#107: Metropolis (1927)

When and how did I watch this?

August 28th and 29th, 2016, on Netflix.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

A nearly lost German silent film. I’d been looking forward to this entry on the list for a while.

What do I know about it now?

Unbelievable, and certainly the most important film on the list so far. Clearly, the film is at a disadvantage because of available technology, and there’s the unfortunate aspect of some of the film missing (about 5%) but there is nothing lacking in terms of plot, innovation, and overall tension.  The acting is perfect — every character’s emotion and motive is well expressed. Of course, what makes the film so incredible is the cinematography. The images you’ll see on screen are often breathtaking and unsettling, occasionally crossing the threshold of reality and venturing into fantastic territory. The twists and turns are there — we’re genuinely concerned for Freder and his desire to liberate the city and save Maria, despite the overwhelming odds to do so, and his daring encounters generate mounds of tension. Oh, and the score is perhaps the greatest of any film on the list so far.

What are some themes in the film?

Social class, pride, Biblical prophecy, corruption/greed, humanism

Did this affect me personally?

Oh yes.  The opening factory scene, Maria’s mesmerizing dance, the flood, and pretty much everything else in between.

Why is this ranked #107?

Why isn’t this ranked higher? Its low ranking is likely due to a lack of familiarity and the frequent religious references in the film. Silent films generally aren’t a favorite, either.  This one belongs far higher for every other reason.

Did my wife watch/like it?

This one has her shaking, and then applauding. It’s the best so far, in her opinion.

Would I watch it again?

Yes, over and over again.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

You probably haven’t seen it, and you’re missing out.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

It would be a mistake to leave this off of any list.

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