Metropolis (1927) Poster


Alternate Versions

A version restored by the German Democratic Republic in the eighties runs 115 minutes (still shown on German TV sometimes).
The version released on Crown Movie Classics is the same cut as the Madacy version but features very inappropriate 'Hal Roach'-style music for its score.
The original premiere version (Fritz Lang's director's cut) ran approximately 3½ hours. This version was considered lost for 80 years.
A restored but shorter (87 min) version was re-released in 1984, featuring a soundtrack produced by Giorgio Moroder. This version is also color tinted, supposedly according to Fritz Lang's original vision.
The Paramount release, released in the United States in mid-1927, is presented by Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky. This version also replaces the original Ufa credits with more appropriate Paramount titles (i.e. Majestic Mountain); and deletes certain scenes and makes changes. Here are the deleted scenes:
  • The pursuit of Freder and Josaphat by the Thin Man, Fredersen's assistant, is deleted. This scene was lost until it was found on the 2008 copy in Buenos Aires.
  • The rivalry between Fredersen and Rotwang over Hel, Rotwang's now-dead love, was completely deleted from the Paramount version, but is restored in the 2002 restoration by the Murnau Foundation and later completed in the 2008 copy.
  • Certain names are changed from the original German in the Paramount version. For example, Joh Fredersen's name is changed to "John Masterman", Josaphat's name is changed to "Joseph", and various other changes.
One version shown on television in the 1980s contains as the soundtrack Steve Reich's original recording of "Music for 18 Musicians".
There is now a nearly complete version from the original (only about 5 minutes are missing), premiered at the 60th Berlinale on February 12, 2010. It was showed "live" at the same time in Germany and France on the TV-Channel "arte-HD". This version is 145 minutes long.
In February 2010, a newly restored version premiered in Germany both in Berlin and Frankfurt, with live orchestra music. It includes footage rediscovered 2008 in a Buenos Aires film museum which was considered lost. Two scenes that could not be restored, are described with intertitles. The runtime of this version is 149 minutes.
Giorgio Moroder commissioned a contemporary rock music score for his 82 minute version released in 1984 with whatever visual elements were available at the time.
In 1993 Jeff Forrester / USA Networks produced NEW copyrighted versions of mainstream silent films w/ EXCLUSIVE scores & NEW inter-titles. All but one (METROPOLIS) were in black & white. There were 7 in total. They were aired on the SYFY (SCI-FI) Channel during the Christmas holiday in 1993 as part of SCI-FI Channel's Silent Cinema marathon. It was hosted by renowned film critic Jeffrey Lyons & was taped @ the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE in Astoria, NY. These particular versions have NEVER been available in ANY home video format. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They were distributed by JORDEXX TELEVISION, INC.
The premiere version was cut down for the official release (after bad word of mouth) in the USA to 159 minutes, while the German official release ran 153 minutes.
A restored version was prepared by the Filmmuseum Munich. Restored according to the original script, this version replaces lost scenes either with stills or titles. Its running time is about 150 minutes.
The official German video version runs 93 minutes.
The Hollywood Classics Collector's Edition running 115 minutes with musical score. It is recorded in the highest quality EP mode. This video was made by the Madacy Entertainment Group in 1996.
The 94 minute video version released by the Killiam Collection contains a soundtrack with no music, but only electronic generated sound effects.
In 2001 a newly restored version premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Opposite the numerous restorations, it features the original sequencing, that had been lost over the years. With a running time of 147 minutes it gets close to the original cut (ca. 150 minutes).
Of the originally 175 intertitles 45 had been rephrased and 36 completely removed for the 1927 cut version.
The Hollywood Classics Edition made by the Madacy Entertainment Group reads 'Approx 115 mins' on the box but is 118 mins long.
The DVD version released by Navarre (as part of a "Triple Feature" budget release) runs 119 minutes. It uses still pictures for the opening credits and dialogue titles.
Yet another US video release from the late 1980s runs 95 minutes.
The Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation undertook a restoration/reconstruction of this film for its 75th aniversary in 2002. This version runs 123 minutes and features a new recording of the original musical score used for the 1927 German version. It uses special intertitles to describe what took place in the footage that remains missing.
The Swedish cinema version (premiered in April 1927) was cut from 2734 meters (135 min at 18 frames/sec) to 2560 meters (125 min at 18 frames/sec).
There is some debate over the frame rate Metropolis should be shown at. The 2001 Berlin Film Festival edition is 147 minutes long, but only because it is shown at a rate of 20 frames/second. The Murnau Foundation edition has more footage but is shorter because it shown at 25 frames/second.
A new UK video version (wrongly called the "director's cut") is 139 minutes long.

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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