Director: Fritz Lang
Year: 1926
TRT: 1:55

Reviewed: 1/19/03

Okay, so we have a silent B&W movie from the 20's, so the rating system is a bit skewed because I'm taking into consideration the timeframe. Most people wouldn't have much interest in seeing this movie, but being fan of film and science fiction, well, this one's a classic. And I was a bit surprised to see how well the whole thing plays out. Not a big fan of the silent film era here, but this movie had a couple interesting things involved so it wasn't a total waste of time.

The story, as it says right off the bat, is not supposed to be "the future" but strictly an allegory, and is heavily religious in nature in dealing with the struggles of the working class. It starts from the perspective of the son of the Master of Metropolis, who comes to the realization that the beauty of the lifestyle that they enjoy is built on the backs of the under-appreciated/neglected working class. It's pretty straight forward, but there really is some creative effects for the time with models and montages. The dialogue is presented in the typical screen poster, and is a bit hokey, but hey, it's from 1926. There's two scenes that really stand out, and one is a weird nightmare sequence involving the 7 deadly sins, and one that's rather racy (for the time) of a robot turned exotic dancer. Strange, but fits into the whole 'downfall of mankind' thing related to the biblical tale of the tower of Babel.

Who watches this stuff? Well, me, and probably only a handful more of you out there. This is interesting more from the historical nature of the film industry, and probably won't be much interest to your average viewer. This is the point in time where I site some facts about the film from some prestigious film history book, but screw it, I can't find one right now, the library is closed, and I'm in no condition to drive there anyways.

Great Scenes: see above

Media Notes: I picked up a real cheap-o disc put out by Madacy Entertainment. You even get a video roll in there from time to time, with horrible cropping of the picture and some bad digitizing at some points. I know the original print of the film is pretty beat up to begin with, but whatever generation they dubbed this from is pretty sad. The orchestral music they play throughout doesn't always match the action of the film.


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