reason why Metropolis is so well loved and respected is not only because of the mood it captured, but how amazingly psychic it was, I think since the time that electricity was discovered, we've all feared how far we could go with technology, and Metropolis is a haunting picture that captures it so well.

8/10
2006-11-01
Restored Kino DVD changed my view of this film.
I doubt that I'd ever seen anything resembling a "complete" version of METROPOLIS before, though certain of its scenes were familiar to me, if only as used and abused in such films as Diane Keaton's HEAVEN (1987). In any case, whatever I had seen before had nothing like the clarity and beauty of the Kino restoration. I expected to be distracted by the restoration's technique of concise written descriptions of missing sequences, but the narrative coherence that these provided was definitely worth it. As "exaggerated" as the style of acting seems by contemporary standards, some performances, such as the Master of the city, are amazingly nuanced and layered, and Brigitte Helm is stunning as both Maria and her evil clone. The meticulous design of the film, the unerring camera placement and Lang's muscular choreography of the crowd scenes are breathtaking. I'd thought of METROPOLIS as a curiosity ("important" = "dull") but now I've come to appreciate it as the seminal work it has always been.
2004-03-13
A masterpiece that should be seen by all who love film
Fritz Lang's Metropolis is a film I had heard of, and I knew it's cultural impact, but I had never actually seen it. I decided to download it on my iPad and watched the 2010 restoration. I was expecting a good little sci-fi silent with anti cruel government messages. I did get that, yes, but I got much more. The story follows Freder Frederson (Nice name) who is the son of the mayor of a grand city called Metropolis. Freder encounters a woman named Maria who is the caretaker of the worker's children. Freder learns that all the workers live in their own little underground city and are not allowed into Metropolis. Freder confronts his father about this and gets a negative response. His father then fires his assistant Josaphat. Freder then let's Josaphat live at his house, while he goes off to take the places of workers. Freder learns that Maria also runs an underground church for the workers. She is trying to give them faith that a mediator between brain and hands will come and help them. Freder's father learns of this and has an inventor named Rotwang have his Machine-Man take Maria's form and pose as her to crush their faith in a mediator. For 1927 that is a great plot, even today it works. Fritz Lang really takes advantage of this and gives us some of the best direction I've ever seen. The effects are beautiful and innovative. The use of mirrors and double exposure is just wonderful. The performance are good. Some of the actors over act (The men in the yoshiwara during Maria's dance are just the worst), but some of them give good, non goofy performances. The best performance comes from Brigitte Helm. The way she plays Robot Maria is over the top, but because of that, you have to love it. The ways she moves quickly and talks is just so fun and entertaining. The screenplay is well written, even though the dialogue can be pathetic sometimes. The production design is the most iconic thing about the movie. The way the city of Metropolis looks has influenced a great number of films. It was a vision of the future that does exist today. Look at modern New York City and Metropolis. The resemblance is certainly there. Overall, Metropolis is well directed, interesting, vision of the future with important social commentary. I give a 10/10
2015-06-29
not as good as i thought it would be
fritz lang's metropolis would have undoubtedly blown me away in 1927, yet as hard as i try to realise the importance of the film, it is still a boring, overlong film with an average plot. i dont know how much of this has got to do with the version i saw, which was a 139 min version DVD released in 99, with a new score (which was mind numbingly awful BTW) by Peter Osborne, but the movie just DRAGGED. i would love to have seen a shortened 90 min or so version which would have kept my interest. also, the picture quality was shocking as well, i mean, i realise its a very old movie but the dvd picture looked as bad as a VHS after about 1000 viewings. the acting was absolutely crap, but i can accept that for the time it was made, yet it certainly didnt help me want to watch this movie to the end, speaking of which, was pretty poor.
2003-12-14
Not a review really, or perhaps - who knows?
Hi there!

I consider myself to be a true admirer of movies, in general and I kind of stumbled over this one. If Mr Lang was in his flesh right now Id tell this to his face; - Id like to thank you Lang. How to do that? Im already rude just talking to you right now without proper introduction.

Whatever: The movie is about workers and managers so to say, and no sound. The "soundthing" is kind of the point. That kind of movie... You don't have to be a stupid watcher or the kvasi-guy about it. Lets all stumble and be humbled.

