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Metropolis Review


Essential
Cinema history is full of stories about films shamefully hacked by studios and censors. And it still happens today. So this restored version of Lang's masterpiece is something to celebrate, both for its bravura filmmaking and the fact that this almost-complete version exists at all.

In a futuristic city where workers toil underground, the privileged class lives in modern splendour, enjoying its Son's Club and Eternal Gardens. But when Freder (Frohlich), son of the city's master Joh (Abel), goes underground in search of the beautiful Maria (Helm), he discovers the dark truth firsthand.

Back home, he challenges his father to create a more just system, then he teams up with a dismissed factory manager (Loos) to help launch a rebellion.

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Metropolis (1927) Review


Extraordinary
Cinema history doesn't get much more relevant than the original Metropolis, Fritz Lang's masterwork, a grandiose and jaw-dropping epic that would look impressive for 2004 -- and which looks impossible for 1927, when it was originally produced. In 2026, the rich live in a majestic metropolis. The workers are sequestered underground in a sweltering pit that keeps everything humming above. From the lofty above-ground world to the nether regions goes one of the Thinkers. First he's searching for a girl (of course), but eventually he joins the workers in revolt. Classic, impressive, and an absolute you-must-watch-this-film experience for anyone who claims to be a movie buff.

M Review


Essential
Critic David Thomson called him "the squat, wild-eyed spirit of ruined Europe, shyly prowling in and out of Warner Brothers shadows, muttering fiercely to himself." The Peter Lorre thus described was the Hollywood character actor familiar to Americans for his buggy looks of astonishment and his singular, rasping speech. But the wild-eyed spirit Thomson writes of first exhibited itself in Germany, before Lorre and director Fritz Lang fled that country's Nazis, in the 1931 Lang masterpiece M.

The "M" stands for "murderer" in either language, and the film is loosely based on the actual case of a Düsseldorf child killer named Peter Kurten. (His name was later borrowed for Copycat.) The plot of M echoes the fascination with shadowy syndicates and underworld figures that Lang exhibited in earlier films such as the Dr. Mabuse pieces and Spies: When a police dragnet for the child murderer upsets normal criminal activities, the criminals themselves organize and track the suspect down, labeling him, without his being aware of it, with a chalk "M" on the back of his coat.

Continue reading: M Review

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Cinema history is full of stories about films shamefully hacked by studios and censors. And...

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