Almost as soon as Fritz Lang’s robots-and-rebellion futurist classic was released in 1927, crudely shortened versions began to circulate – and it’s one of those that we’ve long had to make do with.
A fully complete version still remains elusive – but the discovery of 25 minutes of lost footage in Buenos Aires, grainy though it is, has made this two-and-a-half-hour release possible.
Worth the wait? Well, several obscure plot points are helpfully clarified and some key scenes fleshed out. And we get Gottfried Huppertz’s original score, newly recorded.
But Metropolis remains, as filmmaker Luis Buñuel observed at the time, “two films glued together by their bellies”: a luminous and resplendent visual masterpiece yoked to a puerile and embarrassingly trite plot.