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Buy Metropolis 1927 Online (mkv, avi, flv, mp4) DVDRip
Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance
IMDB rating:
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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One of the best movies I've ever watched
This movie is a masterpiece. Though a silent movie, it says so much. The editing is perfect, and the first time i saw this film i was shocked at how they did it back in the '20s. There were a few scenes which i watched over and over, just admiring the beauty of them. The director did a perfect work, the scenes, and the frames just being perfect. The storyline is complex, yet simple, tells so much through so little. Prophetic, yes, but a bit exaggerated. The only thing shallow about this movie is the fact that most people nowadays will turn their heads at the first sight of it, being black and white, and being silent.
The Mother of Modern Science Fiction *Spoiler*
This review contains Spoilers. But since the story is by far the least reason to watch Metropolis, feel free to still read it, even if you haven't watched it yet.

Metropolis is a film that was far ahead of it's time. It influenced a great lot of science-fiction films, and how The Blade Runner, Batman or Dark City would look like if there wasn't Metropolis - who knows. Even The Matrix Reloaded is heavily inspired by this classic that is as old as my grandmother.

Now what is it all about? About Freder, the son of the head of the city of Metropolis, a Christ-like figure who falls in love with the preacher of the working class, a saintlike woman who happens to be named Maria. When a robot who is modeled to look like Maria makes the workers almost extinguish their city and their children, Maria and Freder save the children, and in the end Freder makes his father and the workers cooperate for a brighter future.

Sounds silly to you? Yes, and that's exactly what the story is: silly. That's also the reason why, still today, Metropolis isn't accepted as the masterpiece it is by a few film buffs. But these people don't understand one thing: A good film does more than only tell a story. A film can be great even without a story at all, and a silly story combined with amazing visuals can make you forget all the other weaknesses a film has.

And wow, what amazing images Metropolis offers. What an art direction! What wonderful special effects! And remember, as I already said, this film is as old as my grandmother! Just have a look at the workers. They hardly ever seem to be individuals. In the mass scenes they look like one big creature moving forward or backwards. When they are working they look more like machines than like human beings, whereas the machines resemble monsters more than they do technical devices (best seen in the moments when Freder hallucinates and sees the big machine as a worker-eating Moloch). We also see a worker (and later, Freder) work on a machine that looks like a clock with 100 blinking light bulbs, doing some that looks as exhausting as it looks senseless. Or think of Rotwang, the mad inventor who lives in a little hut that looks in this film like it was from another world. He has a black prosthesis for his right hand (it's not a coincidence that Stanley Kubrick gave his mad scientist/inventor Dr. Strangelove a prosthesis for his right hand, too). He builds the robot that he makes to look like Maria, and that transformation scene is one of the most magnificent scenes ever and looks more convincing than some scenes of modern sci-fi flicks.

I also have to mention Brigitte Helm, who plays Maria and the robot - and the look in her eyes would already be enough to tell which of her characters is on screen at the moment. If something like awards already would have been given in the 1920s, she sure would have walked home with quite a bunch of them. And just look at her sexy dance! It is just as memorable as the shot of the many eyes watching her dance - or the many faces watching her preach just a few minutes later.

