The science-fiction classic Metropolis is regarded as one of the most important and influential films ever made, yet it was heavily cut and re-edited following its première. Director Fritz Lang was unimpressed and effectively disowned this new version. About a quarter of the film was considered lost forever.

Major work was carried out in 2001 in an attempt to restore the best picture quality available from the existing prints and to rearrange the film into its original story. Unfortunately, the missing footage left large gaps in the film which were filled in with intertitles describing scenes important to the plot.

In 2008 a dupe negative of the film was found in a Buenos Aires museum that was about twenty-five minutes longer than any other known version. A new version of the film has been produced, filling in most of the missing scenes with this rediscovered footage and using it as a guide to the correct ordering of scenes. At last, we can now see a version of Metropolis that is as close to the director's vision as possible.

Above is a trailer for the new restoration; the trailer is at the wrong aspect ratio, which is a little bothersome, but the film itself should be presented in its full-frame glory.

The film is visually striking and the effects shots hold up very well today. It flows more smoothly with the restored scenes and the story is, whilst simple, engaging.

This is definitely a film to see on the big screen if possible; the Kino website has information on US screenings. The footage from the 2001 restoration (currently also available on DVD) looks absolutely incredible (hard to believe this is a film that's over 80 years old). The newly reinstated scenes are taken from a rather beaten-up 16mm print (cropped from the original full-frame aspect ratio) and as such are of noticeably inferior quality, but it's wonderful to be able to see most of the film as it was originally intended. A couple of scenes are still missing, unfortunately, and these are replaced by intertitles as with the previous version of the film.

Strongly recommended for all fans of cinema.
No in-theater showings in New York City (plus their website is pretty fail; it has no scrollbars in Firefox). It looks great, though; I'm disappointed to say I've never even seen the heavily-cut version myself.
It's a shame you can't see it on the big screen currently. Sad It will be available on Blu-ray; it's getting the Masters of Cinema treatment in the UK and there's a Kino release in the USA. (I have both Masters of Cinema and Kino releases of the 2001 version - for some reason the Kino version has English intertitles, whereas the Masters of Cinema one has German intertitles with English subtitles; I'll be interested to hear if the US version in cinemas also has English intertitles).

To my shame, the first version of Metropolis I saw was the Giorgio Moroder one, which replaced the orchestral soundtrack with 1980s pop music, replaced the intertitles with subtitles and applied colour tinting throughout. I'd recommend avoiding it, though some people have a soft spot for what others would consider sacrilege. Wink
benryves wrote:
To my shame, the first version of Metropolis I saw was the Giorgio Moroder one, which replaced the orchestral soundtrack with 1980s pop music, replaced the intertitles with subtitles and applied colour tinting throughout.
That's the first one I saw, too. I liked it, though I definitely like the other version a lot more. There are some showings here in Massachusetts, but some of them say July?! I will probably go see it with some internet friends.
The USA release schedule seems to be rather more varied than the UK one, where it was just out for a week. I hope you enjoy it.

I just noticed that the aspect ratio of the trailer above is correct when embedded here, but if you click through to view it on YouTube itself it's cropped to 16:9. How strange!
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