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Metropolis

4.1 out of 5 stars 791 customer reviews

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(Nov 16, 2010)
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(Nov 09, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Set at around the year 2000 (then a lifetime away in the future), a mammoth city is ruled by the super-efficient industrialist Jon Fredersen (Alfred Abel) and, on the surface, appears to be a Utopian dream with wealthy inhabitants living in palatial apartments set in colossal glass and concrete spires. But, underground it's a different story; armies of slaves work grueling shifts to maintain the luxurious lifestyles of their masters. The workers, a subhuman species of sluggish creatures, are led by the "saintly" Maria (Brigitte Helm), who urges them not to rebel but to wait patiently for the arrival of the "Mediator." Fredersen kidnaps Maria and orders mad scientist Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) to create a robot replica to take her place. His plan is doomed when the evil mechanical Maria incites the massed workers to revolt and destroy everything in sight. Taking 16 months to film, and with a cast of 37,383 and costing over $2 million at 1920s prices, everything about this epic German science-fiction film, which was inspired by the towering Manhattan skyline, is gigantic. Although director Fritz Lang hated the ending of his film, it was an instant hit with Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, who first saw it in a small German town. When they came to power in 1933, they asked Lang to make prestige pictures for the Nazi party. He packed his bags and left for Hollywood the same day. On its first release, it was a box-office flop and nearly bankrupted its financiers UFA, Germany's largest film production company. Metropolis is now a monument to Fritz Lang's artistic vision and film craftsmanship. This version is the closest yet to the director's original version.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Fritz Rasp
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Writers: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
  • Producers: Erich Pommer
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (791 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JGIW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,677 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Metropolis" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS was very successful with both critics and audiences when it debuted in 1927 Berlin--but it was thereafter edited for distribution by Channing Pollock, who disliked it and removed great chunks of the film and substantially altered the storyline. The resulting film was admired for its visual style, but it proved a critical and box office disappointment. Neglected in the wake of sound, surviving prints of the film were left to corrode and decay--and when it began to reach the home market via VHS and DVD the results were very hit or miss; Blackhawk released a fairly credible version of the truncated film to home video, but for the most part the quality of these releases varied from barely mediocre to downright unwatchable.

Until now.

A great chunk of METROPOLIS--perhaps as much a quarter of more--has been forever lost, but this Kino Video DVD release offers the single best version of the film available. The previously cut footage that still exists has been restored; gaps in the film have been bridged by the occasional use of stills and explanatory title cards; the film itself has been painstakingly and digitally restored; and the soundtrack is the Gottfried Huppertz original created for the film's 1927 Berlin debut. In seeing this version of METROPOLIS, I was struck by how very differently it reads from the previously available truncated version. The visual style and the story itself are much more exciting and cohesive, and in the wake of this restoration it becomes impossible to deny the film status as landmark of international cinema.

Freder Fredersen (Gustav Frohlich) is the son of Joh Fredersen (Alfred Able), who reigns over the great city of Metropolis.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Length: 4:35 Mins
**1/5/13: ADDED REVIEW OF 2011 KINO "GIORGIO MORODER PRESENTS METROPOLIS" BLU-RAY (ASIN: B005J7K964) AND DVD (ASIN: B005J7K950) **

**12/9/10: ADDED REVIEW OF 2010 KINO "THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS" BLU-RAY (ASIN: B0040QYROK) AND DVD (ASIN: B0040QYROA)**

**12/9/10: ADDED REVIEW OF 2010 REGION-B EUREKA "METROPOLIS" BLU-RAY (Amazon UK ASIN: B0041SMF50)**

**2/24/03: REVIEW OF 2003 KINO "METROPOLIS" DVD (ASIN: B00007L4MJ)

I'm lumping my reviews together, just like what Amazon is doing! The above 4 video editions of the German silent classic will be covered in this review. Also, see my video clip on the left to see disc covers, film clip comparisons, etc. (Those who can't see my video clip, especially iOS users who can't see flash video, please go to Amazon's FULL site and look under my review for the comment section, where I posted an external link to the video.)

