Auld Lang Syne: A Restored Print of the Silent Classic Metropolis Includes Footage Not Seen since 1927. (Film)

By Roberts, Rex | Insight on the News, August 5, 2002 | Go to article overview

Auld Lang Syne: A Restored Print of the Silent Classic Metropolis Includes Footage Not Seen since 1927. (Film)


Roberts, Rex, Insight on the News


Greeted with condescending reviews on its premiere in Berlin in 1927--H.G. Wells declared the film "silly"--Fritz Lang's Metropolis now is revered as one of the great cinematic achievements of the 20th century. The silent epic was 153 minutes long, cost more than any previous movie made in Europe and used ingenious camera trickery to create the illusion of a gargantuan futuristic city inhabited by wealthy industrialists, exploited workers, mad scientists and demented robots. Lang shot his masterpiece over the course of 18 months, erecting scores of elaborate sets and employing tens of thousands of extras (made possible by Weimar hyperinflation), with the express aim of producing a blockbuster equal to, if not exceeding, any made in Hollywood.

Yet even before Metropolis was released in Germany, Lang's studio, UFA, and his U.S. distributor, Paramount, were discussing ways to cut the film from 12 reels to seven. Executives couldn't imagine audiences embracing the director's sci-fi morality tale, in part because his vision managed to offend political sensibilities on the right and left, in part because the film lacked recognizable stars. Metropolis was recut drastically for American and British audiences. Incredibly, the master negative also was re-edited and resubmitted to the German censor board, destroying Lang's vision forever.

Now, after four years of restoration and digital cleaning, with support from an international consortium of film institutes and archives, preservationist Martin Koerber has reconstructed Metropolis in time to celebrate the film's 75th anniversary. The new 35-millimeter print not only provides audiences with some sense of the photographic splendor of the original, it also reinserts scenes missing from four earlier reissues of the movie, adds a new English translation of the intertitles and provides a new recording of Gottfried Huppertz's score performed by a 65-piece orchestra.

Even with its plot intact, Metropolis can be a bit baffling. The story is a tale of two cities, one of towering skyscrapers where the privileged class pursues its pleasure, the other a sunless underworld where workers toil in dehumanizing factories. Freder Fredersen, son of the city's leader Joh Fredersen, falls in love with Maria, a charismatic young woman who prophesies a coming age of justice and compassion. Freder joins her cause, while Joh conspires with the twisted genius Rotwang to ruin Maria by creating a robot in her image--a mechanical evil twin--to deliver false testimony. The scheme backfires as the socialites debauch and the workers revolt, unleashing a flood that nearly drowns a horde of innocent children. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Auld Lang Syne: A Restored Print of the Silent Classic Metropolis Includes Footage Not Seen since 1927. (Film)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.