Fritz Lang's Expressionistic masterwork continues to exert its influence today, from Chaplin's Modern Times
to Dr. Strangelove
, and into the late 1990s with Dark City
. 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? If anyone wonders what became of Moloch, now they can stop guessing; he's alive and well and making debased DVD versions such as this one. --Jim Gay
In 1981, three-time Academy Award-winning composer Giorgio Moroder began a three-year endeavor to restore the science fiction classic, Metropolis. During this process, Moroder made the controversial decision to give the film a new, contemporary score, and added a pop music soundtrack featuring songs from some of the biggest stars of the early MTV era, including Pat Benatar, Billy Squier, Freddie Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Adam Ant, Jon Anderson and more.
In addition to the new score, missing footage was re-edited into the film, intertitles were removed and replaced with subtitles and sound effects and color tinting were added, creating an all new experience...and an all-new film! But for more than a quarter century, this version of Metropolis has remained out of print - until now.
A new HD transfer was created from one of the few remaining prints available, and Kino Lorber is presenting the film in the best possible quality - just as it was seen in its original release in August 1984.