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Metropolis (Director's Cut) [VHS] [1927]

4.5 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Fritz Rasp
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Writers: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
  • Producers: Erich Pommer
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka
  • VHS Release Date: 27 Jan. 2003
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJJQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,089 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Yet another revamped version of Fritz Lang's 1926 silent classic. In the year 2000, industrialist John Frederson rules over a giant city where the workers exist only as an underclass. They call for rebellion, but their leader Maria urges them to wait for a mediator. When Frederson kidnaps Maria and replaces her with a robot replica, the workers are incited to revolt. Giorgio Moroder produced a shorter, colourised version of the film in 1984, complete with rock soundtrack. This version contains a newly recorded and digitally mastered score.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Blu-ray
How do you get a balanced review of a new release when Amazon bundle old reviews of the DVD version (as old as 2001 !!!) with the new ones. CHUMPS. Get your act together Amazon this is a frequent fault.
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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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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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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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