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Metropolis: The Masters of Cinema series [DVD] [1927]


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Product details

  • Actors: Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Frolich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Fritz Rasp
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Producers: Erich Pommer
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jan. 2005
  • Run Time: 185 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HIPQ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,459 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Fritz Lang's Metropolis is perhaps the most famous German film of all time, and certainly one of the most influential of all silent films. In its lifetime it has been: drastically re-edited (shortly after release); unseen for decades; revisioned with a modern music score in the 1980s; and thanks to the work of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and a network of archives all over the world, restored in 2001. This restoration of Metropolis is almost certainly the most complete and authentic version possible of Lang's original 1927 vision.

From Amazon.co.uk

Fritz Lang's Expressionistic masterwork continues to exert its influence today, from Chaplin's Modern Times (1936) to Dr Strangelove (1963), and into the late 1990s with Dark City (1998). In the stratified society of the future (Y2K no less), the son of a capitalist discovers the atrocious conditions of the factory slaves, falling in love with the charismatic Maria in the bargain, who preaches nonviolence to the workers. But even the benevolent leadership of Maria is a challenge to the privileged class, so they have the mad-scientist Rotwang concoct a robot double to take her place and incite the workers to riot. The story is melodrama, but it's the powerful imagery that is so memorable. One of the most arresting images has legions of cowed workers filing listlessly into the great maw of the all-consuming machine-god Moloch. Unfortunately, the print used for this DVD is unfocused, scratchy, and five minutes short, altogether unworthy of a visionary masterpiece. It may be too much to hope for the complete film to be restored (only two hours of the original three-hour film are extant), but a clean transfer from a fine-grain negative ought to be possible. And why, when there are other possible future Metropolises to be had, should we downtrodden masses accept this junk? --Jim Gay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 129 people found the following review helpful By M on 11 Sept. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I recently saw this newly restored version of Metropolis at Chichester Film Festival (in a Blue Ray presentation) and cannot recommend it highly enough - whether you know this film or not it should be seen. The inclusion of the previously missing 25 minutes (easily noticed due to the poor state of the source material) makes an enormous difference to the film, significantly changing the story line and the overall feel of the film. The poor quality of the inserted film does not diminish its importance and effect (ranging from a few seconds here and there, to whole scenes) but combines to effectively make a new film - or more accurately the resurrection of a lost one (the original 1927 premiered cut). Of course this version does not affect the obvious faults of the film but certainly makes for a more satisfying experience - it completes (apart from about 4 minutes apparently) and confirms the place this film has in the history of cinema. Whether you are interested in silent movies (then I'd highly recommend PiccadillyPiccadilly [1929] [DVD]), the development of cinema (then you should also see Fritz Lang's MM [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray] [1931]), special effects (and what incredible effects!) or the history of science fiction on film, this version must be seen.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 April 2000
Format: VHS Tape
An interesting and fascinating look at German silent cinema, and in particular, how sci-fi got started. This 1926 film is set in the year 2000, and takes the form of the fictional city of "Metropolis". Though often considered a pro-fascist film (a claim which Fritz Lang always vehemently denied), there is little to suggest that there is any intended Fascist agenda. The film once again draws on female contrast. For example, the contrast between the "pure woman" (Maria), and the "impure woman" (the robot Maria), further exemplifying the dichotomy between good and evil. Metropolis paints a negative image of mechanisation, with the machines running the city, yet mankind is worse off. The social critique is also there, with a 3 tier social structure, reflected in the habitats of the classes. The geometric mise-en-scène is seen as a representation of the rigidly ordered and structured society also. Scripted by Thea Von Harbou (Lang's wife), this film can truly be regarded as a landmark, and the first sci-film. Quoted as inspiration by many modern directors, and similarities can be seen in many areas (ie C3P0 was modelled on the Metropolis robot). My advice is to see this movie - its simply fantastic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Becca on 2 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD
I first saw Metropolis when I was 14 years old, and was bought this version - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metropolis-Two-Disc-Special-Edition/dp/B00007JGIW/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1357123432&sr=8-6 - which was the most complete version at the time, for my birthday. I absolutely loved every moment of it, and was always disappointed whenever inter-tiles appeared to explain what happened during the missing segments, presumed lost forever.

When I heard the announcement that most of the missing footage had been recovered in Buenos Aires, I couldn't be more excited - and impatiently checked the news almost every week to see if the restored version was available on DVD! And finally it was; and I couldn't be more happy with the result.

The restored footage is sadly in a bad state (although after watching the documentary they've worked miracles with it!) but it is entirely watchable and it adds so much that was missing to the film that I felt like I was watching it again for the first time. The characters of the Thin Man and Josaphat are more fully fleshed out, we find out what happened to 11811 when he went missing en route to Josaphat's apartment, and see a lot more interaction between Rotwang and Joh (the fact that the American censors cut this because it didn't make sense is staggeringly silly!).

Really, this version fleshes out so much of the story and characterisation that it renders past versions moot, BUT the past versions are still good within their own right and pay testament to what an impact this film left on film-lovers - they never gave up looking for the lost footage, and they found it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Clint Stallone on 28 Nov. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Specifications -

Case Type: Slimmer U.S style plastic blu-ray case with outer card slip case.

Disc: MPEG-4 AVC encode, Region B locked.

Video: 1.37:1 aspect ratio in a 16:9 frame (black space appears on the left and right of the picture), 1080p/24fps. Black and White.

Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, and DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 surround.

Subtitles: Optional English subtitles on the feature film and supplements. The intertitles and credits are in the original German language.

Supplements:
Audio Commentary with critics David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
2010 Re-release Trailer (2mins, HD).
"Voyage To Metropolis" documentary (55mins, HD).
56 page booklet.

Censorship?: This is a restored and reconstructed version (149 mins) of the film that attempts to replicate the initial German release. For the films international release in 1927 Paramount pictures cut the film down to 90 mins and since then numerous versions have been released (including the "Moroder" version in the 1980's featuring popular music of the time), this version however is the definitive one. Passed without cuts by the BBFC - PG (mild violence and nudity).

I recently saw this film at my local arthouse cinema. It was the first time i saw a silent film projected in the theatre and i have to say the restoration is stunning. The newly found footage (from an archive in Argentina) is from a duped 16mm print (the original was 35mm) and is in bad shape but is the only surviving footage available and is to be expected. This blu-ray edition captures the theatrical screening perfectly. The transfer is superb with noticable grain and sharp picture (although some footage is a bit blurry, but it is a very old film).
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