The residents of a futuristic city live a prosperous carefree life. However, these upper class residents are unaware of what lies below them: a working class that is constantly keeping machines rolling for their convenience. This all changes when the son of the city’s master planner falls for a working class girl and follows her into the depths of Metropolis, where she prophesizes that a savior will come to mediate the differences between the people of the underground and the city.
There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.
The silent film era is one area that I need to watch more films from, though I have seen a good number of the acclaimed ones. Metropolis was a big ommission that I’m glad I finally took the time to watch. The film runs at about two and a half hours, so that definitely played a part in discouraging me from watching it sooner (I did manage to watch all of Intolerance a couple years ago though, which is about an hour longer). Anyway, the film itself doesn’t actually feel as long as it is. It keeps a good, active pace throughout that is accompanied by some amazing visuals. One thing I love about watching films that are decades old is seeing their special effects and how they created these marvelous worlds without the sort of technology we see in movies today. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but here it works wonderfully.
Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece is praised the most for its visuals (as it should), but I think the story is worth mentioning as well. For a science fiction film, it’s pretty straightforward but it has some great themes on class conflict and technology that are still relevant today. This is one film that I feel is beneficial for anyone to watch and further proves that old movies, especially silent ones, can still speak to us in our modern age.
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Starring: Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Oscar Nominations: N/A