Film Review - Metropolis



“There can be no understanding between the hand and brain unless the heart acts as a mediator”

Using outstanding visuals, effects and grandiosity, Metropolis brings much more than just a tincan with legs to the table.

The 1927 silent black and white film uses both action and fast paced scenes throughout to tell the overall well paced story. So much so that you might forget the film was ever silent to begin with! Metropolis takes the overly dramatic acting style of the early 1900’s including the occasional run of semantics that go with it yet manages to “mature” the melodramatic actors where needed. When Freder and Maria lock eyes or share a kiss. - These are some of the only slow parts of the movie, which tend to “hang” and let you reflect on the rest of the film.

Whilst there is no obvious character development from the main cast, it’s odd to think that from influence alone a much more general form of overall direction happens instead. The General Population.  They are guided back and forth like cattle; latching onto anyone who will give them a glimpse of hope. Whether that be by means of peace or war. Meanwhile, Joh Fredersen is removed from the very people that sustain his city, his industry. “A city built on that kind of crude separation of haves and have-nots” (Abrams, 2010) Metropolis.
In turn it is his downfall, which he soon becomes aware of at the end. (If only that happened in reality!)

Marxism should be commented on as it is both a foreground and background element depending on which way you read it. Egyptian imagery (see fig.2)  similar to most Art Deco influences at the time backs up strong social commentary in juxtaposition to the industrial stance at the time. 1927’s Germany was ruled by the Weimar Republic of which was a time of great uncertainty economically. Because of this Metropolis boasts a certain level of naive innocence to it. Only the combination of Maria and Freder is what pushes the ever-strong social imagery to the background for a short time.

The city of Metropolis is large and bustling, at face value everything seems perfect. It is truly a city of wonder from the skyscrapers to the straight train lines running in midair. (see fig.3) It is no wonder that this film had such an impact on others like Blade Runner. It even had an anime named after it with similar themes!


Overall the lavish imagery, set design and simple character direction formats the story in stone showing Metropolis as a highly throughout and logical chain of events whilst still keeping the sci-fi elements of wonder. (I only wish the actual Robot had been included more, but perhaps it would have been a completely different film if that were the case!) Connected beautifully from beginning to end with the ever prominent, 

“There can be no understanding between the hand and brain unless the heart acts as a mediator” - Maria



Abrams, S. (2010). Metropolis | Film Review | Slant Magazine. [online] Slant Magazine. Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2014].

Illustration List:

(Figure 1) Lang, F. (1927). Metropolis Movie Poster. [image] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2014].

(Figure 2) Lang, F. (1927). Metropolis Film Still 01. [image] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2014].

(Figure 3) Lang, F. (1927). Metropolis Film Still 02. [image] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2014].

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