Lyft Industrial Deals Beauty Most Anticipated Fall Children's Books Shop new men's suiting nav_sap_hiltonhonors_launch Learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited Get 10% cashback on thousands of musical instruments with your Amazon.com Store Credit Card Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Tote Bags Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon Fall TV Binge-worthy season premieres are here Fall TV Binge-worthy season premieres are here Fall TV Binge-worthy season premieres are here  Introducing Echo Show Introducing All-New Fire HD 10 with Alexa hands-free $149.99 Kindle Oasis, unlike any Kindle you've ever held Tailgating PSFF17_gno

Customer Review

on August 18, 2002
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. Brigitte Helm also stars as Maria, the film's heroine, and hers is a standout performance.
Also of interest is the similarity between the character, Joh Frederson (the "master" of the city of Metropolis, played by Alfred Abel), to Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich. Combined with the workers, whose underground city seems like a concentration camp, and whose uniforms bear a startling resemblance to the ones worn in the Nazi concentration camps. This is especially odd considering that the film predates Hitler's rise by almost a decade. Those similarities are just one reason that the Nazis were so keen to destroy any trace of the film. It is truly a shame that Lang did not bring the negative when he escaped from Germany to the USA in the thirties.
In most science fiction, the message is about the human condition, and Metropolis is no exception; the moral is that the brain that plans and the hands that build need a mediator: the heart. That's as true today as it was in 1926.
At this writing, this version is no longer in print, which is a crying shame. Other versions are available, and I can recommend many of them, although some are made from prints that are in horrendous condition, but if you can find an affordable copy of the Moroder version, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
44 comments| 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like so:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Please write at least one word
You must purchase at least one item from Amazon to post a comment
A problem occurred while submitting your comment. Please try again later.

There was a problem loading comments right now. Please try again later.