Movie Review: Metropolis (1927)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1927 silent film starring Gustav Frohlich and Brigitte Helm.

Synopsis: In 2026, the ruling industrial class citizens of Metropolis live in luxury while its working-class citizens are forced to live underground and perform hard labor in order to keep the city running. After becoming fascinated with a working-class woman following a brief encounter, Freder, the son of the city's ruler, visits the workers below and, after seeing the conditions they are forced to live in, seeks to change things for the better.


I'm actually not a huge fan of silent films. But, I had heard about this particular movie and, realizing I had a chance to finally watch it on Netflix, I decided to give it a try. Overall, while it still did not make me a fan of silent films in general, I have to say it was considerably better than I thought it would be.

The movie does have a bit of a long run time and the subtitles are spaced out in a way that does make the film a little hard to keep up with at times. However, despite that, I thought this movie was pretty entertaining, especially as a science fiction film.

One thing that really surprised me about this movie was the beautiful scenery. Considering when this film was made, I really wasn't expecting that. That, combined with some of the science-fiction aspects of the movie, including the human-like robots, did make it much more enjoyable for me to watch.

As far as the story itself goes, as I said, there are times when the film does drag on a bit. However, as I watched the movie, I realized a story about a society with a growing gap between the rich and poor still applied today. This relevancy, combined with the fact it doesn't take place until 2026 (still 11 years away), made it far less dated than I was expecting it to be.

Another thing I really liked about this movie was the way it avoided being predictable. This isn't always the case with movies from this era, which are usually pretty simple (at least in my opinion) with basic plots. This movie was well-written and had enough twists in it to keep me guessing about the final outcome. I definitely have to applaud the film for that.

Final Opinion

I'm still not a huge fan of silent films. But, after taking the time to watch this movie, I do have to admit it is one of the exceptions to that. If you enjoy science fiction films, I recommend setting aside a couple hours to give this movie a chance.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/13/2015, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/01/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here does have Metropolis listed among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I expect to see it sometime in the very near future, shortly after Lent ends.

The Wikipedia article on the film mentions remake rights in December 2007 and a miniseries adaptation whose details were worked out between December 2016 and March 2022.

The Wikipedia article on the book upon which the film was based mentions hints of the occult appearing in the film. Would you all happen to have noticed any occultism?

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