Released in 1927, this legendary film has been re-edited many times, and much of the original material was thought lost. This superb presentation restores much of the previously missing material, and provides comprehensive descriptions of the still missing segments.
The story follows the doings of the inhabitants of the futuristic city, Metropolis. There is the over privileged upper class, who run everything and reap the reward, and the exploited workers, who actually do the work but live in poverty. There is revolution in the air, brewed by the beautiful Maria and Freder, the son of the city's sinister overlord Jon Frederson.
To help uncover the workers plans, Frederson turns to the inventor Rotwang, (played by a manic Rudolf Kleine-Rogge, who was pretty much designed for the role of the mad inventor) who has developed a robot. In a now famous scene, the robot is turned into a perfect replica of Maria and sent into the city to spy out the revolutionaries plans, and to stir up discord in the ranks.
This film stands alone in cinematic history for many reasons. The sheer ambition of the scale, the visionary futuristic nature, the amazing special effects and the amazing cinematography. It contains a series of now iconic images, instantly recognisable even today.
The shots are all carefully composed, the movements of the characters almost balletic, a feeling underlined by the superb orchestral score. Look, for example, at the wonderful scenes of worker 11811 having to move the hands on the clock machine, or the workers slaving at the machine Freder witnesses exploding as they frantically struggle to prevent the overload. It is simply breathtakingly choreographed and quite mesmerising. Such is the film's power that many of the images have permeated right through our culture, even being referenced in the opening sequence of Futurama!
A classic of the silent era, quite unlike any film I have ever seen.
This is yet another superb presentation from Eureka, with an excellently restored print of the film, restoring many sections previously thought lost. The soundtrack is a new full orchestral recording of the original score by Gottfried Huppertz, and fits the film beautifully. The interframe titles are all in German, but there is the option for subtitles in a variety of languages including English. There is an extensive booklet containing a detailed synopsis of the film (with descriptions of still missing segments) and several learned essays. The second disc is packed with interesting extras concerning the making, loss and restoration of the film.
An essential film for any film lover's collection.