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Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray] 
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With its dizzying depiction of a futuristic cityscape and alluring female robot, Metropolis is among the most famous of all German films and the mother of sci-fi cinema (an influence on Blade Runner and Star Wars, among countless other films). Directed by the legendary Fritz Lang (M, Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse,The Big Heat, etc.), its jaw-dropping production values, iconic imagery, and modernist grandeur it was described by Luis Buñuel as 'a captivating symphony of movement' remain as powerful as ever.
Drawing on and defining classic sci-fi themes, Metropolis depicts a dystopian future in which society is thoroughly divided in two: while anonymous workers conduct their endless drudgery below ground their rulers enjoy a decadent life of leisure and luxury. When Freder (Gustav Fröhlich) ventures into the depths in search of the beautiful Maria (Brigitte Helm in her debut role), plans of rebellion are revealed and a Maria-replica robot is programmed by mad inventor Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) and master of Metropolis Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel) to incite the workers into a self-destructive riot.
A'Holy Grail' among film finds, Metropolis is presented here in a newly reconstructed and restored version, as lavish and spectacular as ever thanks to the painstaking archival work of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and the discovery of 25 minutes of footage previously thought lost to the world. Lang's enduring epic can finally be seen for the first time in 83 years as the director originally intended, and as seen by German cinema-goers in 1927.
150-minute reconstructed and restored 2010 version (including 25 minutes of footage previously thought lost to the world)
- Wraparound embossed sleeve
- Pristine new HD transfer (1080p on Blu-ray)
- New 2010 symphony orchestra studio recording of the original 1927 Gottfried Huppertz score in 5.1
- Newly translated optional English subtitles as well as the original German intertitles
- Full-length audio commentary by David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Die Reise nach Metropolis (2010, 53 minutes), a documentary about the film
- 2010 re-release trailer
- 56-page booklet featuring archival interviews with Fritz Lang, a 1927 review by Luis Buñuel, articles by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Karen Naundorf, and restoration notes by Martin Koerber.
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 the DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
[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).
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.....Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Please be aware that this is a U.S copy and not viewable in U.K!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It is no wonder this film caused a stir back when it was initially released. It was well ahead of it's time in theme, special effects and sets. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer