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Metropolis (1927)
Photo: Kino Lorber

Metropolis (1927)

  Movie House Memories Episode #102
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Universum Film (UFA) released Metropolis to theaters on March 13, 1927. German filmmaker, Fritz Lang, directed the film, and his wife of the time, Thea von Harbou wrote the screenplay. The film stars Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, and Gustav Fröhlich.

Metropolis Movie Summary

Set in the future, Metropolis is the tale of two cities. Above ground, the citizens live happily in decadence. Freder Fredersen is enjoying his frivolous life as the son of the town mastermind, John Fredersen.

One day Freder notices a beautiful woman with a group of children and he follows her. He discovers that under his utopia lies another city full of despair. This city is full of workers that slave away in dreary conditions to maintain the above ground luxuries of metropolis.

Freder listens to Maria’s teaching on the “hands” (workers) joining the “head” (the powerful people above) through a “mediator” (the heart). Freder falls for Maria and it becomes clear that he is the heart, the savior that Maria is preaching about.

When John Freder learns that his son is siding with the workers, he turns to his friend Rotwang the inventor. Rotwang’s real intent is more sinister than John Freder can imagine. He has created a robot to confuse the workers. They unknowingly are working toward the destruction of Metropolis, above and below ground.


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  • Eddie

    Can’t wait till you make Patrick watch Greed, Chris! I live in LA, so I’ve been lucky enough to see several silent films in theatres with live music over the years. I think its much more easier to to get into silent films that way, there aren’t any outside distractions, the film can just wash over you. Guess you can say that with a lot of films in general, but it feels different with them especially. Regrading the run time, silent films often can have that manipulated by the frames per second. I believe they manipulated metropolis’ time in a version that came out in the 80s with a Synth score and it was only 90 mins. When a movie you guys review has so many versions, do you try to make sure you all end up watching the same version?

    • MHMChris

      Yeah there was an 80s version, but I have never seen it. Typically, we don’t coordinate the version to watch. It can give us additional things to talk about.

      I would love to see Metropolis on the big screen. It would be great.

      I think Matt will dislike Greed more than Patrick, but it’s a really good film…and I’m not a big fan of long films. I read Frank Norris’ McTeague which the film was based on because I liked the film so much.

      • Eddie

        Surprised no one mentioned this is the 2nd Fritz Lang film that was picked, not too shabby. Also thought you would discuss the Frankenstein theme in the film a bit. As far as acting in silent films I hope you all get to see some Lillian Gish at some point, she was very different from the normal style of that era I think. You might say she was the Brando of the era. When will inglorious basterds be reviewed? Looking forward to that.

        • MHMChris

          This will probably be his last film reviewed on Movie House Memories, but his films will definitely show up on the Golden Age podcast…the same with Lillian Gish.

          Inglourious Basterds will be reviewed in November of this year.

          • Eddie

            What is scheduled after usual suspects? Not a fan of that one.

          • MHMChris

            Interstellar and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? are up next!

          • Eddie

            Wow, interstellar? That’s the 2nd nolan film you’ve reviewed this year. And 3rd overall(is that the highest number of films any director has had so far, along with Spielberg and hitch?) guessing that is a Matt pick. And that baby Jane is a Lori pick.

          • MHMChris

            That is a Matt pick…if you include all our podcasts, this is the 4th Nolan film…we did Memento for Filmhouse Hustlas.

            And Baby Jane is my pick, but Lori probably would have picked it eventually anyhow.

          • Eddie

            In a way it’s sort of surprising Matt would pick it. I recall him saying he wasn’t a huge Nolan fan in general during the prestige podcast. Baby Jane is great, I wonder if any of you view it differently after the series Feud earlier this year.