2017 Blind Spot Series: Metropolis


What I knew going in: That the film was once lost, then mostly recovered with a few title cards to fill in the gaps. 

December was a rough go at the Blind Spot. My original pick was Cinema Paradiso, but it's been stuck in "Very Long Wait" hell on Netflix all year. So I held a twitter poll on what I should replace it with, and In The Heat Of The Night won. Then what do you know, Very Long Wait there too. None of these films were on Youtube or Daily Motion. I'm sure I could've found them on Vodlocker but the audio is always out of sync towards the end so I had to go with what came in 2nd on the Twitter poll. Good ol' Metropolis. And look at that, Netflix has it on instant stream.

Set in the year 2026, a futuristic city is run by lowly workers underneath the streets and buildings the upper class call home. One day Freder ( Gustav Fröhlich) sees a beautiful woman (Brigitte Helm) and follows her underground to see the workers that fuel the city. He never knew about them, and they're in need of a liberation.

Guys, what the fuck is this movie? Somewhere in my medicine filled haze (get your flu shot, everyone) I managed to forget this was a silent film. Mind you, this film is 2 and 1/2 hours. I have a hard time focusing on silent films I always have, I hate that I can't enjoy this medium but it just doesn't work for me. 

All of the performances are over the top. They always are in silent pictures. I can definitely see why sci fi writers today are inspired by this film. One thing I appreciate about the movie was the scope of it. This was filmed in the 20's and this production looks huge. There's hundreds of extras around the main characters for most of the movie. I have to commend that. That is no easy feat. I just wish film worked as a whole for me. It felt all over the place and dragged in parts. I ended up enjoying a few of the title cards explaining the film more than I enjoyed the scenes I was watching. The prelude of this film alone is 60 minutes, and the exciting stuff doesn't happen until towards the end. 

I'm glad I watched this. I think this is oldest film I've watched if I don't count a few Charlie Chaplin shorts. This is also one of my father's favorite films and I was really hoping I'd like it too so we could nerd out to it together, but alas. That was not in my stars.

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "Let them die! Kill them! The Machines!" - Maria (Brigette Helm)

12 comments:

  1. This is a interesting premise but, damn, it sounds like a grueling experience.

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  2. I love this film and I have a nearly-completed version of the film on DVD. BTW, who did the score on the version you saw?

    As for Cinema Paradiso. Never trust Netflix with that bullshit. I found it on YouTube but it will cost you a few bucks but... since Net Neutrality is now in danger. You either might have to pay more or not be able to see it.

    I'd suggest looking out for the film on Turner Classic Movies as they play it once in a while.

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    1. It occurred to me I could check my local library. I always forget about them for DVDs. I'm not sure who did the score for this one off hand.

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  3. Oh what a shame that you didn’t like this film because I love it with the German Expressionism and gothic feel. It is great with the right music..just not the one with the rock music done in the 1980’s. I love the scene where he is hallucinating and the gothic figures come to life.

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  4. I'm a big fan of this film! It touches on so many still relevant themes and that production, as you said, is huge. That said, the only cut I've seen is a 115 minute cut, not that 2 1/2 hour version on Netflix. I imagine that would be tough for someone not into silent films.

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    1. The themes are still very present today, that I can agree on. I wish I had liked this more.

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  5. Of all the "Great Movies", Metropolis is one of the most uneven. What usually pulls me through is the production design, which is just WOW. I have no clue how they did all that in 1927. The scale and scope of the production is just mind-boggling. While I enjoy it, I can very easily see how someone wouldn't.

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    1. Oh for sure, that alone is astonishing. I can see why it took them almost a year to film all of this. I think if I were in the right mood, I'd give his another chance. I really wanted to like it more.

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  6. I haven't watch this movie. Thanks for reviewing full movie. At least you save my money and time as I hate to watch these silent movies. I don't like to watch classic drama. Once again thanks for your review.

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