Metropolis (Germany 1927/2010)
Cert 15, 145 mins
Directed by Fritz Lang
Silent classic with original music score
An astonishing achievement, Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece took 16 months to film, with a cast of 37,383, and is the most expensive silent film ever made. Metropolis appears to be a utopia, but whilst the wealthy live in luxury in towering skyscrapers, an army of slaves works underground. The workers are led by the saintly Maria, who urges them not to rebel, but the machinations of the city’s ruler and a mad scientist soon leads to the creation of cinema’s iconic robot.
Its influence on the rest of SF film and fiction is immense, not just on the naming of Superman’s city and the design of C3-PO in Star Wars, but also in the vast city it brings to startling visual life.
Butchered for its original release, this is the newly-restored version, premiered at the Berlin film festival after a near complete copy was discovered in Buenos Aires two years ago.