Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Film review of Metropolis

Metropolis was created in 1927 and directed by Fritz Lang. The original 1927 showing lasted for a totally two hours and 33 minutes, but since then that copy of the film has been lost. Because of this, in 2002 they got together all the film bits they could find and recreated the film. With the bits they were missing they used a black screen with writing to tell you what would be happening during that scene. This version of the film lasted just short of two hours but later on in 2010 more clips were found and made the film last a total of two hours and 28 minutes.

Metropolis is a film about upper class citizens who own the city of Metropolis and lower class citizens who make it run by working at its machines. The plot of this film is that there is a ruler of Metropolis called Joh Fredersen who is a mean and ruthless man. He's son Freder is not like him, he is more caring then his father. These upper class type of citizens live in the upper level of Metropolis, where as the lower class citizens live underground in the level just above the machine rooms where they work. 

Within the lower class there is a woman called Maria. Maria helps give hope to the lower class citizens by saying "between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a Mediator, and this must be the heart". Freder meets Maria and instantly falls for her. He follows her down into the machine level. The story goes on a bit with Freder trying to find her and seeing an accident happen within the workers. A piece of paper is found on one of the workers who was hurt and is taken to Joh. Joh gets annoyed that this has been bought to his attention by the head floor man and not his right hand man, so he fires his right hand man who then tries to kill himself, but Freder stops him. 

There's a crazy scientist who loved Freder's mother before she died and he's been trying to find a way to get her back from the dead. He builds a robot that he will make to look like Freder's mother. As the story progress' on Joh finds out about Maria and dosent like the fact that the workers listen to her. Joh tries to destroy her by getting the scientist to make the robot to look like Maria. With the robot looking like her Joh thinks the scientist has given him control over the robot but really the robot is still listening to its maker. Later on in the story, Freder finds out that this Maria is not the real one and that she is trying to stir up a rebellion. 

After the workers listen to the robot Maria and stop working at the machines, their home level is flooded and all their homes are destroyed. The workers soon realise what they have done and that she is evil, they burn her at the stake. This is where they see her turn from the Maria they see back to her robot form. At the end Maria tells Freder that he is the mediator, Jon is the mind and the works are the hands. Freder takes his father's hand and the hand off the head floor man and says they can work together.

This film was a great show of what could be done during 1927 within film. Even to this day the ideas and iconic scenes of this film still help progress other sci-fi films. This is proven within the film Star Wars as the whole of this film is basically a mirror of Metropolis. (Young, Aug 18, 2014) "The thematic thesis of Metropolis is also mirrored in the entire Star Wars saga. The people and machines are the hands of society, and the upper-class serves as the mind in the equation. Unless there is a mediator of both worlds to provide the heart, tyranny ensues." Although this is an old film, the hierarchy that is protruded in this film is still happening in the modern day, yet the modern day hierarchy is not so bad. There is still such a thing as "classes" and these are protruded in every day life and situations.


Young, B. (2014) The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Metropolis. At http://www.starwars.com/news/the-cinema-behind-star-wars-metropolis

1 comment:

  1. Hi Josh,
    Sorry for the delay in commenting on your review...
    Ok, so although you have been asked to review the film, what we are really looking for is an in-depth analysis of what makes the film special, so for example the set design, what was influencing the film maker, the legacy the film has left etc. Your very last paragraph starts to look at these ideas, but really that is what you whole review should be like. (Of course, you can give a brief synopsis, but the bulk of the review should be analytical.)

    You are also asked to support your discussion with 3 quotes, and some images. You have used one quote here - this should be referenced AFTER the quote, and just with the suthor's name and the year, so (Young, 2014) The quotes need to be in italics, as do any film names you mention.

    Have a look at your classmate's review here, for an example of how it should look -

    Don't worry about editing this one... I look forward to reading your next one! :)