In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Sometime in the future, the city of Metropolis is home to a Utopian society where its wealthy residents live a carefree life. One of those is Freder Fredersen. One day, he spots a beautiful woman with a group of children, she and the children quickly disappear. Trying to follow her, he is horrified to find an underground world of workers who apparently run the machinery that keeps the Utopian world above ground functioning. One of the few people above ground who knows about the world below is Freder's father, John Fredersen, who is the founder and master of Metropolis. Freder learns that the woman is called Maria, who espouses the need to join the "hands" - the workers - to the "head" - those in power above - by a mediator who will act as the "heart". Freder wants to help the plight of the workers in their struggle for a better life. But when John learns of what Maria is advocating and that Freder has joined their cause, with the assistance of an old colleague. an inventor called ...Written by
Brigitte Helm recalled her experiences of shooting the film in a contemporary interview, saying that "the night shots lasted three weeks, and even if they did lead to the greatest dramatic moments - even if we did follow Fritz Lang's directions as though in a trance, enthusiastic and enraptured at the same time - I can't forget the incredible strain that they put us under. The work wasn't easy, and the authenticity in the portrayal ended up testing our nerves now and then. For instance, it wasn't fun at all when Grot drags me by the hair, to have me burned at the stake. Once I even fainted: during the transformation scene, Maria, as the android, is clamped in a kind of wooden armament, and because the shot took so long, I didn't get enough air." See more »
On the Kino DVD, a shot in chapter 7 that lasts nine seconds is backwards. The shot starts at 16 minutes, 33 seconds. It is the third of four cityscape shots in a row. The vehicular traffic in this third shot moves on the left side. The traffic moves on the right side in the second and fourth shots. There is a backward script letter "B" on the left side of the third shot. These indicate the third shot is backwards. If the third shot is reversed, it becomes apparent that it is a close-up of the bottom of the fourth shot. See more »
Heart is the Mediator Between Brains and Muscles - A Futuristic View of the Fight of Classes
In the future, the society of Metropolis is divided in two social classes: the workers, who live in the underground below the machines level, and the dominant classes that lives on the surface. The workers are controlled by their leader Maria (Brigitte Helm), who wants to find a mediator between the upper class lords and the workers, since she believes that a heart would be necessary between brains and muscles. Maria meets Freder Fredersen (Gustav Fröhlich), the son of the Lord of Metropolis Johhan Fredersen (Alfred Abel), in a meeting of the workers, and they fall in love for each other. Meanwhile, Johhan decides that the workers are no longer necessary for Metropolis, and uses a robot pretending to be Maria to promote a revolution of the working class and eliminate them.
"Metropolis" is a fantastic futuristic view of the fight of classes. When "Metropolis" was shot, it was a romantic revolutionary period of mankind history, with socialist movements around the world. Fritz Lang directed and wrote the screenplay of this masterpiece certainly inspired in this historical moment and defending a position of agreement and understanding between both sides, showing that they need each other. I wonder how this great director was able to produce such special effects in 1927, with very primitive cameras and equipment. The city of Metropolis is visibly inspired in New York. The performance of Brigitte Helm is stunning in her double role, and this movie is mandatory for any person that says that like cinema as an art. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Metropolis"
Note: On 05 March 2019, I saw this film again on Blu-Ray.
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