Hopefully Im kindly, Joel Kullberg
2017-10-04
The story elements are so familiar that you tend to forget some of them started here.
We have seen so many movies now that even those of us who study them tend to forget where certain familiarities were born. The science fiction elements presented in Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' are so familiar to us that they have become not just the genre standard but almost a given. The notion of a city as an urban hell ruled by the upper-class and operated by slave-like poor. The notion of the city that seems to touch the heavens. The notion of a mad scientist giggling in his lab as he plays God. The lone hero who discovers the diabolical machinations of the villain and tries to throw a monkey wrench into his plan. These elements can be found in this film's ancestors 'Frankenstein', 'Batman', 'Gattaca' and the cities of 'Blade Runner', 'Star Wars' and 'The Fifth Element'. All of these films contain elements that were inspired by Lang's work.

'Metropolis' has gone down in history as one of the most influential films ever made, certainly one of the most studied silent films and yet the movie sort of languishes. After its success in 1927 the film has had an uneasy time. It's pedigree as a silent film turns off the usual science fiction audience and it is sort of a footnote in the history of the genre. One restored version after another has tried to reconstruct the film as best it could because some of the footage of the film has been lost through neglect and silly studio censoring. Some of the restorations work but most do not so we sometimes wonder what an experience this must have been like in 1927. Unless a lost version surfaces (as it did with the recently uncovered print of Valentino's 1922 film 'Beyond the Rocks') the complete work my never be seen again. The restored version released on DVD in 2001 was based on a digital restoration at 2K resolution from all available sources. It's the best version that I've seen and I would highly recommend that one if you haven't seen the film. The worst is a 1994 print put out by GoodTimes video which contains not an ounce of restoration, the film in grainy and difficult to see, it doesn't even have a soundtrack. I call that one the worst because I'm still a little ambivalent about the 1984 restored version by Georgio Moroder with color tinting (good), sound effects (not so good) and a soundtrack that includes songs by Loverboy, Freddy Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Adam Ant and Pat Benatar (yuck!).

Those who study the film (myself included) find the story impenetrable. Some films you can easily decipher but 'Metropolis' has a plot that is so maddeningly erratic that it's hard to pin it down as a whole. Many conceded that as a fault but I think it adds to the film's chaotic nature. It takes place in the future (restored versions offer title cards that suggest that it's the year 2000 but I don't go by that) in an overcrowded city with immense skyscrapers (the Gothic, sometimes grotesque architecture suggests that the buildings were constructed in a hurry). The rich in Metropolis are content with their lives, dancing in their penthouses and spending their money. The poor work as slaves beneath the city like cogs in a machine. Lang choreographs the scenes in the subterranean levels magnificently so that the workers are never out of step. They don't so much work as toil under oppression like Ramses' slaves building his pyramids. The rich and poor of Metropolis are ignorant of one another. One person that isn't ignorant of the class division is Joh Fredersen a ruthless businessman who rules Metropolis from his office.

His son Freder happily enjoys the Pleasure Gardens one day when he notices a woman rising from the underground caves with a group of the worker's children. Curious, he follows her to the depths and is aghast at the tyranny in motion there. The woman is Maria, a revolutionary who holds sermons to remind the workers that a peaceful resolution can and must be found.

Freder uncovers a plot by Rotwang, the mad scientist to create a robotic version of Maria to convince the workers to rise up and take arms. This leads to the film's most famous scene when the robot becomes flesh and blood and the false prophet opens her eyes to reveal two dead sparkling orbs. Rotwang kidnaps the real Maria and sends the false one to convince the workers to rise up and then taunt the rich men and drive them into a sexual frenzy.

Then all Hell breaks loose, but the rest I must leave to you to discover.

Lang based the film on the book written by his wife Thea Von Harbou. In the book the story is about a chaotic as the film (and therefore less successful), the difference is that Lang has the visuals to suggest the chaos where the book did not. He uses every technical tool at his disposal to visualize the Hell of the subterranean machine run by the workers. At one point Freder, disguised as a worker, witnesses one of the huge machines explode and visualizes it as a horrendous monster swallowing workers by the dozen. Another suggests an odd device, a giant dial in which the worker is made to keep the arms in the same place as the light bulbs go on and off around it's edge. The machine doesn't seem to have any purpose until Freder imagines it as a giant clock and tries to pull the arms forward to end the merciless day.

The film is one of the pinnacles of German Expressionism, astonishing in its use of light and shadow. One of the best examples is the scene in which Rotwang pursues the real Maria through the caves using only a beam of light to strike terror as he closes in. Another brilliant moment comes with Maria's erotic dance as the men gawk, the camera filled with their moist eyes. This scene was completely removed after the initial release and not restored until home video.