Metropolis is a film no sci-fi-fan should miss. I had the good luck that my first viewing of Metropolis one year ago was in a cinema (when it was a re-released after its restoration). I can only recommend you to watch it in a cinema if you have the possibility to, as Metropolis is, just as 2001 - A Space Odyssey one of those rare films that are masterpieces on your TV set, but a revelation on the big screen.
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.
Metropolis, Greatest Sci-Fi
Metropolis was a movie in the silent era, also in the era of German expressionism where during the period of recovery following World War I, the German film industry was booming. However, because of the hard economic times, filmmakers found it difficult to create movies that could compare with the lush, extravagant features coming from Hollywood. So keep in mind while viewing this film that it was placed in the German expressionism period. In Metropolis it is placed in a futuristic city, in this futuristic city many people put in hard working hours to keep the machines working, so that there city doesn't fall apart or cause mayhem. The story takes place following the son of John Frederson who is the master of Metropolis, the son wants to find a woman he met and express his love to her, but his father will not allow him. Throughout this movie, the son switches place with a worker and endures the hard working conditions that a lot of the employees can't even handle. Later in Metropolis, you find out that the evil doctor has created a robot that can transform into the sons love, and this robot pretends to be the woman whom everyone looks up to. Towards the end of the movie the robot causes a riot by shutting down the machines in order to stop the factory from working, once the citizens succeed little did they know that by doing so the kids they left at home would be in grave danger of being flooded out. Luckily the true lady and John's son save all the children and the citizens get the robot and destroy her. This film is an excellent sci-fi putting in many never before seen special effects, and even today watching this makes you feel like you are a part of that futuristic life.
Just a couple of points to add
The "complete" Metropolis now out with the original film score is a revelation...Don't miss it.

(Possible spoilers) The Thin Man in all his villainous glory and with his great moment of nobility restored, too often dropped from versions. Yoshiwara finally revealed to us in Georgi's wild night of frenzied partying. Josaphat given new life as scrappy fighter and courageous friend. Freder getting to really show his hero chops in the Workers' City flood. Rotwang's real plan and motivation revealed properly and fully. And Maria/roboHel, resplendent and indescribable. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Argentine film distributor who loved this film enough to buy the uncut copy just after premiere and keep it (more or less) safe and to the dedicated film preservers there who found and saved it for us.

If you haven't seen the 2010 restoration, you must.
LANGmark Film
Fritz Lang's masterpiece, and one of the most influential of all films, "Metropolis" is a stunning portrait of a futuristic city. With the look later adopted by "Minority Report", "I, Robot", and practically everything of the sort, Metropolis is ruled by Joh Fredersen, whose son Freder enjoys the privileged life of the Club of the Sons and the entertainment district, among other things. One day, Freder ventures into the area of the machines, where workers are forced to work grueling ten hour shifts before returning to their small, overpopulated city, which by the way is underground, away from the privileged. The only thing keeping the workers from revolting is Maria, a young woman who preaches a mediator who will serve as the "heart" between the head and the hands. Freder becomes this mediator, although it is not without a serious threat to the entire city from Rotwang, a maniacal inventor who plans to destroy Metropolis. Full of biblical allusions such as the Tower of Babel, "Metropolis" sets the precedent for all science fiction. The "Matrix" trilogy is a perfect example of something that owes its existence to "Metropolis". The visuals are absolutely stunning when one considers that this was made 80 years ago. With these visuals and a great story, even someone who doesn't much care for silent cinema will find "Metropolis" worth watching.
_The_ perfect sci-fi movie!
This must be one of the greatest movies of all time. I found myself almost in a state of shock during the whole movie. Everything was perfect. The story was great, the filming was pure genius and the effects directly from another dimension.

I don't think any movie after this one have gotten so much out of the available effects of the time as this one. Nowadays they have super computers generating special effects. Sure they look good, but it's no big deal making them. Back in 1926 computers weren't even invented yet, all effects had to be done by hand or in simple editing. And when you take a look at all the thins that have been done in this movie, it's impossible not to get impressed. Huge buildings, explosions, flooding, picture phones (however did he come up with the very idea?), transformation sequences, robots and so on. No movie has ever pulled the limits of special effects as much as this one. Star Wars and Jurassic Park are also known as limit pullers in special effects, but they don't even come close.

Then you have the filming. Everything is perfect. The use of body language is tremendous, the light setting perfect, everything well timed and perfectly captured by the camera. I've never been witness to such a treat in filming other places.

And the story!!! Perfect in every detail. Intriguing, exciting and thrilling with lots of religious undertones and tyranic leaders. No wonder Hitler liked this movie...

I don't know how the original music of the film was, but the new music for the restored 139 minute version I saw was really good and moodseting.

