Metropolis is a German Movie from 1927 directed by Fritz Lang. He is one of the most famous science-fiction movies in history and one of the visually most influential silent movies. The movie was premiered at the 10th January 1927 in Berlin, but with no commercial success. Also a revised and shortened second version (premiered on 25 August 1927 in Stuttgart and Munich) found no audience. The historical significance of the movie Metropolis was found only in later decades. With 5 million Reichsmark (this corresponds to approximately 16.6 million euros, today's purchasing power) the production was the most expensive movie up in the German movie history. Due to the lack of success, the UFA was temporarily ruined.
For a long time there were only abridged versions of the movie and the original long version was missing. In 2008 movie roles have been found in Buenos Aires, with about 30 Minutes of missing sequences. This movie roles are currently being restored.
The makers of the film were the producer Erich Pommer, the brilliant novelist and screenwriter Thea von Harbou and the director Fritz Lang.
As a result of an invitation from a big movie company in America, Fritz Lang visited the USA. During this visit Fritz Lang was impressed by the scenery of the New York harbor and the skyscrapers rising up out of the sea. Fritz Lang imagined to include this scenery to his next film project.
He discussed his intention with his wife Thea von Harbou and Erich Pommer. But Erich Pommer had doubts about the possibility of realize such a gigantic project. Even the UFA was not able to build those skyscrapers for the studio; it would be too expensive. But Fritz Lang knew how to dissipate those concerns. He knew that the cameraman Eugene Schüfftan had developed a method with complicated sequence of reflection and counter-reflection (the so-called "Schüfftan Process") to bring models to an image, that they looked like huge buildings. The process was perfected during the filming. Now, the realization of the film was possible.
Fritz Lang was a visionary with his cinematic masterpiece Metropolis. Technically and in content impressing: among others, there are Air-taxis and picture phones (with rear projection) shown in the movie. For those times absolutely visionary!
The movie Metropolis (63 Minutes, digital remastered and with the original orchestration from 1927) can bed downloaded at archive.org.
If you are interested to walk through the original movie scenes, please have a look to the region "Rotwangs Labor" on the Metropolis-Grid. You will find impressing animated sceneries and backdrops. Thanks to the artists of C.A.R.P., which have built this movie scenes.