Sunday, 19 October 2014

Film Review - Metropolis (1927)

Fig. 1 Metropolis (1927) Movie Poster

Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" (1927) is a wonderfully revolutionary film for it's time. It's unbelievable city and it's unique story is something that still influences the sci-fi films of today. The film even manages to demonstrate Germany's upcoming rise and fall.

Fig. 2 Metropolis City at night

Metropolis' setting is remarkable. Considering the lack of the resources available in 1927, it is an incredible accomplishment that the film had such a unique, yet detailed setting. It really does highlight how we take things for granted in modern films as we are used to such extraordinary settings. This point is backed up by Anthony Quinn's review, who said "Here is the starting-point of so much modern cinema." The city pushes the boundaries of what can be done in a film. It features scenes and effects that people wouldn't have seen in 1927, so it is a true pioneer for creating imaginative worlds. As Roger Ebert says in his review "Lang tells of a towering city of the future." (Ebert, 2010) - This couldn't be any more true. 

Fig. 3 Rotwang and the Robot

Not only is Metropolis a source of inspiration for creating cities, but also created a new idea of character. The robot in the film (above) is still copied or based from today, one such example is C-3PO from the Star Wars franchise. Metropolis still goes a little bit further by turning the robot into a human. The robot clone of Maria then goes on to controlling the people of Metropolis into doing as she wishes. This is remarkable as it could be argued that Germany's future is not too different.  

Fig. 4 Metropolis workers

It can also be argued that the Metropolis workers reflect the way Hitler treated certain cultures by treating them as slaves and having them work in dangerous conditions. Lang shows the slaves as people who look almost hypnotised and have no choice. The picture above shows a scene where the workers all walk in sync with each other and almost give the impression that they are the robots. Interestingly, in David Sterritt's review he mentions Adolf Hitler's view of the film. "Adolf Hitler was said to have loved it, and Lang eventually fled Germany for Hollywood when the Third Reich wanted him to run its movie industry." (Sterritt,2002)

Metropolis is an extraordinary film, that manages to influence modern films and reflect the future of Germany's democracy.

Ebert, Roger (2010) Metropolis (1927) Review - (Accessed 19/10/2014)

Quinn, Anthony (2010) Metropolis (1927) Review - (Accessed 19/10/2014)

Sterritt, David (2002) Metropolis (1927) Review - (Accessed 19/10/2014)

Illustration List:
Fig.1 Metropolis (1927) Movie Poster - (Accessed 19/10/2014)

Fig. 2 Metropolis City at night - (Accessed 19/10/2014)

Fig. 3 Rotwang and the robot - (Accessed 19/10/2014)

Fig. 4 Metropolis workers - (Accessed 19/10/2014)


  1. This sounds much better Dan - the quotes feel as though they are actually doing their job now :) Don't forget to reference them all though... you forgot to do the one by Quinn.

  2. Also, don't forget to put the quotes in italics!