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Metropolis [VHS] (1927)

Brigitte Helm , Alfred Abel , Fritz Lang  |  VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (666 customer reviews)


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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
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (666 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JGIX

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
564 of 602 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last May 24, 2003
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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264 of 284 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LUMPING MY REVIEWS: ALL EDITIONS REVIEWED HERE February 24, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Length: 4:35 Mins
**EDIT 1/5/13: ADDED REVIEW OF 2011 KINO "GIORGIO MORODER PRESENTS METROPOLIS" BLU-RAY/DVD**

**EDIT 12/9/10: ADDED REVIEW OF 2010 KINO "THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS" BLU-RAY/DVD**

**EDIT 12/9/10: ADDED REVIEW OF 2010 REGION-B EUREKA "METROPOLIS" BLU-RAY**

**ORIGINAL REVIEW 2/24/03: REVIEW OF 2003 KINO "METROPOLIS" DVD

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. Moroder, a record producer and an Oscar-winning songwriter ("Take My Breath Away", "Flashdance...
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First is Still the Best August 18, 2002
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it was the original soundtrack and I would have liked to get both that and the rock soundtrack
Published 4 days ago by sumac
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Future
One of the first -- and best -- science fiction movies. Fritz Lang's vision is astounding.
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Original as it was initially intended - i see funny remarks of how...
I cant wait to get my hands on the restored Georgio Moroder's Metropolis - i have had this on VHS for years and almost wore it out i also have the Fully restored Original as it was... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Jerome Trutmann
5.0 out of 5 stars I did enyoy the film, and the story behind ...
I did enyoy the film, and the story behind the movie's restoration. Also, it is going to be a challenge to delve into some of the symbolism in a number of the scenes. Read more
Published 15 days ago by loggins792
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground breaking SciFi classic
What a vision for 1927 and without the help of CGI. I had a copy of Metropolis from before, but with the missing segments restored into it the story is completely different. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Robert J Pruett
5.0 out of 5 stars a Classic
Classic SF Movie on DVD
Published 28 days ago by A. R. Monahan
4.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Visual Feast or a Broken-backed Mess?
It is both ironic and unfortunate that Fritz Lang is best remembered for one of his worst films. When he had finished Metropolis in 1926 he declared himself dis-satisfied with the... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Film Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a wonderful idea and now brings this masterpiece full circle
The new material is presented in a slightly different fashion so we are aware that these are the new images.It's a wonderful idea and now brings this masterpiece full circle. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Ann Wagner
4.0 out of 5 stars 1920s silent classic becomes a 1980s rock opera
How do you make a 60-year-old classic silent film accessible to a contemporary audience? Why turn it into a music video, of course! Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Great product. Quality of the remaster outstanding.
Published 1 month ago by Jess Gross
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Topic From this Discussion
Dear Amazon: Please Fix Reviews Database
You hit the nail on the head. I get so tired of reading a review and then finding out it was for a VHS version or some other DVD version that was released a few years ago, and not the most current edition I'm the most interested in. And this is not only for 'Metropolis', but for ANY movie/TV show... Read More
Dec 26, 2010 by E. Bennett |  See all 5 posts
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
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
Complete Metropolis -- Defective DVD?
Mr. Bennett, I too am looking forward to buying this version on DVD. In my opinion, Metropolis is one of the all time classics of cinema. The problem you've experienced is disturbing to say the least. I will track this discussion, and would respectfully ask that you update your situation with any... Read More
Jan 1, 2011 by gork57 |  See all 6 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
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