Other moments have deeper resonance. There is something unsettling about the hundreds of workers toiling in the underground caves. Walking to work they march with their heads down, dressed in uniforms and caps. It reminded me of the Jews being led into the Nazi Death Camps. There is a buried foreshadowing of Hitler. More obvious are Lang's biblical references. The rise of the city parallels Maria's retelling of the story of the Tower of Babel. The giant pentagram in Rotwang's lab as he plays God. The breathtaking image of the plague-bringer who comes wielding an obscene scythe. The very heaven and hell nature of Metropolis itself. There is even a Christ-like quality in Maria who gives her sermons and reinforces that indeed blessed are the peacemakers.

These elements and images are brought to the film because of Lang's insistence on no less then absolute perfection. He was known as a sometimes cruel taskmaster, working his cast and crew like a dictator. He cast some 20,000 extras (1500 of them for the Tower of Babel sequence alone) and worked them from morning till night. The water which covered the set for the climactic flood was ice cold. Many of the extras were soaked through from morning till night. Actress Brigette Helm was nearly killed several times, once by a fall and another by the fact that the bonfire scene was real! Helm was so rattled by her experience working with Lang that she thereafter refused to make another film with him.

I could go on and on, this film all great films invite lengthy discussions. It can be seen in at least a hundred different ways, as a foreshadowing of fascism or the tyranny of communism or just capitalism boiling over. But when you get down to it the best way to view 'Metropolis' is not as a film to pick apart but simply as a film of it's time, Lang created the story of a world gone mad while the world around him was going mad.
2004-05-30
A silent film ahead of its time...
First of all, I don't consider myself a silent film fan. Actually, I never really seen a silent film until METROPOLIS, unless you count THE ARTIST. Like most people, my first impression would be that silent films are boring. But I was wrong...

METROPOLIS took me completely by surprise. I was impressed at how advance the special effects are. The set design of the city is fantastic, looks very similar to something you would seen in Sci-Fi films today. The story is original with a powerful message. Though the performances of the actors are a bit over the top, which I suppose is to be expected in silent films. Also some lost parts of the film were recovered and restored, so the transitions of different qualities throughout is a bit distracting.

Overall, METROPOLIS is a great film ahead of its time. Though, I must admit it is a little hard to sit through; I myself ended up stopping it occasionally, it is a good 2 hours long.
2015-10-21
Epic in spite of silence
It didn't take Metropolis long to reach a mammoth level in cinema. The film actually surely surpassed this description upon its creation, as the cost of production was more than any film at the time and included thousands of extras. The genius that is Fritz Lang shone through in this epic. The effects utilized in this film far surpassed their time and would prove to be a grandiose enjoyment for the audience for years to come. Never let anyone tell you a silent film cannot be absolutely captivating and stunning, as Metropolis proves both of these assertions to be blatantly false.

Thrown into a world full of cityscapes and advanced machinery, the audience quickly figures out that they are in a seemingly utopian future, in the city of Metropolis. The city's founder, Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel) acts as a God-like figure overlooking the city and the means of its production and continuation. His son, Freder, becomes captivated by a woman he meets in the city below. He soon learns to find out that the person of his desire, Maria (Brigitte Helm), is a member of the working class. Living amongst the wealthy society, Freder was completely oblivious to life among the poor working class, living below the city. He then becomes shocked and quite saddened to learn that his father is responsible for the conditions of the working class. In what spawns a duel between loyalty and love, Freder devotes himself to reaching common ground between the wealthy and the working poor. Someone must mediate between the members of society that think of action for the city, and the working class that bring those thoughts to fruition; Freder is just the person for the job.

A technical wonder for its time and beyond, Metropolis remains fixed in its astonishing effects. The scene in which Maria captivates the men of Metropolis is incredible. The juxtaposition between the collage of eyes, men's faces, and the dancing Maria was chilling. Just as powerful as this scene are the many in which the audience gets a view of just how many people are involved in this film. Seeing the droves of individuals racing around on screen is mind boggling to say the least. All of these technical feats culminate with Maria's transformation to machine. The visuals that Lang uses throughout the film are incredible, not just in a "for 1927" way either. The widely regarded first feature-length science fiction film, Metropolis is one to visit again and again, even today, for sci-fi fans.

