At first glance, a futuristic story of a great city split between the pampered rich and the struggling poor ruled over by a ruthless businessman might seem like the story of modern day Manhattan. Instead, this is the plot of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece “Metropolis,” whose cold and shadowy art deco style has influenced science fiction from “Brave New World” to “Twilight Zone” to “Blade Runner.” In this silent film, the imagery tells the story of Freder (Gustav Froehlich), the son of the dictator Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel) of the above ground Metropolis. One day, Freder sights beautiful Maria (Brigitte Helm) with a group of workers’ children, and realizes for the first time that there is a subterranean world that supports his pleasure-filled lifestyle.Never heard of this before? Get up to speed here. Eventually, Freder descends into that other world and joins Maria in rallying the people in the depths to revolt. Meanwhile, his father finds the brilliant scientist Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) to create a robot with Maria’s face. After they kidnap the real Maria, they use the robot in her place to mislead the workers. These classic characters will remind viewers of many movie moments: the heartless despot, the nave son, the mad scientist, the beautiful woman fighting for the oppressed. Every movie lover should take the opportunity to watch this elegant and influential film.
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