Released in 1927, amid the golden age of the silent film era, Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS is a stylistic tour-de-force that has remained influential for the rest of the century, inspiring films from "Frankenstein" in 1931, "Bladerunner" in 1982, to "Dark City" in 1997. With its imaginative set design, elaborate photography, bold editing, and its then groundbreaking special effects, this German sci-fi silent classic exemplifies the highly inventive period of German Expressionism, which also include such film masterworks as "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligaru", "Nosferatu", "The Last Laugh", and Lang's "Die Nibelungen".

In 2011, Kino released the 1984 "Giorgio Moroder" version of the classic on Blu-ray and DVD. This version controversially contains a rock score accompaniment which, to many people, myself included, is quite inappropriate for the film.
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Format: VHS Tape
Austrian director Fritz Lang and his wife, Thea Von Harbou, made this first-ever science fiction film in Germany in 1926. While all extant copies are in poor to bad condition, the story and cinematography are so wonderful as to still hold the interest of a large audience.
There are many versions of this film on the market, with running times anywhere from 63 to 139 minutes, but this is by far my favorite. While it only has an 81 minute running time, it is actually one of the most complete versions available, because Georgio Moroder went back to the original script, and using still photos from the production, reinserted scenes that were cut from the film for it's American release. (The Nazis destroyed all original German prints of the film, as well as the negative.) The intertitles, which accounted for about 20 minutes of the film's running time, were replaced with subtitles, and his version uses the 24-frames-per-second projector speed that modern films are shown at, while the longer versions are shown at the historically correct 18-frames-per-second. He trimmed more time off by careful editing, to give the film a more contemporary pacing.
He also added a "contemporary" score, as well as subtle washes of color, which actually aids in understanding the film, while not detracting from Karl Fruend and Guenther Rittau's marvelous b&w cinematography. In fact, in some of the scenes where the film has been severely damaged, it helps accentuate the contrast.
There are many classic images in this film, including shots of the city (where monorails and bi-planes coexist), but the best known is probably Brigitte Helm as "Hel" the robot. In fact, people who have never seen, or even heard of the film have seen clips of Rotwang (Hel's creator) and Hel in the laboratory.
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The "Metropolis" version shown on PBS
Sorry I added the same question but didn't know the version I am looking for was the one you mentioned in an earlier post---the PBS broadcast---maybe the Giorgio Moroder version is the one I am thinking of. Is that available, do you know?
Sep 2, 2007 by William G. Collins |  See all 17 posts
Dear Amazon: Please Fix Reviews Database
What I've seen in the description for Amazon's "The Complete Metropolis" does not exactly inspire confidence. How can I be certain I'm getting the right version? I am only interested in the 2010 version with the new footage discovered in Argentina-not the 2003 restoration. I'll be one... Read More
Jan 1, 2011 by gork57 |  See all 5 posts
fullest version?
The Kino Complete Metropolis has the most footage by over a half an hour of recently discovered film in Buenos Aries. The thing about silent films is they are sometimes run at different speeds. Thus the longer running time. The Kino "Complete Metropolis" is the definitive version to... Read More
Jul 28, 2013 by Shawn Steinbach |  See all 2 posts
The "rock" music version?
No. You're looking for the Giorgio Moroder Version. (Only on VHS) legally.
Sep 4, 2007 by James Wyatt |  See all 13 posts
Metropolis Footage Discovered
Greetings! Like you I am a fan of "Metropolis." I have two versions: an older cut-up movie (1927) put out on DVD by the Canadian company St. Clair Entertainment Group Inc.; and a late '90's "remaster" that purports to be the most original version. Apparently the original movie... Read More
Jul 15, 2008 by B. A. Dilger |  See all 17 posts
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