Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Metropolis 1926

Directed by Fritz Lang

Germany In German with English subtitles
124 minutes 35mm / B&W



Erich Pommer


Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou


Karl Freund, Thea von Harbou


Gottfried Huppertz


Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge


"Fritz Lang's celebrated silent film about a futuristic society that descends into chaos, is a classic of a curious kind: a movie with visuals so strange and majestic they leave you breathless -- and melodrama so grand and unabashed it almost makes you howl… Made in Germany in 1925 and 1926, during a time of economic misery and intimations of Fascism, it's the first classic science-fiction film, a sometimes silly masterpiece and one of the really prodigious feats of technique in the history of the cinema… Co-written by Lang and his screenwriter wife, Thea von Harbou (from her novel), Metropolis is a wonderfully aberrant blend of philosophy and kitsch, potboiler and modern art… If the plot seems Gothic and pulpy, it's deliberately so, and the restored version piles on even more action, cliffhangers and terror… This is the historical film event of the year, but it's something else too: a living movie rescued from the traps of time and fame, an astonishing, bold, robust entertainment that knocks your eyes out… Trashy and glorious, the restored Metropolis is a pop epic for the ages." — Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune 

This new print, the work of a consortium of German archives, draws from the best possible sources and uses every scrap of available footage. Digitally restored, cleaned up and given an imposing new recording of the original orchestra score, it's the longest, fullest version that anyone has seen since its Berlin premiere 75 years ago.