Riddled with heavy concepts throughout the entire film, Metropolis deals with social hierarchy, revolt, and capitalism, among many other ideas. Without trying, one can appreciate the stark difference in class between the citizens of Metropolis. For the wealthy above ground, they live a carefree life, completely oblivious to those working beneath the city desperately trying to sustain themselves. Freder himself, heir to the city's founder, had no idea what people endured to preserve the city and all of its technology. Once the workers realize how different they live compared to the wealthy elite, revolt becomes a possibility. It seems, even beneath the differences among the two classes, neither wants to do the other harm. The workers are driven to revolt to make fair society rather than harm the wealthy members of it. The film also makes a stark claim about capitalism, that it should be both desired and feared. Citizens should desire capitalism because it will guarantee the city in which they live will be sustained by a working class that will never leave their position. Security is a benefit that it seems only capitalism can provide to a collection of citizens. Capitalism should also be feared as a means to keep workers from reaching their potential and creating a disconnection between the workers from the rest of society. This time of constant menial work also alienates the workers from what they are doing daily resulting in spirits that are never tapped. One could spend a lifetime discussing the conceptions within Metropolis, as it remains a beautifully intense film that should be required viewing for anyone living among other people.

I find it interesting that H.G. Wells quoted Metropolis as being "quite the silliest film" because much of it reminded me, and seemed to be inspired from, his own work The Time Machine. Both tell the story of a dystopian future, advanced technology and its flaws, and the dangers of class separatism. For whatever the reason, and it would have to be a good one, Wells didn't enjoy this film. Everyone has that prerogative; I quite enjoyed the film, and had fun seeing my first silent movie epic. I would recommend this as required viewing for citizens and Fritz Lang fans alike. Luckily, that should cover just about everybody.
2016-01-06
Amazing movie with huge ambition
Might I say that I do not watch many classic films, let alone ones from the 1920s. Honestly my expectations were not very high. Although who knew I would find a masterpiece of a movie. This movie is very ambitious, especially considering the time. The sets were brilliantly designed and the miniatures were convincing. Since it is a silent film the facial expressions and gestures added lots to their acting. The story was well written and very interesting. The uses of audio suited the movie extremely well for the specific scenes. My only small gripe with the movie is its length. Sure the movie is an epic and powerful movie, but I overall felt it was a bit too long, and this isn't even technically the full movie since some of it has been lost. Still length is a small issue because of the scale and build up the movie had. Honestly everyone should see this movie if they have not already and this has gone down as one of my favourite movies.
2014-10-28
A film student's view...
In 2026 Metropolis is run by the wealthy industrialists who have enslaved the working class in an underground world. When Joh Frederson's (Abel) son Freder (Fröhlich) is lured into the worker's world, he witnesses a horrible accident and begins to have a crisis of conscience. Now he's decided to trade places with one of the workers to better understand their plight. This decision leads to a bigger crisis when he falls in love with a prophetess (Helm) who threatens everything his father has worked for. As his father seeks to destroy the young woman and the people who have followed her, he also threatens the existence of all the working people in Metropolis.

Metropolis is a visually stunning film. Fritz Lang (M) essentially created the science-fiction film genre when he co-wrote and directed this epic film. The movie was produced in Germany at cost of five million Reichsmarks, making it the most expensive movie produced up to that point. The result is a large-scale epic that tells a tale of a futuristic world ruined by industry. This would also be a major building block for Lang, a director who made the transition to American films under his contract with MGM.

The acting in a silent film is all about body language and facial expressions. This movie displays great acting by all of the people involved. It definitely has a melodramatic feel, but that's something common to most silent films. Brigitte Helm (L'argent), Alfred Abel (Phantom), and Gustav Fröhlich (Asphalt) do a great job as the three main characters. Lang also worked well with the massive number of extras that included over five hundred children.

Classic movies are often lost due to age and damage. The film wasn't made to last for 100 years, and unfortunately this has cost us many of the classic films of the early years of movie making. Thankfully, this movie was saved through hard work and a lot of luck. Most recently a copy of this film was located in Argentina and allowed restoration work to be done that brought back a lot of missing footage.

If you're a fan of classic movies and you haven't seen this one, I think it's a must-see movie. This puts early innovation on display as Lang stretched the technology and the art of cinema to the breaking point. This isn't a short movie or an easy one to watch. I would recommend this for people who want to see some of the best early feature film-making. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.
2013-09-14
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