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

Alfred Abel , Brigitte Helm , Fritz Lang    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
Price: £34.94
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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
  • 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 (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HIPQ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,184 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

If you think you know Fritz Lang's Metropolis backwards, this special edition will come as a revelation. Shortly after its premiere, the expensive epic--originally well over two hours--was pulled from distribution and re-edited against Lang's wishes, and this truncated, simplified form is what we have known ever since 1926. Though not quite as fully restored as the strapline claims, this 118-minute version is the closest we are likely to get to Lang's original vision, complete with tactful linking titles to fill in the scenes that are irretrievably missing. Not only does this version add many scenes unseen for decades, but it restores their order in the original version.

Until now, Metropolis has usually been rated as a spectacular but simplistic science fiction film, but this version reveals that the futuristic setting is not so much prophetic as mythical, with elements of 1920s architecture, industry, design and politics mingled with the mediaeval and the Biblical to produce images of striking strangeness: a futuristic robot burned at the stake, a steel-handed mad scientist who is also a 15th Century alchemist, the trudging workers of a vast factory plodding into the jaws of a machine that is also the ancient God Moloch. Gustav Frohlich's performance as the hero who represents the heart is still wildly overdone, but Rudolf Klein-Rogge's engineer Rotwang, Alfred Abel's Master of Metropolis and, especially, Brigitte Helm in the dual role of saintly saviour and metal femme fatale are astonishing. By restoring a great deal of story delving into the mixed motivations of the characters, the wild plot now makes more sense, and we can see that it is as much a twisted family drama as epic of repression, revolution and reconciliation. A masterpiece, and an essential purchase.

On the DVD: Metropolis has been saddled with all manner of scores over the years, ranging from jazz through electronica to prog-rock, but here it is sensibly accompanied by the orchestral music Gottfried Huppertz wrote for it in the first place. An enormous amount of work has been done with damaged or incomplete elements to spruce the image up digitally, and so even the scenes that were in the film all along shine with a wealth of new detail and afford a far greater appreciation for the brilliance of art direction, special effects and Helm's clockwork sexbomb.

A commentary written but not delivered by historian Ennio Patalas covers the symbolism of the film and annotates its images, but the production information is left to a measured but unchallenging 45-minute documentary on the second disc (little is made of the astounding parallel between the screen story in which Klein-Rogge's character tries to destroy the city because the Master stole his wife and the fact that Lang married the actor's wife Thea von Harbou, authoress of the Metropolis novel and screenplay!). There are galleries of production photographs and sketches; biographies of all the principals; and an illustrated lecture on the restoration process which uses before and after clips to reveal just how huge a task has been accomplished in this important work. --Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis, 2010 - A Classic Rediscovered 11 Sep 2010
By M
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
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[I've added some photos to the item page showing the steelbook packaging and the internal arrangement/contents]

There is a dedicated website about this new edition. I have added the URL for it as an Amazon 'Customer Discussion' post on the item page (as reviews cannot contain external Internet links).
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This is a German film originating from 1927, so obviously is filmed in black-and-white and it relies on dialogue 'frames' interjected into the footage and a musical soundtrack to emphasise what occurs. Considering when it was made it is extremely innovative with the futuristic depiction and the grand/often complicated production aspects.

Being interested in it but not having watched the film before I pre-ordered this steelbook Blu-ray/DVD combination as the previews stated that, considering how many different iterations have been issued beforehand, it was likely to be about as good as we can get for completeness, restoration quality and originality (especially regarding the musical soundtrack). Whilst a bit pricey, this Limited Edition issue can be considered something of a treasured investment, not just for the updates but because of the 'package' as a whole. On Blu-ray the basic 'stock' of the film looks very good and the audio is quite superb if you can exploit properly the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. In comparison to the DVD version there is an improvement for the picture, but the difference is especially significant for the audio presentation.

