Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge,
1926, 120 Minutes, Directed by: Fritz Lang
Metropolis takes place in 2026, when the populace is divided between workers
who must live in the dark underground and the rich who enjoy a futuristic city
of splendor. The tense balance of these two societies is realized through images
that are among the most famous of the 20th century, many of which presage such
sic-fi landmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Lavish and
spectacular, with elaborate sets and modern science fiction style, Metropolis
stands today as the crowning achievement of the German silent cinema. —
audiences will know this film from the 1984 re-release running at
87 minutes with a soundtrack by disco king Giorgio (Midnight
Express, Flashdance) Morroder.
music's cack, but Morroder should be thanked for giving modern
audiences a chance to view this hugely influential sci-fi classic
and see where George Lucas got the idea for C3P0 and where Ridley
Scott got some of his ideas for the futuristic Los Angeles in
of course, aren't the only fans of this film. Apparently Adolf
Hitler was so impressed by the film - despite its very obviously
socialist leanings! - that he got his propaganda minister Goebbels to offer its director (Fritz Lang) some kind of high
post at his ministry.
The legendary German expressionist director
(who detested the Nazis) calmly listened to the proposal, said he
would consider it and was on a plane to permanent exile in
America by that evening! Sadly Lang's wife (who was more
enamored of the Nazis) declined to join him and the role
envisaged for him was probably fulfilled later on by Leni
Riefenstahl who gave Hitler (and the world) propagandistic
"classics" such as Triumph of the Will.
After World War II Riefenstahl
would claim that she never knew what the Nazis were on about. Maybe she didn't -
but Fritz Lang as sure as hell did!
Top 100 Sci-Fi
of all time