All in all. This is one of the most perfect movies of all time, and it deserves anything it can get. Never has a 10/10 been as secure as for this movie...
Make sure you get the latest version!!!!
Metropolis is so gigantic and important a picture that its impact and genius can't be exaggerated. However, almost from the day filming was completed it has been subject to butchery. As a result, chunks of Fritz Lang's original vision have been lost forever, and the film exists in numerous dodgy, splotchy prints, hacked up and misedited, cut down and supplied with musical soundtracks that range from the completely inappropriate to wonderful modern techno-rock things which, nice though they are, are not what Lang had in mind.

Kino came out with a DVD just a few years ago that is a fantastic attempt to restore Lang's original. I am NOT shilling for Kino -- you don't have to buy it, as there are plenty of sources for super-cheap rentals, or you can borrow it from some libraries (or friends!) for free. The point is, if you intend to see this movie, and even if you have seen a videotape version of it before, see this latest version: the picture is super-clear and the lighting restored; every bit of Lang's film that survives is included; Lang's original title cards are restored; the bits that have been lost forever are discreetly replaced with a title card to summarize the action that you should be seeing, in a way that completely unobtrusively, but helpfully, clarifies the film; and the soundtrack is the restored musical score.

If your only experience of this movie has been a rocked-up modern club-kid version, or a creaky, shadowy poor print on video with a single cheery piano tune incessantly repeated as the score, see this latest restoration. It will become clear to you what all the excitement and angst was about back in Lang's day.
Good film, but not that good
I typically don't like silent films, but I decided to watch this one for two reasons. First, I usually like sci-fi movies, and second, Metropolis had received so many glowing reviews that I couldn't pass it up. However, my opinion of this film is below what most reviewers have been saying.

Kino's digitally remastered version on DVD is very impressive. The sound and picture quality are both excellent. However, I have to conclude that favorable reviews of this film are likely based on nostalgia, on the film's influence on future films, and on the incredible visual effects, given its year of release. Film history buffs and silent film fans should see this movie. I thought this was a good film, but not a great one. A rating of 8.3 is much too high, and at #93, there are plenty of better films ranked below it.

First, the good parts of the film: 1) The special effects are excellent for a pre-1930s film. 2) The mindlessness of the working class is portrayed well in how they work, the decisions they make, and in how easily they are led/misled. 3) The main character is well developed throughout the film, and the audience can relate to him well. 4) The film is visually stunning and impressive. 5) The story of the working class, vision of the future, "machine-men," etc. have had a very strong influence on many films which came later.

On the other hand, here is a list of what could have been done better: 1) Many scenes dragged on too long and were tedious. I can't imagine it being any longer than it already was. 2) The differences between the thinking class and the working class were not clear; both seemed to be pretty mindless. 3) The themes and ideas in the film have been explored better in other productions. 4) The set design and special effects are not as good as they are in the 1936 film, Things to Come. 5) Things to Come also has a far more interesting and creative vision of the future. 6) Joh Fredersen is not well developed, and his motives and decisions seem illogical for the leader of the "thinking" class. 7) There is no explanation for how the spiritual and motivational leader of the working class became so intelligent, capable, and/or competent. More background on Maria would have helped develop her character, and improved the film.

In its defense, it could be that I was not as impressed by this film simply because so many films which came after it have copied, borrowed, stolen, or re-worked ideas that appeared here first. Metropolis certainly was a trend-setter. Like I said before, I don't think this is a bad film. It's simply overrated, and I've seen plenty of films that are better but are rated lower.
The father of sci-fi cinema.
Silent movies are not for everyone. Neither are subtitles. Those brave enough to view a movie with no sound and words that are far and few between should definitely enjoy this silent masterpiece. One of the biggest productions of its time, Metropolis still holds its own when set design and special effects are compared. But what Metropolis really has is orginality. This German-Expressionist film had such originality in everything from its costumes to its views of a future (modern) city that its ideas can still be seen everywhere in modern sci-fi. Star Wars's C-3PO was based on Bridgette Helm's robot. Dark City and Brazil both have Metropolis look-a-like cities. This is a very good movie. It's too bad most movies don't have its originality.
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