For the uninitiated, the (very) basics of the plot are that a father (who is the master of 'Metropolis') and son are at odds with each other, with the son unhappy with the way the workers of the city are treated; ultimately, he sets out on a path of rebellion on their behalf.....
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi? It All Starts Here. 19 Nov 2010
By Brady Orme VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray
Don't take the title literally, of course cinematic Sci-Fi existed before Fritz Lang filmed METROPOLIS... However, for most people the Sci-Fi we enjoy today have this film as their Primer so basically yes, this is where it all began. Having been a fan of the film for years I was lucky enough to receive my limited-edition Steelbook early from Eureka! themselves, so I can report exactly how this film looks in 1080p, and the extras it contains.

Firstly, it's a print that is comprised of many different sources so don't expect a pristine experience from start to finish... the original METROPOLIS that premiered in Germany was 40 minutes longer than the version most commonly seen (I'm going to forget Giorgio Moroder's synth-pop mutation ever existed, thanks), which was butchered and truncated after bombing at the box-office. Thanks to a recent discovery of an almost-complete print in Buenos Aires F.W. Murnau-Stiftung in Munich was able to take the extra footage from this print, splice it in to the familiar version and presto... Cinema History back where it belongs. It must be remembered however, that the Buenos Aires print was in exceptionally poor condition and it shows when these frames are shown, and a scene detailing Maria's escape from Rotwang is still absent and is simply narrated via text... But so what? The film is 83 years old and it's a privilege to see it again, especially if we remember that we may have never gotten the chance to see it.

Extras-wise, I found the extras on the Blu-Ray slightly lacking from MOCs usual banquet, comprising of a commentary, trailer and German documentary on history of the film and it's restoration. This could be due to the size of the high-definition movie file however.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb restoration of Lang Masterpiece 12 April 2006
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Metropolis as originally conceived by Fritz Lang only survived a short premiere run at one Berlin cinema after which it was withdrawn and the negative sent for re-editing to Paramount the Holly wood associates of the German UFA company.

Paramount considered Metropolis incomprehensible and created a new simplified plot line discarding twenty five percent of the film, and for over fifty years this was the only version available. The vast majority of the missing material is now considered lost forever.

However as a result of research in the 1990s it was possible to definitively reconstruct the plot and the current restoration incorporating all the available material was undertaken. The missing sections of the film are narrated by means of the original captions for the missing sections and additional notes. In addition there is an excellent commentary filling in the gaps.

So at last we can see Lang's original 1927 vision of a horrific future with a favoured elite living on the surface of the earth enjoying a life of luxury, and a vast army of nameless workers living in a grim underground city toiling ten hour shifts.

Freder (Gustav Frolich) son of the ruler of Metropolis and one of the favoured elite investigates the plight of the workers and is so horrified decides to do something about it, and falls in love with Maria (Brigitte Helm) who gives a stunning performance in her first film role. Maria is a leader of the workers seeking justice for them by mediation and sees Freder as the mediator. A major sub plot is the enmity between the ruler (Alfred Abel) and Rotwang (Rudolph Klein-Rogge) who is attempting to create a mechanical version of the dead woman they both loved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon Prime version.
This is the worst print of any commercially available film I have ever seen. Don't waste your time; buy the excellent 2010 DVD instead.
Published 8 days ago by redmap
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So good to see the restored film! So lucky so much missing footage was found.
Published 13 days ago by Tronix
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi Must
Must have this for you Sci-fi collection, just amazing considering how old the film actually is.
Published 19 days ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece.
This is only the second silent film I have ever seen, but after watching it, it has now become my favourite B&W film ever made. What can I say? Read more
Published 26 days ago by Chris R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great!
Published 1 month ago by amber
3.0 out of 5 stars Why no blu-ray?
The most obvious answer to that would probably be the simple fact that this film has not been restored. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Takeshi Tetsuryu
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile buy!
Excellent version which hasn't been available on UK other than laser disc or video. Music gives a good atmosphere to the film.
Published 1 month ago by MR S E PICKARD
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing.
Very interesting movie, best watched late at night, black tea in hand and a cat on your lap.
Published 2 months ago by Maz
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have realised this is a old film so not ...
Should have realised this is a old film so not quite up to Star Wars or other block buster standard. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. D. J. Hackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Even More Metropolis
Eureka seem to be engaged in a quest to present more and more of Metropolis to us whenever they are able. Read more
Published 3 months ago by PJayBe
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