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This review is from: Metropolis: The Masters of Cinema series [DVD]  (DVD)
Set in the far future of 2000, a future where the privileged few live on the backs of a hidden mass of workers knowing nothing but their dark barracks and the machines that ruled their lives, Metropolis tells the stories of Maria, a teacher who urges the workers to wait for the earthly paradise; Joh Fredersen, who ruled the city; his son; and the mad Scientist Rotwang who hated Fredersen for prospering on the back of Rotwang's inventions. So when Fredersen asked Rotwang to... replace Maria with a mechanical copy, Rotwang sees a perfect chance to gain his revenge!
Despite the age of the film, and the fact that the year 2000 wasn't anything like this, the film still has the power to shock. In particular, the conditions that are endured by the underground slaves are truly horrific.
Even though it nearly bankrupted the film company - there was a cast of of almost 38,000 and it cost over $2 million in 1920s money, it was to become Fritz Lang's directorial monument and it was a massive hit with the emerging Nazi party, leading to Hitler offering Lang the job of making prestige pictures for them. Lang left Germany immediately for Hollywood.
Looking at the film and seeing the conditions that the workers lived in, it was not just the way the film is ended that made an impression on the Nazi leadership.
This is the original black and white version with the musical score based on the original Gottfried Huppertz score. Unfortunately the restorers did not have a complete version of the film to work from. But the silent nature of the sound track enabled them to fill in the gaps with explanitory story boards.