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Metropolis Review

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The son of the Master Of Metropolis falls for an angelic social worker, while a metal-armed mad scientist creates a gleaming, seductive, female robot to infiltrate the revolutionary movement.

★★★★★

At once the 2001 and Heaven's Gate of 1926, this sci-fi epic gave generations a fixed vision of the future and came close to bankrupting its studio. Vast skyscrapers full of Jazz-Age decadents tower above an underground hell of workers strapped to torture machines.

The son of the Master Of Metropolis falls for an angelic social worker, while a metal-armed mad scientist creates a gleaming, seductive, female robot to infiltrate the revolutionary movement.

It has some silly-even-for-the-silents performances and a plot that nearly collapses along with the city. But many sequences, characters and images are indelible: the shuffling slaves changing shift, the electrical creation of the robotrix, the hero strapped to a giant clock, Rudolf Klein-Rogge's Frankenstein of the future, Brigitte Helm's mechanical femme fatale driving men mad with lust or leading a riot. Still overwhelming, particularly in this must-see restored print.

A fantastical monument to Fritz Lang's megalomania, this sci-fi silent remains one of the gems of the genre.

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