METROPOLIS, a visionary and elaborate spectacle by director Fritz Lang is an epic projection of a futuristic city divided into a working and an elite class. Its exhilarating climax brings the city to its knees, as the classes clash against each other.
In the 21st century, a de-humanized proletariat labors non-stop in a miserable subterranean city beneath a luxurious city of mile-high skyscrapers, flying automobiles, palatial architectural idylls, tubes and tunnels. With stunningly inventive special effects, Lang's allegorical narrative and architectural vision creates a highly stylized vision of a not-so-unlikely future (especially for 1926 when the film was made). As the elite frolic above the clouds, thousands of miserable workers toil night and day inside the belly of the gigantic machine that runs the entire city. Metropolis is controlled by a sinister authoritarian whose son, Freder, rejects his father's callous philosophy and attitude towards laborers. Meek though they are, the workers are encouraged by Maria, a wistful young woman who wills her comrades to embrace patience and silent strength. Upon discovering her influence upon the workers, a mad scientist kidnaps Maria and creates a robot in her image that will incite the workers to revolt. As Freder races against time to save Maria and curtail the damage done by her doppelganger robot, Metropolis is enveloped in chaos and the classes are brought together in a breathtaking and highly moralistic climax.
Fritz Lang's last silent film is a highly stylized, architecturally striking classic of the German Expressionist movement. In the 21st-Century, a de-humanized proletariat labors non-stop in a miserable subterranean city beneath a luxurious municipality. The entire metropolis is controlled by a sinister authoritarian whose son, Freder, rejects his father's world philosophy and attitude towards laborers. Meek though they are, the workers are encouraged by Maria, a wistful young woman who assures her comrades that help is on its way. Upon discovering her influence, a mad scientist creates a Maria-look-alike that will incite the workers to revolt. When they do, the results are cataclysmic.
Theatrical Release: Janurary 10, 1927 (Germany) METROPOLIS was Fritz Lang's last silent film. METROPOLIS was the most expensive film ever made at its time. METROPOLIS was filmed at the UFA studios in Berlin in 1925-26. Fritz Lang was said to have conceived of Metropolis after a visit to the skyscrapers in New York City. Among the cast of Metropolis were 750 secondary actors and more than 30,000 extras.
"...Hallucinatory -- A nightmare without the reassurance of a steadying story line. Few films have ever been more visually exhilarating..." - 03/29/1998 Chicago Sun-Times, p.5
"...METROPOLIS has influenced both the genre and cinema itself to a degree that's difficult to overstate....[A] still-vital wellspring of creative inspiration..." - 12/01/2002 Box Office, p.61
"...From THE MATRIX back to BLADE RUNNER and even before, the movie has been a constant visual influence..." - 02/28/2003 USA Today, p.8E
"...The story, told in a flow of grandly visionary visuals, is as simple as myth..." - 02/28/2003 Entertainment Weekly, p.63
"...The visuals -- and the vision -- are breathtaking..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.4
"Set in a machine-run city of the future where captains of industry live in towers and exploited workers dwell underground, METROPOLIS was the most expensive European film ever made..." - 05/14/2010 Los Angeles Times
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] luminous and resplendent visual masterpiece..." - 08/24/2010 Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "The grandeur, imagery and ambition of the project show why it still influences filmmakers in all manner of genres." - 01/01/2011 Uncut
"[A] sci-fi masterpiece..." - 01/01/2011 Sight and Sound
"The film is set in a stunningly designed future city, created through a combination of ingenious special effects and gigantic sets..." - 11/19/2010 New York Times